Melbourne-based Chinese-Cambodian queer pop artist JXCKY has just released his new single, Losing My Mind, and it'll resonate with anyone that's ever felt like they're losing control. Leaning into his love of dark pop, JXCKY channels the chaos of his personal life into Losing My Mind. He's worked with producer SB90 to create an explosive soundscape that mirrors the feeling of things starting to fall apart at the seams, and if you're a fan of Billie Eilish, then you'll dig this.
Lyrics like "I might be losing my... mind keeps flickering" convey JXCKY's ever-loosening grip on various aspects of his life, while the song's thumping bassline is hypnotic. JXCKY's ability to be vulnerable and open through his songwriting is endearing, and while Losing My Mind might be sonically spooky, it's also a showcase of JXCKY's polished and captivating voice.
We spoke to JXCKY about Losing My Mind, what he does to regain a sense of self-control, the importance of representation and much more. Losing My Mind is instantly relatable but it's also a reminder that you're not the only one experiencing this cycle of self-loathing. Read on to learn all about JXCKY!
Cool Accidents: Firstly, I wanted to start by congratulating you on the release of Losing My Mind! The song talks about getting stuck in this vicious cycle of losing yourself. I’d love to know more about how opening up about those feelings on this track has helped you work through them?
JXCKY: Thank you! The creative process of writing and releasing Losing My Mind has been cathartic. I think there’s a limit that anyone can reach when things gradually accumulate to a certain point and the right thing to do is to surrender and be brutally honest with yourself. For me, Losing My Mind was and is that epiphany. When you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of losing yourself, it’s hard to admit - let alone see - the damage you’re doing to your mind, body and soul and creating this song was my wake-up call to start that process of self-care.
The song was written and produced alongside SB90, and there’s a very dark pop aesthetic to the track. You’ve also previously described your sound as “anti-pop chaos” in the past – I’d love to get more of a sense of what this description means to you?
I’ve been lingering in the dark-pop soundscape for my last few releases and writing in this particular sound, I noticed that while it was sonically consistent with current music, the message in each song was different from what was doing well commercially.
You’d often hear songs on the radio or charts about having the best time at a party or the fun, motivational anthems that Lizzo pumps out. And don’t get me wrong - the world (and I) needs that kind of music right now, because who doesn’t love feel-good songs? But my thought process was… well what if I wasn’t invited to the party? What if I’m losing it right now and no one can see or hear it? That perspective became more appealing to me as a writer and listener of pop and diving into these ideas, I found there’s a lot of chaos in the story. To me, that’s the perfect recipe for what I describe as "anti-pop".
When you do feel like you’re losing your “sense of direction”, what are some things you do to try and ground yourself again?
I’m not gonna lie and say something that sounds in any way healthy. Really, my temporary solution is to plan one massive night where I’m headed out to dance, eat and drink with good company and getting that one night out of my system somehow benefits me in the subsequent self-care process.
I’ve started to notice that people are becoming jaded and bored with this concept of fun and not wanting to be out past a certain time but… personally, the messiness and fun that comes with these nights are enough to bring me back down to earth and set my path facing forwards again. Minus the losses to my bank account.
You were recently part of Converse’s Digital Pride Campaign – as a queer artist, I’d love to know more about what it means to you to be able to provide queer representation for younger people everywhere?
I was so stoked to be part of the Minus 18 x Converse Digital Pride Campaign, not just as a queer artist, but as a queer Asian artist. Coming into my own identity as a queer Asian during adolescence, it didn’t feel like there was enough LGBTQI+ POC representation, guidance and opportunity as there is today. So, it was definitely emotional participating in the campaign and being one of the many faces of Converse.
In my culture, being comfortable and open about your queerness and identity can still be a difficult journey and conversation. If any young, queer person of colour struggling with that conflict can feel some form of hope and strength through my representation, then it’s a full-circle moment.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician, and what role did music play in your life when you were younger?
From a young age, musical shows like Glee and High School Musical introduced me to a plethora of genres and performance theatricality but I was never musically inclined. All I knew was my love for writing and poetry and the discovery of artists who wear their hearts on their sleeves, like Taylor Swift, was the missing link between turning personal, diary-entry experiences into catchy hooks and lyricism.
I’m curious – as an artist that’s making pop music, what’s been your biggest “popstar” moment to date?
I released a single called System last year - the first song of mine where I dipped my toes into the dark-pop world - and they featured the music video we made for it on rotation on MTV Australia! MTV!!! That was definitely my biggest “pop star” moment. My mind was blown… and my teeth were tight thanks to braces.
I’d love to know about some of the Australian pop artists you’ve been listening to recently – is there anyone that you’d like to shout out?
Heck yes! I recently discovered an artist from Western Sydney - Gemma Navarrete. She released a single a few months ago titled Same Shit! and it’s my favourite. thing. ever. Just from the opening line alone, I was sold. Also, I’ll never not be screaming from the roof about how much I love ASHWARYA, Vetta Borne and Genes. Females really do run the show here, I’m telling you!
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Finally, what’s next for JXCKY in 2022?
If time is generous, I’m ready to milk more of this dark-pop stuff through the release of a few more singles and promotional visuals. But once that’s out there, who’s to say I won’t switch genres? I’ve always had a special place for a mix of pop, indie Rex Orange County vibes.