Interview with Jakk Fynn
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I don’t know if I can truly conceive of a world without music because it is my lifeline. But if I run with this thought experiment, I’d probably be teaching philosophy, or super dedicated to software engineering and tech.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I really enjoy hiking, kickboxing, the beach, spending time with my gf, hanging with friends, keeping up with the news, listening to new music or streaming something on Netflix. It may sound a bit boring, but these things positively impact my mental health which influences the way I think. Since I write from experience, staying grounded allows me to write with clarity, perspective and hope.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m from Southern California and grew up in skate culture, which led me to pop punk. Ventura County also birthed Nardcore (Oxnard Hardcore), so I was exposed to a lot of heavy music. On top of that, there is a larger Latin community there, so mainstream hip hop and r&b were always on the radio. All of these genres definitely shaped the way I write, sing, and gravitate towards drum and bass centric music.
What is your dream venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Oh wow, this is a hard one. As a queer person, I’d definitely love to perform at NY, SF and LA Pride. Outside of that, I just want to tour, so I’d feel really blessed if I could do that, especially in midsized venues like The Fonda. If I’m shooting for the moon though, I’d love to play festivals like Coachella, Glastonbury, and Primavera.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Okay I’m going to cheat and pretend I’m building a festival lineup. I’d for sure invite Charli XCX, Halsey, Kim Petras, Rina Sawayama, Banks, and Years & Years. But then I’d add Blackbear, Post Malone, Iann Dior, The Weeknd, 6lack, and Justin Bieber. And as if that wasn’t odd enough, I’d throw on Deftones, Glassjaw, The Used, old Blink 182, Balance & Composure, RHCP, Bjork and my friends band Foxx Bodies because they’re dope af. Idk who would come to this festival lol, but most of these artists have majorly influenced me.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
For anyone playing in their first band (and to my younger self), I’d say enjoy the process, focus on making music you vibe with and not what you think others will love, and lastly don’t force creative collaborations. If you’re constantly fighting with your bandmates, or if there is someone who is creatively controlling, don’t waste your time settling on the wrong people.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
I’d say it’s going to be tough, and you’re going to hit a lot of walls with your family and society, but don’t be afraid to pursue your truth because you are valid, worthy of happiness, and deserve to be seen for who you are. I’d also encourage younger me to seek therapy and meds sooner. Meds really improved my quality of life, so it would have been nice to start sooner.
Of your songs, which one means the most to you and why?
I love a lot of my songs, but my recent release “Meow” is special because it marks a point in my life where I sat with my struggles with a presence of mind and acceptance that I hadn’t done before. That said, I wrote a song called “Unapologetically” with my old band Boigirl that will always mean a lot to me because it was the first song I really wrote about my queer experience.
What is the creative process for Jakk Fynn and what inspires you to write your music?
I tend to write in the moment, whether I’m noodling with lyrics and melodies alone or in a collaborative setting. That said, when I’m writing alone I’m much more likely to over refine, whereas in a group setting I’m a bit more go with the flow. As for inspiration, the human condition, social dynamics and the passing of time really enthrall me.
Tell us a bit more about your latest single “Meow.”
I wrote “Meow” during a time when I was focused on being alone. Historically I’d stay busy or surround myself with people to escape, or to feel like I mattered. But “Meow” marked a shift. Because I’m human, and because I suffer, I’ll never truly be alone. The human condition is complex, baffling, and utterly heartbreaking, but because life is fleeting and fragile, it’s important to try to stay present and practice acceptance towards reality.
What was the process and inspiration behind the “Meow” music video?
When ideating on “Meow”, the director and I had really specific visuals in mind. I wanted to inject existentialist absurdity by depicting the feeling of meaninglessness through juxtaposing me against nature and negative space. Candice on the other came up with this beautiful metaphor with yarn that represents one’s struggle to accept themselves and to break free from external pressures. When we considered locations, places from my childhood felt appropriate because they are so entwined with my mental health struggles. I think all of this, in tandem with Caleb Harris’s brilliant camera work, leant itself to something meaningful and healing.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
I don’t want to say I have one singular message because as I evolve I know my perspective could change. But what I will say is that music is my lifeline because it gives me a place to feel good, to feel understood, or to seek self-enlightenment. So ultimately, if someone connects with my music and is able to receive even a fraction of what music has given me, then I am happy and fulfilled as an artist.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Since June / Pride season was a little hectic for me, my goal is to slow down for the next month to focus on writing before I play some more shows.
Check out "Meow" here: