Singer-songwriter Jax hit the stage for the Minnesota State University, Mankato’s homecoming concert last Friday, opening for Jesse McCartney.
Jax has climbed in fame since last November on the social media app, TikTok, performing different silly videos all centered around song-writing.
Before TikTok, Jax had moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in songwriting, splitting her time ghostwriting for other artists while also writing for herself.
Working day in and day out, doubling up on writing sessions, she was struggling to pay the bills, and started to burn out.
But then, everything changed when the pandemic hit.
“When quarantine happened, everything was cancelled, so I was forced to stop.” said Jax who went on to quote a popular TikTok trend at the time, “So I just sat, bored in a house, and in a house bored.”
At the advice of the girl she babysat, she downloaded the app, and posted high production content from various music videos, but was not gaining the momentum.
“I had no eyes or ears on my music for so long.” said the singer “but then, I posted ‘Stacy’s Mom’ from Stacy’s mom’s perspective.”
Coming up with the idea while watching a movie, Jax rewrote the lyrics to the 2003 hit song “Stacy’s Mom,” but instead, taking the viewpoint of the creeped out mother.
Armed with a bathrobe and an imitation of her own mother, she filmed herself just singing the abridged song while playing the piano.
“I thought I had just embarrassed myself,” said Jax, who went to bed after posting, fully expecting the video to flop.
Around 4 a.m. that night Jax did a quick phone check to see her video had gained millions of views.
“Babe! We went viral!” She recalls screaming, waking up and terrifying her boyfriend, who thought there was an intruder in their LA apartment.
“Finally after all that work, of years and years of working in music, breaking through the noise” said Jax, “It was just an exhilarating experience.”
Since then, she has continued to see incredible success on the app, gaining over 100 million likes across all of her videos.
Jax is thrilled that she is able to keep her clever style of songwriting, largely due to the use of closed captions on her videos.
“My whole life, I was told by industry cats ‘your stuff is so tongue and cheek, could you make it simpler?” said the songwriter “But then TikTok came along, and allowed me to use closed captions and put the lyrics right on the screen.”
Suddenly people were able to follow along, and the little jokes included in the songs weren’t lost within the track.
Jax had been writing and performing music from a very early age.
Raised in New York, she attempted piano lessons, but learned quickly that she played better by ear.
“I’ve always been a songwriter,” said Jax, “I grew up doing musical theatre and that transitioned into my rowdy phase as a teenager in punk bands.”
The artist has several new songs in the works for an album, performing many of these at the University’s homecoming concert.
One of these songs, called “Boys who like boys,” was a huge hit at the concert, with the crowd singing along by the end of the show.
Jax was ecstatic to perform at the University.
“This is honestly my first ticketed show since TikTok.” said Jax, “This is the first one so there is a lot of built up energy going into this show.”
On top of the album, which she hopes to release in early 2022, Jax also has some plans for the holidays.
“Your favorite Jew has some Christmas music coming,” said Jax.