The Breakdown: “Spend” by Ottawa hip-hop artist Sir Jax
Introducing Ottawa-based talent and comedian at heart, Sir Jax, the second artist featured on our new bi-weekly segment, The Breakdown, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
With each segment, The Breakdown will feature a new artist with the aim of dissecting how a particular record came together, and providing our viewers with more information about the talent being featured.
“I was like 15 or 16 and the Backstreet Boys were killing it. Girls loved ’em, so I wanted to sing like them and start a boy band too. But when we did a live performance in front of him he stopped us mid ‘Quit playing games with my h…’ and said ‘don’t sing… like ever,’ so then I started to rap.”
While Jax is just getting his debut campaign going, he’s no stranger to the music scene. After being part of a local Ottawa group for several years in the mid and late 2000’s, Jax, who is of Palestinian and Lebanese descent, was looking towards a solo career before some unforeseen legal issues derailed his plans. After a brief stint in the Central East Correctional Centre in Linsday, Ontario, he’s back and more focused on his craft than ever before.
“Music has been very therapeutic for me, in more ways than one. A lot of hard work went into the EP and I’m eager for people to hear it. For now, ‘Spend’ is just breaking the ice on my campaign.”
Moving back and forth between the nation’s capital and a couple of locations overseas, Jax has been reflecting on his life experiences through an arsenal of music, with an EP called Penelope already in the bag and ready to go.
“Spend” is the first buzz record that the Canadian rapper is releasing today, and we should have a better idea of when to expect the EP in the near future.
Get to know Sir Jax through our Q&A below, including an in-depth breakdown of his single, “Spend,” (produced by Barrie’s own Syndrome) which launched today.
Sir Jax recently launched his debut single “Spend” which we’re featuring in our second installment of The Breakdown.
Listen to the Syndrome-produced single below, and check out our specific questions breaking down how “Spend” was created.
You can find “Spend” on various digital streaming platforms including Spotify.
HipHopCanada: What inspired the song?
Sir Jax: It was a multitude of things. First off, I’ve always wanted to go to LA, the vibe, the sunsets, the scenery… I have some good peoples over on the West Coast but I was never able to cross the border due to an unfortunate event that occurred way back; so I’m still working on that record suspension (formally known as a pardon). I would love be able to buy some real estate there in the future. Secondly, my girlfriend (at the time) was and still is one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to making music. Particularly, this track where it’s about spoiling the one you love and just wanting to spend everything you make on them to see them smile. In retrospect, I don’t think it was a wise decision to spend it all because I’m single now… and I spent it all… the song should have been called “Save.” Shit. Save what you make people, but also live life to the fullest because anybody can end up in a coffin tomorrow.
HipHopCanada: How did the song come together?
Sir Jax: I’m a beat shopaholic, I went shopping… loved what I heard, copped it, and the melodies started touching me. It came together in my head, then I started writing it down in my iPhone notes. The beat practically wrote it itself, I hummed the chorus in my head, put it into words and wrote down the verses in under an hour. Definitely my least lyrical joint to date, but it came from the heart.
HipHopCanada: Was the beat made to fit the song’s concept, or was the beat already made?
Sir Jax: The beat was already made, and the concept just came to me when I heard the vibe to it, it’s a laid back mellow chill banger.
HipHopCanada: Where did you record, who recorded you, and what was the recording process?
Sir Jax: I recorded the track at Dillin Designs Studio on the East side of the Capital City. I was lit, parachutes where falling from the sky as the sun was setting it was beautiful. My boy Dillin Hoox was engineering me, he’s a really talented rapper/graphic designer/artist as well check him out @DillinHooxMusic. The process always starts with good energy, everything happens organically, I set the mic stand lower, he drops the wav (file) into Protools then hits the record button and I “one take” that bitch like a boss. UGHH…
HipHopCanada: What was the biggest challenge in getting the song completed?
Sir Jax: Definitely the mixing/mastering process. The back and fourths on this one was brutal and on top that, English wasn’t even the mixers first language so that was a challenge on its own. Shout out to Dillin for taking on that burden. Yeah, so I never realized how important it was to have a skilled mixer who knows what he’s doing until I started working on my first project. I’m still searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right when it comes to that aspect of perfecting the final product.
More Questions with Sir Jax
HipHopCanada: What first got you into making music?
Sir Jax: My brother. I was like 15 or 16 and the Backstreet Boys were killing it. Girls loved ’em, so I wanted to sing like them and start a boy band too. But when we did a live performance in front of him he stopped us mid “Quit playing games with my h…” and said “don’t sing… like ever” so then I started to rap. Feedback was positive on that one.
HipHopCanada: Who are your biggest influences? How do they impact your creativity?
Sir Jax: I grew up on Pac, Biggie, Em and Nas. The perfect combination of deep, thought provoking lyricism, bars and smooth playa ish. That was my influence when I was just starting off, they set the bar and I was just aiming to jump high enough to graze it. My creativity comes from within me. I try not to look at what the next artist is doing. I listen to all types of music but what really impacts my creativity the most is my life experiences, things I’ve been threw good or bad, love or hate.
HipHopCanada: When can people expect Penelope?
Sir Jax: There’s no set date yet, it’s pretty much done, but I’d like to release it in the Summer time.
HipHopCanada: What else do you hope to accomplish in 2019?
Sir Jax: Get more involved in real estate, save more “Spend” less, do a little bit of acting, work on a movie script, continue working on my book, do some Podcast guest appearances and start my next music project.
HipHopCanada: What do you have in mind for a music video when it comes to Spend?
Sir Jax: The visuals have to be crazy. I’m talking about trying to get to LA, and spending what I make on the one I love before its too late. So I see crazy lighting; big bright city lights, pink skies, a beautiful woman, money being spent on a beautiful woman and a sprinkle of demonic symbolism just to stay relevant. (Laughs)
You can follow @Sir.Jax on Instagram.
Sir Jax – Spend (Lyrics)