Jackie Jaxx: The unapologetic daredevil of Guyana’s music industry
“I’m not ashamed of nor do I feel the need to hide my body for any purpose. I love the skin I’m in.”
With her enchanting curves, sultry vocals and an unorthodox approach, Jackie Hanover otherwise known as ‘Jackie Jaxx’ has evolved right before our eyes.
She has, without a doubt, transformed into a daredevil in the local music industry.
Her work and energetic performances demonstrate that she is simply unafraid of breaking barriers and even taking the bar a notch higher for her competitors to follow. In fact, the performance artiste who remains a proud former student of St Rose’s High is unapologetic about her “go-getter” approach in the local industry.
She dreams big and goes after her goals. And if you didn’t know, Jaxx has been able to comfortably earn a strong fan base in and out of Guyana. Given her jaw dropping photo shoots, she has also made it clear that she is a lady who is comfortable in her own skin.
Furthermore, it comes as no surprise that Jaxx has also become a respected figure for her adaptability to genres such as Soca, Reggae, Dancehall, R&B and Pop.
As of late, the versatile African queen is in the process of releasing two singles ‘Guyana’ and ‘Brown Boy’ with accompanying music videos for Guyana’s upcoming Golden Jubilee celebrations
Her debut mixtape, ‘Jaxximum’ will also be released before the end of the year.
In this exclusive interview with the News Room, we get to know the entertainer a little more.
The News Room (NR): If you could be remembered for one of your songs, what would it be and why?
Jackie Jaxx (JJ): I’d like to be remembered for the song, ‘Guyana’s which will be out soon because of the message it sends. It’s not just about patriotism but it’s a ‘Call-To-Action’ I envision many Guyanese home and abroad will respond to and each individual will hopefully be inspired to do their part in making Guyana an even greater nation.
NR: What do you wish you were better at?
JJ: I know with constant practice I will be a better listener. Good listeners are also wise. This is something I struggle with daily, but I know with time, it’ll come.
NR: How do you think you have grown vocally and what two songs would you say best showcase that growth and your new direction as a singer?
JJ: Yes, I have grown considerably as a vocalist over the past year or so. I attribute this success to constant practice. However, I do need to take better care of my vocals. You can listen to ‘Hold The Faith’, a song I released last year and ‘Guyana’ which will be out soon to really understand how much I have grown as a performance artiste.
NR: How have you been staying in such great shape?
JJ: LOL (Laugh out loud). I highly doubt I’m in great shape. My body has its own issues sometimes, but I try to stay active as much as I can. I limit my consumption fatty foods, sugar, Sodas, white flour and I drink lots of tea. I love teas.
NR: What do you believe are the top five lies men tell?
JJ: LOL. I’d have to say : It wasn’t me, I love you, I would never do something like that, I’m telling you the truth and I’m sorry
NR: There are a lot of aspects to the creative process of a song. How deeply involved are you in this aspect of your music?
JJ: I’m learning more about the business everyday. Most people just hear the mp3 version of a song, but prior to that, I have to come up with a melody, then write the lyrics. I take my ideas to a producer who creates the backing track and we get musicians into the studio to play live instruments if the need arises. Then, we add backup singers for the background vocals. There are contracts and licenses that are signed before the production of any work for copyrights and permissions. Then there’s the element of mixing and mastering. The master is published and then released. I’m involved in every part of the process as every singer/songwriter should be.
NR: Have you seen a change in the way music is being promoted in Guyana?
JJ: I actually haven’t. We’re still doing what we’ve done for many years. We’re lacking channels to distribute local music out of Guyana and I know there are many professionals in the industry who have the resources to make this happen. As I create my own channels, I hope to make it available to other artists as well.
NR: What do you believe is your best asset as a woman?
JJ: My femininity in its entirety is a great asset. I have equal characteristics…the strength of a man and the empathic, nurturing and alluring traits of a woman. Nothing could be better.
NR: And what would you say is the essence of being a woman?
JJ: I would say it’s the ability to give and nurture life. Women are the backbone of a society. We keep it all together even in the face of societal pressures, stigma and prejudice. None can be higher than the giver of life. Woman is God’s vessel.
NR: If there were no rules in your life for one day and you could be outrageous, what would you do?
JJ: I’d run and walk around naked everywhere. Lol. I like fashion but I shed my clothes every opportunity I get. I’m not ashamed of nor do I feel the need to hide my body for any purpose. I love the skin I’m in.
NR: What would you say is the biggest problem facing our entertainment industry today and why?
JJ: In general, music today is lacklustre. Musicians everywhere feel forced to follow trends because of the demand for mainstream music. We need to stop that nonsense. I think lots of popular music is nonsense; many of my previous work included. We need to remember it’s the industry of music and not just entertainment. Let’s give people more of what they need to hear and not just what’s entertaining. Music should inspire and influence positively.
NR: Who is your role model and why?
JJ: I don’t have a role model but many great people have influenced me across the years. I think Bob Marley is one of the greatest musicians that ever graced the earth and I respect his dedication to serious causes. He could have sung many songs to entertain the people, but he believed they needed to learn more than they needed to be entertained. Nina Simone was also another great human who sang for justice, equality and upliftment for a greater part of her life. Music is much more than beats and melody. I admire anyone who can maintain positive messages in a world where we’re all about ‘what sells’.
NR: What are five interesting facts about you?
JJ: I love jazz and blues, I love nature and specifically water and as an extension to that, I think I would spend all my time at beaches, lakes or creeks if I could. Additionally, I don’t like cooking, I prefer to be driven than to drive and I don’t look at TV.
NR: What do you believe is the most important event in our nation’s history?
JJ: I believe the story of our Independence is magnificent and the younger generation should know it. We have been through a great deal as a nation and knowledge of our history will help us to create an even better future.