Life hasn’t always been very funny for pop-rock singer-songwriter Jax. After an emotional run on Season 14 of American Idol (chronicled in her scathing kiss-off single “La La Land,” which has absolutely nothing to do with the Oscar-bait film of the same name), the 20-year-old found out that she was suffering from both Hashimoto’s disease and thyroid cancer. She underwent surgery to remove multiple malignant tumors near her vocals cords, and she had to relearn how to sing. But Jax is a survivor (incredibly, she even trained for her first marathon while recovering from her illness), and now she’s having the last laugh, so to speak, with her optimistically titled EP Funny, premiering today on Yahoo Music in conjunction with her live music video, “LSD,” shot at New York City’s Bar Nine on Jan. 10.
“The EP definitely takes you through different phases of my story,” Jax tells Yahoo Music’s Reality Rocks. “It kind of covers love and heartbreak and mind and body and heart, all in a couple of pieces. I really hope the fans can connect to it through their own stories, and I hope that it triggers something similar in the listener as it did with me and the writers.”
Last year, when Jax first publicly revealed her cancer battle, she told Yahoo Music that she’d been “constantly writing” while convalescing and that her marathon training had put her in a “fight-song motivational mindset … which is one of the awesomest parts of this whole thing. The whole time [I was recovering], I had a minute to be with myself and think. It was a roller coaster of emotions, which I always end up letting out on paper and in song. … In music and art, I think the more emotional, the better.”
— JAX (@Jax) November 6, 2016
One of the results of these writing sessions is the standout Funny track “Stars,” with its powerful line, “Stars cannot shine without darkness.” Says Jax: “I had always felt like I was indestructible, so getting sick was a real shock for me. But I needed that contrast in order to get a new perspective on things. I felt like I had hit the low point of my life when I wrote that, and getting it down was really cathartic and helped me turn things around.”
Featuring collaborators like Hot Chelle Rae’s Nash Overstreet (Britney Spears, Meghan Trainor) and Nick Marsh (Kelis, John Legend, Black Eyed Peas, Blake Lewis), and inspired by fierce female icons like Joan Jett, Alanis Morissette, and Pat Benatar, Funny showcases Jax at her upbeat and energized best. “I had an absolute blast writing and recording, and the producers and writers on this are some of my favorite people in the world,” she says. “It’s an honor to have been able to make magic with this insanely talented group of kids.
“I’m beyond excited for the fans to hear the new material. I feel like they are part of the journey and creative process with me every single day. The support throughout this process has been wild. I have never been so motivated and inspired, and I really can’t wait to show the world how much fun I’ve been having in the studio.”