Playing: Big Top

When Timucin Lam — Timz to his mates — chose the pseudonym Jax Jones, it was supposed to be a rhyming-slang inspired celebration of independence: his old band had just imploded, and he wanted to see if he could make it on his Jack Jones.

Things didn’t go according to plan, but in the very best way possible. The first Number One he wrote and produced, I Got U, was a collaboration with Duke Dumont, while his recent chart-dominating cuts have seen him working with a plethora of diverse talents including Raye, Stefflon Don, Demi Lovato, Mabel and MNEK, with countless others waiting in the wings on tracks so spicy they’ll blow your head off. So now Jax Jones realises that celebrating independence wasn’t ever really about shutting himself away; it was about embracing his own vision, and having the confidence to invite others along for the ride. As he puts it: “It was never about being a one-man show. I know now that it was about putting my balls on the line and having a go.”

“I try to make everything super real,” Jax says. “When you make it colloquial and conversational it doesn’t sound like traditional writing.” And that, he says, is where the magic comes from. “I used to rein myself in,” he acknowledges. “When I was starting out in the music industry I’d be ashamed of how I spoke — this Chinese Turkish boy from south east London who could solve the mysteries of quantum mechanics, but nobody would listen because of how he spoke. It felt like a real boys’ club for privately-educated people talking about Chelsea.” And now? “Now it feels like the music industry’s gone rogue,” he grins. “One of my favourite things about success is that I can finally act like the person I truly am.”