JXDN: "It had me fucked up at times. It was really, really challenging. I’m not gonna lie to anybody"
Alice Gee | 11/10/2021
Jxdn (AKA Jaden Hossler) isn’t just the latest music superstar to grace our ears, he’s a mental health advocate, TikTok star, and more determined to make his mark on the music industry. Joining us from LA, Jaden tells us of his excitement to speak with us having just woken up in his own bed following a hugely successful tour over 57 days. With Jaden feeling good, we jump full swing into a conversation-starting with the transitions he’s experienced since having recently been signed to Travis Baker’s label, DTA Records. His success could have been mistaken for overnight stardom, so I ask Jaden about the period he was signed and what looked like speedy traction when it came to his career blowing up.
“I’d say even now, it feels so much faster than it did even four months ago because the reality of what happened starts to hit you, and you’re much more aware. It’s really odd. The weirdest thing I’d say is one day you’re one person and the next day you’re another. It’s odd as you didn’t even know that that was the day you were going to blow up, you’re almost out of the loop, it’s never as it seems, the moments that you wouldn’t think about are the ones that are the best in the fucking world.”
Since finding his feet I ask about his highlights. Whether the experiences are living up to his expectations or if he’s found anything that’s taken him by surprise.
“I think going on tour with Machine Gun Kelly was the best thing that could have happened to me, it was a really good transition. I got to play in front of like, 10,000 + people every single night, it was absolutely insane. It didn’t feel real. All of the audience took to me. I’d also say the mentorship he gave me was on the next level, there was always someone I could call upon. Just moments like when he ended up coming and playing in my set before they played a bunch of the shows. To me, that doesn’t happen. Overall I think the relationship I with the audience was mind-blowing, and that affected the music and the performances in such a positive way.”
Being back in some form of normality, Jaden tells me it was straight back to work hitting rehearsals at 10:30 at night. With there being no time to stop I ask how he’s found his grueling schedule.
“It is nothing like what you would expect, no one could ever prepare you for a tour, you have to live it. I thought I knew what was going to happen. I went into the tour with so much confidence that I would kill it, and even though it was successful I don’t think I had esstimated the amount of effort I’d end up putting into each show. I’m mad greatful for the opportunity and to have so many people listen to my music, it’s just insane.”
Being away from loved ones for such a lengthy period must have came with difficulties, both physically and mentally. I was curious to learn how Jaden found he adjusted to a new routine. As someone who has spoken openly about his mental health, I wanted to know how he found the transition being away from home and if there were any pressure being in front of 10,000’s fans each night.
“It was honestly so hard, it had me fucked up at times. It was really, really challenging. I’m not gonna lie to anybody. The easiest part was all the physical parts like all the singing and the performance side. Trying to mentally absorb and adapt to a tour life was for sure the most challenging. There was something different every next day. I tell people it was like waking up in the morning knowing you have a doctor’s appointment at like, four that afternoon. That feeling of just waiting and the anxiousness involved. Imagine having that every single night because you have to do something later. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a good thing, but it’s just this constant feeling every single day of having to do something so you’re always stimulated. Then on top of that, you have this big dopamine hit in front of all these people, and when you go off stage it’s all gone. You’re this normal person again. It sounds dramatic but I would never lie to anybody that it’s been difficult. It was pretty difficult being away from my girlfriend because we spend a lot of our time together. It was all worth it, though. Everyone around me, like my manager and my videographer were just awesome. It was such an amazing experience, but was it hard? 100%, you know, nothing good comes easy. I learned so many lessons and there’s so much that I really appreciate from the opportunity.”
I love Jaden’s honesty about the difficulties involved. I think it’s important that people feel comfortable talking about the realities of their dreams and aspirations. Jaden and I spoken for a while about how we live in a society that can diminish moments of honesty about living what some people consider ‘the dream’. As I reassure Jaden it’s ok, to be honest about both sides, I mention how we forget how overstimulation can be hard work, especially when struggling with mental health.
“Absolutely, that’s the thing I don’t always talk about is because I haven’t really gone into the diagnosis side of everything because I’m really scared about that. I guess I don’t want to because I still have things that may go into my diagnosis, it’s not helped I’ve been really paranoid about doctors and psychiatrists in the past because it’s such a difficult thing. I definitely have so many deep struggles that people don’t think about and then I add adapting to blowing up, and it creates quite a hardship for me. I’m really glad that you brought that up because it’s good for me to think about it. It’s good for everyone to think about. You want to be able to find steady middle ground, that’s what it’s about.”
It really resonates with me, as Jaden speaks about how we often rush to do things with little thought to the effect they may have on us. I find myself in awe of how he’s gone into writing his music and making an album with such perspective and focus on creating vulnerable conversations about mental health, with what I can imagine will be such a positive impact on his fans and wider society.
“I honestly hope so, my audience make me feel like I’m making a positive impact. I’ve had so many people come up and tell me how I have helped them, which has been a good reminder. In the new music I feel like I’ve been able to say the things that I mean and properly express myself, really getting down to the core of what am I feeling. I’m really excited about my music. I’m really excited to sing more. Being a new artist I was scared to lean on my voice, but I was reminded on the tour that I’m a singer. I grew up a singer, that’s who I am. I started singing first. So I’m really excited to get back to it and show people what I can do with my voice.”
It’s exciting to hear Jaden’s plans to showcase more of his voice, something fans are going to love with such incredible new music on the verge of release. But something I love even more is his attitude of embodying his dream. Growing up I was always told to manifest my dreams. Jaden tells me of something similar, that he would say and manifest being a rock star before his signing. With the tables turned, living his dream I ask what’s next in the new year.
“So I have a deluxe coming up. It’s done and I’m really excited and pumped about it. The album is way more enhanced and there’s a Christmas song on it which I’m really excited about. It’s called “CHRISTMAS SUCKS” because Christmas does suck for a lot of people. I think people forget although Christmas is dope, shoving it down people’s throats can be super traumatic for a lot of people. I know people may consider it to be a ruining Christmas-type song, but it’s to be aware of others and understand that it’s not always the best. So I’m really excited. It’s going to be fun.”
I highly doubt Jaden has ruined Christmas, and even as a huge Christmas fan I think he’s right to highlight a time that can be triggering for so many. It’s something I really love about his approach, he’s not afraid to speak honestly about what he feels. His determination to break down barriers for mental health not just with his music but in the other moments is something so commendable. For a 20-year-old, I note through our conversation someone wiser than their years who endeavours and strives not only for fans to enjoy his music but inclusivity in everything that he does. There’s no question big things are coming his way.
Words: Alice Gee
Photography: Hunter Moreno