Q: “Moment to Think” is just beautiful from your vocals to the music. Was there a real-life event that inspired the song?
JESSY HAX: I think this song can appeal to a lot of people in the sense that we sometimes base our decisions on pleasing another person instead of figuring out what we truly want. Being spontaneous doesn’t allow us the time to consider the consequences of our decisions, and most times, we end up giving the other person exactly what they want to hear to avoid conflict. I find myself in these very situations and looking back, I always wish that before anything else, I would have looked at how it affected me first and everybody else second. In summary, if you need a moment to think, say it without embarrassment or regret, because staying true to yourself, in the end, is one of the greatest feelings!
Q: Music has always been a part of you, but what made you flip the switch and say, “This is what I’m going to do with my life”?
JESSY HAX: I think being involved in musical events at school was a big reason. Being a part of the choir as well as doing solo performances at multiple school concerts since the age of 12, I found out how much I really loved performing and how impactful singing in front of an audience can be. Around the age of 13, I wanted to take it more seriously, so I decided to seek out musical guidance which led to taking on a vocal coach/piano teacher, who has been a godsend even up until now.
I had also dabbled in songwriting at 13, but it wasn’t until lockdown hit, that at 16, I had the time to produce new material. This is how “Stand Up” and “WhiteNights” came about and how my love for songwriting began to grow even more. After finishing A-levels, I dedicated myself more to my music and projects, and only a few months ago, I completed my grade 8 in LCM musical theatre, which has helped me gain so much technical knowledge. I aim to continue with what I love doing, make mistakes and learn from them, and be eager to improve.
I hope that with every project I do, I gain new experiences and knowledge and ultimately enjoy the process. All in all, if you’ve aspired to do something and you feel like you want to be destined for something more, take the risks you need to take and get used to stepping out of your comfort zone (even if you get knocked down sometimes). I will also say that nothing helps more than surrounding yourself with supportive people. It’s safe to say that I’ve been blessed with the family and friends I’ve got who support me fully to no end!
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your creative process?
JESSY HAX: My process can differ; it all really depends on the song. I have some songs that took me weeks to finish because I was not quite happy with one word or another, but “Moment to Think” was the exact opposite. I had the line “I need a moment to think” stuck in my head for a few days and within the next week, I’d got back from work, sat down and wrote the first verse. Within the next 2 hours, the lyrics were finished which was a really weird feeling. Usually, I’ll write something, come back to it a day later, and have a completely different reaction to it, but that didn’t happen with this song. That’s one of the reasons why I love it so much; everything just came together so smoothly.
But in general, every song to me is a story and each one contains an important message, so lyrically, I can be stubborn at times because I want to look back and know that I chose the right words for what I wanted to say. The musical composition of the song can take some time, especially when having to think about the overall structure, but that’s one of the best parts of the process. Listening to the possible options makes you feel like the song you have imagined in your head is slowly coming to life. I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my vocal coach/piano teacher who has been a true blessing throughout this entire process. In summary, inspiration can strike at any time! My notes and voice recordings are full of random lyrics and melodies, so my tip would be to always have your phone on you.
Q: What do you do when you’re not writing?
JESSY HAX: From an early age I was fascinated by learning languages. Growing up in a bilingual household, speaking both Albanian and English, and then having the opportunity to learn Spanish during my school years up to A-level, I knew that my passion for languages had been awakened. I felt so lucky to have been a part of such a beautiful culture with my Albanian heritage that I wanted to have the same level of fluency and connection with several other languages as well. That’s why I’m also going on to study both Italian and Japanese very soon. If I were ever lucky enough to tour outside the UK one day, it would be incredible to meet and communicate with such a wide audience!
Recently, I’ve also been investing more time into music theory to develop a deeper understanding of it and gain a broader insight into the music world. I’m also currently working part-time to try and support myself with my projects and hopefully one day it’ll pay off.
Q: How’s the music scene in Birmingham, UK?
JESSY HAX: Birmingham is full of many talented artists! Luckily, there are numerous great venues that support upcoming talent and it provides us with the opportunity to gain experience singing in front of new audiences as well as meet a lot of like-minded people. My plan was always to have some of my own songs released first so that a large part of my set could be filled with my own work.
Once I’m close to releasing my most recent project, I fully intend to spend the summer performing at gigs around Birmingham, and who knows, even outside of it if I get the chance to. I have had the opportunity to check out some great local venues such as “The Sunflower Lounge” and “The Claptrack”. These are just a few of the many great places to perform in and around Birmingham. I would definitely say the music scene here is bustling and I look forward to getting my name out there this summer.
Q: What projects do you have in the works?
JESSY HAX: Not long ago, I spent 2 days in the studio recording 2 new songs, one I have been saving since August of last year and the other has been in the works since January. These songs are really special to me and I’m so looking forward to their release. I hope to get back in the studio very soon to also record an almost completed song that I’ve been playing around with since before last Christmas, which means these next two months are going to be really busy but exciting! In addition to that, I can’t wait to start performing my very own live set and hopefully get to engage with other talented rising artists.
Interviewed by Dana L. Sullivan
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