VIDEO PREMIERE: JXST J “PHONEBOOK”
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L.A.’s James Watson—video director and one half of the band Pratley with Sam Wilkes, last on L.A. RECORD here—is back with his very first solo single as jxst j. It’s a blown-to-pieces love song with a DIY video that captures a certain kind of 2 AM basic-cable 90s-style true love, all delivered with style, wit and convenient subtitles. He got the idea while working as phonebook delivery driver, and worked it up singing while stuck in traffic, he says. “Phonebook” is about that little dopamine spike that comes from seeing someone light up your phone/life, transmitted through a pop song pushed all the way into the red. It’s delirious by design and overwhelming on purpose—you know that feeling, right? If not, Watson explains why and how it looks and sounds the way it does:
“I want this project to be very visual, so I knew I wanted to make a music video with my own vision. I work in the TV/Film industry as an editor, so making videos is like 2nd nature to me. I don’t necessarily have synesthesia, but I definitely see scenes and moods when I hear a song that I love. I was out with my friend Jenn in Chinatown and I was trying to think what Jackson Pollock would do with a camera. So I just started whipping it around and getting these streaks of beautiful neon. Jenn started dancing around and it was matching the energy of the lights. It came together really naturally in the edit. Like the song, I wanted the video to capture that ecstatic and dizzying feeling of being young and in love. I collaborate a lot and therefore rarely have time to stuff on my own, so it’s really exciting for me to put this out, somethings that’s just me.”