Singer-Songwriter JP Saxe Talks Music-Making and Artistic Introspection
The vocalist also shares a powerful mash-up for his highly-acclaimed single “If The World Was Ending” featuring Julia Michaels in support of Doctors Without Borders.
For singer-songwriter JP Saxe, music is more than a simple chord progression; it’s the birthplace of his individuality. “Music was the first place that I ever started to develop a relationship with myself,” the chart-topping, 26-year-old vocalist recalls. Unsure of his place in the world growing up, Saxe ultimately began to understand his personal identity upon initially stepping foot in his school’s music room. “I wasn’t really sure how to fit in when I was younger, and I spent a lot of time by myself,” he says. “Once I involved myself in music as a 13-year-old, I started to learn something about myself that I liked. That was big for me when I was younger and it was through music that I started to find community and friends.” Today, Saxe’s vocal prowess connects people all over the world, providing an overarching sense of community through his melodic sincerity, a vital sense of togetherness in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A source of musical solace, Saxe’s extensive, melodic repertoire unveils the entirety of his multi-faceted, emotional being, and oftentimes, his lyrical genius speaks to a universal relatability. Instead of heading to the studio to seek inspiration for music, Saxe engages in a slightly atypical yet incredibly personal manner of songwriting. “It always starts as journaling for me,” he explains. “I find if I try to write a song, it doesn’t feel as sincere as if I just write down whatever is in my head and then come back to those writings later to see what might sound like a chorus. I really want the songs to feel as close to my inner dialogue as possible, and the easiest way for me to do that is just to make something out of my authentic experiences.” Each of Saxe’s tracks mimic the inner-workings of his conscience, revealing his sensitivity within his relationships, all the while boasting unprecedented confidence for sharing his raw thoughts.
Aside from his journal-entry lyrics, Saxe also stands as an embodiment of what it means to be both masculine and sensitive in the limelight. “I think the best way for me to be a proponent of [masculine sensitivity] is to constantly be a sensitive man who is sensitive in his music,” he says. “Not because I’m trying to tell you it’s okay, but to show you that I am okay with it.” Showcasing his pride in his emotional intelligence, Saxe does not shy away from diving wholeheartedly into his emotions in his songs and strives to live as an example for younger men to feel the same sense of comfort in their feelings. “I think I have found my power as an artist by embracing the things that make me vulnerable,” he says. “I am applauded for embracing the things that make me vulnerable. So how could I not be sensitive and masculine?”
After sharing a multitude of sound-establishing singles over the last three years, Saxe recently released his debut EP Hold It Together, a project which delves into his identity like none before. Two years in the making, the 6-song tracklist depicts Saxe in several states of emotion, ultimately providing a full picture of the singer-songwriter as he navigates the trials and errors of life. “I would say those six songs explore and show me figuring out who I am, in love and out of love, who I am in connection to those people, figuring out what it means to be separate from a person who was a big part of who I was for a long time, refiguring out myself and deciphering the meaning in all of that,” he explains. A project of unmatched clarity for Saxe, Hold It Together provides a well-rounded look into the artist’s very existence.
Among the several heart-toiling tracks on the EP, Saxe’s “If The World Was Ending” featuring Julia Michaels has received widespread acclaim, even sending Tik Tok users into a viral frenzy. On the song’s success during the COVID-19 pandemic, Saxe reflects on the incredible impact his lyrics had on the video sharing app. “Seeing the song accompanying nurses who were giving messages to communities to stay home because they couldn’t amid the world health crisis was very emotional to me,” Saxe says. Inspired by the song’s empowering effect, Saxe enlisted a slew of his musically-inclined friends to put together a mash-up cover video for the song in an effort to raise money for Doctors Without Borders in these trying times. Showcasing the likes of Finneas, Kesha, Niall Horan, Sam Smith, Noah Cyrus, Sabrina Carpenter, and H.E.R. among many other talented vocalists, the video not only spreads worldwide awareness for DWB’s vital cause, but also illustrates the overwhelming sense of unison present in Saxe’s music.
Sharing his ultimate goals as a singer-songwriter, Saxe seeks to remain open-minded and authentic in his journey through life. “I really believe that you discover yourself by just being yourself every day and seeing what happens, so my hope is that I will never lose track of that and that I will continue to put sincerity above all as both a human and as an artist,” he reflects. Through his growing musical platform, it’s evident that Saxe places a strong emphasis on sharing his true perspective on life’s happenings, and it’s that emotional bravery that places him at the forefront of music’s next generation.
Watch JP Saxe perform a moving rendition of “If The World Was Ending” alongside Julia Michaels and friends in support of Doctors Without Borders, below.