Quantcast

GRAMMY PREVIEW:
JP SAXE

A Whole New “World”

Arista’s breakout singer/songwriter JP Saxe scored a monster hit—and no small amount of Grammy buzz—with “If the World Was Ending,” a provocative ballad he co-penned and recorded with the estimable Julia Michaels (with production by FINNEAS). Here he reflects on his career so far, an inherited Grammy and advice for his younger self.


When was the first time you envisioned yourself winning a Grammy?
One of my earliest memories was when I was about five years old, in 1998. My grandfather won the Grammy for Best instrumental Solo Performance for his recording of the Bach cello suites. And I remember my mom getting that call and just crying. And I didn’t entirely know what was going on, but I knew it was making everyone extremely happy.

So fast-forward 20 years, and I’ve inherited my grandfather’s Grammy. So I don’t have one, but I own one. I have it up above my piano. And I leave it there to intimidate myself. No, I leave it there to remind myself of the philosophy with which I want to make music, which is with a dedication to subtlety, nuance and sincerity. And I hope one day to put my own right next to my grandfather’s.

What was what was it like working with FINNEAS and Julia Michaels?
Well, it was one of the best experiences of my life. I met Julia the day we wrote “If the World Was Ending.” It was a few weeks after the earthquakes on July 4 of 2019. I’d written in my journal, “If the world was ending, you’d come over, right?” And I started messing around with that idea, but I stopped myself because I knew I had this session with Julia and thought it could be the right thing to save for her.

So we met, sat down at the piano and started talking—and that song kind of poured out of us. We did all the final vocals and piano on the record the day we wrote it, and then we sent that demo to FINNEAS, who is just a mastermind. He loved the demo and brought so much life to it. So it was an incredible experience, both personally and creatively.

What was your first real taste of the music industry?
I had my first gig at 15 years old, playing covers for three hours at a piano bar in Toronto called Statler’s; I got paid $75. I guess that’s my first taste of the music industry—getting a lot of requests for “Piano Man.”

Has it shaped the way you approach your music now?
I would say the thing that shapes the way I approach my music now is, I learned how to be myself by writing songs. It was the first place I’d ever reflected myself back to myself. I think the reason I’m so obsessed with being sincere in my songs is because I know that if I’m lying in my art, it feels like I’m lying to myself. And that just messes with my joy overall.

UMG'S $4.5 BILLION
FIRST-HALF HAUL
The rich get richer. (7/29a)
SPOTIFY TOPS 165M
PREMIUM SUBS
The dominant platform keeps growing. (7/29a)
A KID-FRIENDLY TOP 20
Thunder from Down Under (7/29a)
NYC HOMECOMING CONCERT SETS LINEUP
A day in the park (7/28a)
JAZMINE SULLIVAN ON THE POWER OF R&B
Perpetuating a grand tradition (7/28a)
NEW & DEVELOPING ARTISTS
From tender shoots to mighty oaks.
MARKETSHARE MANIA
Let's do the numbers.
DELTA VARIANT
It is not the name of a Henry Miller novel.
IS IT TIME FOR ANOTHER ROCK STORY?
Could be. Dunno.
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)