The fun-loving multi-instrumentalist talks new single “Super Bad Mantra” and what we can expect from upcoming album For Abby.
Have you ever listened to a song and immediately you’re thrown back in time, and you’re left reminiscing. That’s exactly how emerging indie artist JAWNY has us feeling with his nostalgia-tinged new tune with fellow rising star Christian Blue, “Super Bad Mantra”. Overflowing with cheeky one-liners and laced with an irresistibly catchy bass line, JAWNY provides us with a groovy carefree soundscape that instantly puts us in a good mood.
Taken from his upcoming project For Abby, out October 27th, JAWNY says his new single wasn’t something that developed overnight, in fact the tune was two years in the making. “I’ve been working on this song for two years now,” he states. “I’ve gotten two different features on it that I took off and I’ve rewritten my verse 3x to make it perfect. Me and my brother have been making music together my whole life and this is the first time I’ve gotten him on a song. Now it’s that time for the world to hear it.”
The multi-instrumentalist, born Jacob Sullenger, first gained attention with his series of viral videos back in 2017 that quickly led the artist to grow a cult-like following. But it was his critically-acclaimed hit “Honey Pie” that sky-rocketed JAWNY into the spotlight, and since then there has been no slowing down. We sat down with the artist and talked new music, the album and what else he has in store for us.
Check out the interview below…
Hi Jacob, how was lockdown for you? How did it impact your music and art?
This shit is obviously tough for everyone, but in a crazy way, It has changed my life for the better. In all of this madness, I found myself again. Before the quarantine, my entire life had begun to be flight after flight and then shows and travelling and when the lockdown hit I got a much-needed break from it all to just spend working on myself at home. I got my mental state back to 100, I got my health back to 100, I got my lifestyle back to 100, and I got my music and creative flow back to 100. It’s been a good experience and a much-needed slowdown for the fast-paced world of artistry. Also now that I just said all of that serious smart sounding stuff I also learned that my dog could speak English during lockdown.
You grew up in Oakland – how did it impact you sonically?
I can’t fake rep Oakland so I have to come out and say I grew up 30 minutes outside of Oakland. BUT yes the whole energy of the bay area and growing up a California skate rat basically living at the skateparks affected everything about my trajectory in life; music and in general. People from that little neck of the woods just have a different energy about them. I’m happy that’s where I got to experience most of my early life.
Your musical journey started out from a really young age, picking up the guitar at the age of 6 – who were you influenced by musically? And your career jumpstarted due to social media and your videos going viral on Twitter – do you think the rise of social media and the music industry is inextricable – especially with your brand of DIY/hybrid music?
I absolutely think it is. I think if I existed in the 90’s I wouldn’t even have a place in music. There is a time and place for everything and I think for me and my art and my moment it belonged in this part of the timeline with the internet. My journey is really funny into music because I grew up loving the guitar and skateboarding and then I took a 4-year hiatus from the guitar where I had basically just become obsessed with video games from like 13-17. Then I came back around to producing seriously for a few years until I finally made my own solo project which is now known as Jawny. The only artist I can even compare my sound to would have to be Da Baby and I’m proud of that.
Congratulations on “Super Bad Mantra” – what is it about and inspired by? AndHow did the collaboration with Christian Blue come about?
I made the entire meat of the song two years ago in my tiny tiny Philadelphia apartment on my floor. The fact that it’s out in the world now blows my mind. The collaboration with Christian Blue came about the day we became brothers. We got into this music shit together and are family and it only made sense to get my brother on this song knowing he would deliver. Shocker, he did. My family is tight.
And you’ve got For Abby coming up – what connects all the tracks as a body of work?
It’s a concept piece for sure. There is an overarching theme for the record and the entire thing tells a story from the first song to the last song with interludes. Every track is connected to the next and I spent 5 months working that out and driving myself crazy about it. I have definitely never worked harder on anything in my life thus far so hopefully that translates within the project! Who is Abby and why is this project about her. Maybe the name is a placeholder for another? Maybe it’s something bigger than meets the eye. Look at me spilling tea let me get to the next question.
How would you describe your genre?
It’s Jawny. I am me, it’s good and bad and everything in between. I don’t have a genre and I don’t want one. Put me in the Beck category and then take a piece of me and put me in the Katy Perry category. Then just let me live there because I like them and wouldn’t mind just chilling with them. Then take me back home because like I said I don’t have a genre.
At a time when everything is so uncertain, “Super Bad Mantra” is this unstoppable jolt of energy, how do you want fans to feel when they listen to your music?
I want them to feel how I felt making it and how I feel right now that it is out… excited as fuck. Then I want them to continue to ride with me for another month when they can listen to my 10 song project that I poured my entire flesh and soul into and then know that I fucking love them and only do this for them; not the label, not anybody else or even this publication (Love y’all!), but I make my music for myself and my fans. That’s what I want them to feel!
What’s next for you and what are you excited about in 2020?
If you’re asking about a bigger picture what’s next, I would say to never have a period of time ever again where music isn’t coming out. It’s Jawny season. This project will come out and then singles and then another album and another and another. I’m not done until I don’t love this anymore. See ya then