Jax Jones takes us through his biggest hits on the Official Charts and new single Where Did You Go ft. MNEK: "I've been trying to push myself"
One of the UK's most reliable hitmakers of the past five years, Jax Jones, has entered 2022 with a bang thanks to Where Did You Go? featuring MNEK.
Jax's first big solo release since 2020, and one of the first tracks MNEK has jumped on since hitting Number 1 in the UK with Joel Corry's Head And Heart two years ago, the track settles very comfortably into the Y2K groove, hilariously promoted by Jax featuring some very naughty looking potato smilies.
Where Did You Go has had an explosive upward climb up the Official Singles Chart in the weeks since its release - it's currently perched to reach its highest peak yet this week, one-step closer to a Top 10 entry.
"This song is me experimenting," Jax tells us. "I've been trying to push myself to make something different. It's super-exciting, but also nerve-wracking. I don't think this sounds like anything you hear right now.
Hopping on to chat with OfficialCharts.com as he travels through London, Jax helps us break down 10 of his biggest hits on the Official Singles Chart.
1. I Got U - Duke Dumont ft. Jax Jones
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 1
Everyone has to start somewhere, and Jax didn't do too badly with his debut single, as a featured artist on this Duke Dumont single, which peaked at Number 1.
"I made that song on my birthday. I must have been 24 or 25," he remembers. "I made the original version of that before going out to lunch with my mum. I had just met my girlfriend, who is now my wife, so obviously I was in super Honeymoon mode - I just love the original Whitney Houston sample [I Got U samples Whitney's vocals from My Love Is Your Love]."
2. You Don't Know Me ft. RAYE
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 3
"This was the biggest life-changer," Jax says of his star-making banger, which helped launch the career of pop singer Raye. "Both me and Raye were fresh, relatively unknown. We just wanted it so bad and the song was just so much fun to write. You can hear it when you listen to it. I travelled the world thanks to that song, it was an amazing experience."
3. Instruction ft. Demi Lovato and Stefflon Don
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 17
The kind of song that sounds so massive, it comes as a bit of surprise it only ever peaked at Number 17. Instruction was a level-up for Jax, not only working with established A-list talent like Demi Lovato, but also featuring a then-ascendant Stefflon Don.
"This felt like the Number 1 that never got to Number 1," Jax agrees. "It just came out around the time Ed Sheeran dropped Shape of You, you know, like the biggest song of the last decade. This one was a long time coming, it's a really unique record for Demi, too. It still pops off to this day! I always end my sets on Instruction."
4. Breathe ft. Ina Wroldsen
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 7
Featuring Norwegian singer-songwriter Ina Wroldsen (better known as the vocalist on Calvin Harris and Disciples' mega-smash How Deep Is Your Love and a songwriter for the likes of Clean Bandit, Anne-Marie and The Saturdays), Breathe was the icy banger that returned Jax to the UK Top 10.
"We shot the video to this in the National History Museum," Jax says. "Ina was iconic, man. She wrote the song about her husband, where she was just so nervous about being in a relationship. I remember playing an early version of that song in San Francisco, the DJ next to me turned and said 'this is gonna be huge!'"
5. Ring Ring ft. Mabel and Rich The Kid
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 12
This link-up came as Mabel's star was on the rise, after a series of career-making hits, with Jax being a massive fan of her slow-burning R&B song Thinking Of You.
"[When we wrote the track] Mabel was used to writing slower songs," Jax says. "I like the make notes when I talk to artists, and then we try and turn that into a song. She was having some boyfriend trouble at the time, so that's where the Ring Ring's vibe came from. I love being part of people's journeys, once something hits Wikipedia, it's like you're in history."
6. Play ft. Years & Years
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 8
Play was a switch-up for featured artist Years & Years, but strangely enough, also something of a homecoming, since Olly Alexander's first UK chart entry was through the 2014 track Sunshine, with The Magician.
"We were on the same label," Jax says of how the two joined forces. "Originally, the song was more of an NSync vibe, and we essentially remixed it from there. Olly's a superstar, man. It was a great experience."
7. All Day All Night - Europa, Jax Jones & Martin Solveig ft. Madison Beer
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 10
Released as part of the Europa project, which saw Jax team-up with French DJ Martin Solveig. All Day, All Night has a very interesting journey up until its released - originally written with Becky Hill, before being demoed by Hailee Steinfeld, before rising viral star Madison Beer cut the final vocals.
Of the track's evolution, Jax says: "I always wanted to do a supergroup and me and Martin have a great chemistry, we work in similar ways. I wanted to do a trance banger, I was really inspired by Porter Robinson's Ghost Voices. I can remember thinking, this is going to be a massive. A lot of cool people like this song, you know? It's the cool, fashion people's favourite track of mine."
8. This Is Real ft. Ella Henderson
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 9
This Is Real proved to be really helpful for former X Factor contestant Ella Henderson to return to the public eye following a few years away since 2014's Ghost. Funnily enough, Ella is also a family friend - having grown up in the same area as Jax's wife (Grimsby, if you were curious).
"I'd heard her early music, since before she'd gone on the X Factor. We were always talking about working together, I've always played a kind of big brother role. We wrote This Is Real five years before it even came out, and good songs stand the test of time. I'm really proud we were able to get it out and for it to be successful."
9. Out Out - Joel Corry & Jax Jones ft. Charli XCX and Saweetie
Official Singles Chart peak: Number 6
Last year's frantic banger saw Jax hook up with hitmaker of the moment Joel Corry, which features a sample of Stromae's influential Alors On Danse. They also recruited Charli XCX - who was maneuvering from tastemaking hyper-pop and back into a more commercial realm - as well as US rapper Saweetie.
"I'm a huge fan of both Charli and Saweetie," Jax explains. "The timing of Out Out was immaculate, it came out just as lockdown restrictions were starting to lift and people were partying again. It was a bucket list item for me."
10. Where Did You Go? ft. MNEK
Official Singles Chart peak (so far): Number 23
And finally, we reach Jax's newest emerging hit - Where Did You Go? an endearing Eurodance inspired track that feels transplanted directly from Y2K. It also features the vocals of MNEK, whose been working with Jax since the very beginning of his career.
"At the start of each of my songs, the 'What you gonna do?' scratch is actually MNEK [sampled from their song House Work]," Jax reveals. "So really, he's on all of my songs.
"I listened to a lot of Euordance and that Akon R&B 00's feels. Those were my lockdown feels! There are very few people who can sing in that way but still do those big notes. MNEK just absolutely smashed it. I love how he sounds on this."
Where Did You Go? featuring MNEK is out now via Polydor.