Interview – Jax Jones chats about “The Best 9am Ever”, early mornings & new music

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Life’s one big party if you’re Jax Jones. Fresh from producing some of the biggest club tracks of the year, he’s now claimed the alias of ‘Professor J. Jones’ to deliver Southampton’s most memorable 9am ever (sorry to any real lecturers), complete with confetti cannons, t-shirt guns, Brazilian dancers and flippin’ RAYE. Once we’d recovered from our shellshock, we sat down with the university’s newest ‘professor’ outside, as he was still lavishing in the hilarity of the most unorthodox gig he’s ever performed.

So – how did this secret gig come about?

I got hollered at by Coca Cola and Spotify, and I didn’t really know very much about what was actually going on – but they said, “Can you be in Southampton on the 10th, at 9 o’clock in the morning, on a Tuesday…” Usually I play my shows at like 1 or 2 o’clock in the morning, but I was like “Yeah, cool!”.

How was the experience of DJing a lecture theatre?

A bit more sterile than I’m used to! With the lights, I’m not used to everyone seeing me like that, so close up; but it was fun, especially playing it live at the beginning. A little intimate vibe [with RAYE]set it up nicely so it worked for 9am, and then as soon as I played the music loud the whole place was like “ohh, time to wake up!”.

If you found the flyer for today, saying ‘The Best Lecture You’ve Ever Had’, what would you be expecting?

I guess I would have expected some motivational talk, that I’m gonna turn up and get deep with the motivation vibes. And I think that’s what we gave! There was one lad that seemed like [unimpressed], but I ignored him and everyone else seemed pumped.

What are your top tips for getting up and going in the morning?

Just don’t go to sleep!

How do you remember your university days?

I was doing a lot of music at uni, so lectures were a bit sparse for me! My fondest memories are piling into big lecture halls with my mates. Especially with morning lectures, there’s this kind of camaraderie about turning up – “Are you up, are you gonna make it?” – all that coming together, with the lecture giving you the right vibes, that’s what it’s all about.

Is this a one off show for you, or are you doing any similar surprise gigs elsewhere?

I’m planning to do the 9am lecture tour, so it’s a thing now! [Laughs.]

You’ve got your tour coming up; what are you most looking forward to about that?

I did a tour in March with smaller venues, testing out this way of doing things where [the gig’s]just like a massive house party. I’m in a club with a kitchen behind me and the usual crazy stuff just firing into the crowd… This December I’m gonna make it bigger, playing bigger venues, and I’m excited to have the space to make it even crazier!

Have you got any new music coming out soon?

Of course, of course! I got some really exciting music lined up. I’ve been touring, keeping my head down but writing a lot of music, and I’ve got a load of new stuff ready to go.

Coming back to Southampton to play some more 9ams?

If you’ll have me! Of course, I’ll be back.

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Editor of The Edge. Previously Culture Editor (2016-17). Sporadic writer for the Wessex Scene, DJ on Surge, known photobomber of SUSUtv's videos. Bad habits include Netflix, not doing my work and drinking too much tea.

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