Q&A: JAX Talks New EP, Battling Cancer, and ‘Idol’ Journey

AMERICAN IDOL XIV: Jax. CR: Michael Becker / FOX. © FOX BROADCASTING CO.

It’s hard to keep up with the ever-growing number of music artists on the rise in this day in age.  Coming across a genuine and talented artist is rare, but we know one when we see it!

You might have already heard of JAX if you’re an American Idol fan: the young singer/songwriter worked her way up to the finals at the age of 20! And for those who haven’t, keep reading, as she is definitely an artist to watch in 2017… JAX gave us an exclusive interview about her life today, and the release of her new EP Funny (now available for pre-order on iTunes).

The 6-track extended play was written post-Idol  by JAX with co-writers/producers Colin Dieden (from The Mowgli’s), Ruffian (Selena Gomez, Zedd), Larzz Principato (Halsey) and Nick Marsh (Chris Brown).

Check out our full Q&A with JAX below and keep up with her by following her on Twitter at @JAXFunny drops this Friday, January 27th.

Celeb Secrets: Congrats on the pre-release of your new EP! We absolutely love your song ‘Stars’. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

JAX: “Thank you! A lot of the songs on the EP are relationship songs about heartbreaks, but ‘Stars’ was a little bit more personal to me and my story. I was going through a lot of health strains in 2016 and finally getting back into the process of writing and working on my EP was very therapeutic for me. The meaning and concept of the song aren’t that obvious as they seem so the fans can relate to it, with their own story.”

Celeb Secrets: You have been open about your battle with thyroid cancer and undergoing treatment. What would you say to people going through the same thing, or musicians going through the same thing and pursuing their career?

JAX: “The best thing that I did was welcome my friends and family. Always appreciate the love that you get because you’re not the only person going through it. So many other people have gone through it and have amazing, beautiful success stories, so keep positive and keep smiling! At the end of the day, your mindset leaks over to your physical situation. Once I started feeling good, my road to recovery doubled in speed.

My advice for musicians is to write! That’s what got me through it. Coming out of the surgery was very hard for me because I couldn’t sing, at all; I couldn’t talk. It was scary because my grandpa had thyroid cancer as well, and after his surgery he still can’t talk to this day as the surgery is very close to the vocal chords. At that point all I could really do was write. It put my mind in a positive, creative place and it gave me that outlet to communicate what I was going through. It’s a tough business but keep your creative energy going! Your emotional and physical health should come first.

Celeb Secrets: You are still KILLING it, even 2 years after being on American Idol. We see most artists come and go. Are you glad you didn’t win?

JAX: “I mean, at the end of the day it is just a game show, but it is still an amazing platform for winners and non winners. I’m glad I did the show to begin with because it was such an incredible learning experience. I made the best friends ever and a lot of the recognition I get today is from them. I wouldn’t say I’m ‘glad’ I didn’t win but I am very appreciative of what the show has done for my career.”

Celeb Secrets: What would you like to accomplish this year now that you EP is out to pre-order?

JAX: “When it comes out I am going to be PUMPED! I’m also super nervous because I spent a year working on it. In the next few months I hope to share my story to the world, make some appearances and perform. But right now I’m just excited about the actual EP coming out!”

Celeb Secrets: Any comments about the People’s Choice last night? Especially with Justin Timberlake winning Favorite Male Artist and Favorite song, and Britney Favorite female AND pop artist?

JAX: “Oh my gosh I didn’t watch because I went out last night, but I recorded it! It’s fantastic the two of them winning. Britney and Justin are the faces of pop so that’s awesome for them. I gotta go back and watch it!”

Celeb Secrets: Who is your favorite celebrity you have met so far?

JAX: “It’s got to be Steven Tyler! And Kelly Clarkson was awesome too. He’s a rockstar on and off the stage!”

Celeb Secrets: What is your favorite quote?

JAX: “‘Do one to others as you would have them do one to you’.”

Celeb Secrets: What are your style must-haves this season?

JAX: “I’m really into chokers. I recently did a collab with Gypsy Warrior and I genuinely think that all their stuff is unreal! So you should check it out. And I’m not just saying that because we worked together. I genuinely love their stuff, my whole closet is full of it. I also love baggy sweaters, but I’m mostly into the chokers. I am insecure about my scar from the surgery so I hide it with chokers.”

Celeb Secrets: We are Celeb Secrets, what is a hidden talent, secret, or fun fact about yourself, most people don’t know about you? 

JAX: “(laughing) I can wiggle my nostrils and ears back and forth really fast!”

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