JAXN has been busy bringing the ‘90s vibe to the 21st century, winning plaudits from Clash, The Line of Best Fit, Lyrical Lemonade and Office for songs which evoke the sounds of Britpop as well as the American radio rock of the era. This time around, he looks to the late ‘90s/early 2000s skate and surf scenes for inspiration with his new single ‘Foolin’ Around’.
‘Foolin’ Around’ brings together all of the ingredients from the pop-punk and hip-hop of the time: chugging guitar riffs, bouncy rhythms, scratching and an instantly infectious hook. While the song transports you to a Californian skate-park circa 1999, its fun-filled throwback flavour is balanced by JAXN’s modern British humour. He co-wrote and the song with like-minded Manchester musician Mattu.
JAXN says, “I was walking through Manchester town centre and heard a guy tell his girlfriend to stop ‘Foolin’ Around’ with loads of emphasis on the ‘ooos’… it made me laugh, so I put the phrase into my notes, not knowing at this stage how and when it would be used. A couple of weeks passed, and I was at my friends playing early 2000s Playstation games, getting our weekly fix of nostalgia: ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater’, ‘No Fear Downhill Mountain Biking’ and ‘SSX’. With those old school games you can spend hours on the loading screen just letting the soundtrack shuffle and along the way discover the coolest shit ever.
Feeling inspired I picked up the guitar and began to write an idea I thought would slot nicely into the games’ soundtracks. I then remembered the guy I mentioned earlier, told my mate the story and started singing ‘She’s ‘Foolin’ Around’ and coming up with ways in which your girl might be perceived as Foooolin’ around. That’s how the song was born.”
Listen to ‘Foolin’ Around’ - BELOW:
A songwriter, producer and musician, JAXN also used his visual skills to channel the visual aesthetic of the era for the song’s artwork. Its photography was captured on an old school ‘90s camera before he ran the images through an old box television and then digitally removed the white noise. His graphic design then completed the kind of grainy, high-energy action that could’ve graced a Tony Hawk game… if he had been more interested in battering his guitar than landing a 900.
The London-based, Mancunian artist JAXN has also been building a following at TikTok, with 1.1 million likes already. His influences - Blur, Jamie T, OutKast, D’Angelo, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cure, Jack Johnson - are often rooted in the ‘90s and 2000s but remain relevant and inspiring today.
JAXN is confirmed to play the following live dates:
21st – London, Melodaze @ Paper Dress Vintage
8th – Middlesborough, Twisterella Festival
15th – Leeds, Live at Leeds Festival