TikTok star JVKE to release more songs despite deleting app

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
TikTok star JVKE to release more songs despite deleting app
American singersongwriter and TikTok star JVKE (pronounced Jake) hopes to visit the Philippines and meet Filipino fans. The artist, whose first hit Upside Down generated over 200 million streams and 15 million TikTok video creations, is planning to do an overseas tour sometime in
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — American rising artist JVKE (pronounced as Jake) may have found his footing on TikTok in 2020, but it has been a year since he deleted the app because he found it “distracting.”

According to press notes, his first viral hit Upside Down on TikTok generated over 200 million streams to date and 15 million TikTok video creations, which also led to Charlie Puth making a remix out of it.

Real name Jacob Lawson, the 21-year-old singer-songwriter disclosed to The STAR in a Zoom chat that he personally used the mobile video platform more often in the past. However, he said, “It’s probably about a year I’ve had TikTok deleted off of my phone. People send me stuff and I have my brother comment on behalf of me but I’ve had the actual app deleted off of my phone because I found it to be such a good app that it’s so distracting.”

“I can’t be working and I think as a creative, I’m very easily distracted,” he continued. “And so, I just have to kind of silence everything around me so I can focus on the music. And so, yeah, I just had TikTok deleted for a long time and it’s been great honestly. I like posting to it but consuming the content can be really distracting,” he added.

Nevertheless, his main goal is to “just release a lot of music” even after deleting the app. “I feel I’ve only put out a little taste of all that I have left in me. I feel like I’ve just been, you know, overwhelmed with ideas and so my goal consistently is to just release music because I have so many different emotions, so many feelings that I wanna portray. And yeah, I feel like I’ve only released a little, so I’m excited.”

JVKE has been writing songs since he was 14, but it was during the COVID-19 pandemic that he started posting on TikTok. Looking back, he said, “I was really glad that I had already been writing for years because then, I was able to seize a lot of different opportunities that came from TikTok. But if it came too early and I got famous too quickly, then, I don’t think my music has been ready to be released to show the world. I think it would have kind of died down.”

When his break came over the pandemic, he was ready. He said, “Luckily, I had a lot of time to work on my craft and work on my skills. So that once I had that moment, I was able to use it and continue on. And so, just those years of feeling like, ‘What is this all for? Nothing is really happening’ and then, TikTok happened.”

Moreover, JVKE didn’t expect that his ditties would become hits as he was “primarily focused on writing for other artists.” He just trusted his instincts to “really sing the music that I love” that eventually led him into the music business. “It just started to catch on and somehow I realized that I was resonating with a lot of people. We all are feeling very similarly,” he added.

He described his music as “just kind of an avenue to connect with a lot of people. But at first, I didn’t really think that it would be much at all. I thought I would just be behind the scene(s). But that was OK with (me). I just love writing songs.”

JVKE came from a family of music enthusiasts. His mom is an elementary school music teacher, while his dad sings and plays the piano and guitar. As for his cousins, they are also into singing.

Initially, JVKE “didn’t really embrace the idea of music in a general sense.” Music just came to him “naturally.” “I didn’t really fall in love with it until I started writing songs. I started using all of my different skills that I learned to create something new,” he said.

“I didn’t like just playing someone else’s song, I want to make something new, a new experience and a new feeling. And so, that’s how I really got into writing music.”

The crooner from Rhode Island, United States just dropped his debut album called this is what ____ feels like (Vol. 1-4) and his latest track golden hour, as per press notes, has racked up over 385 million streams and at the No. 17 spot on Spotify, as of this interview. He also performed at Alicia Keys’ Holiday Masquerade Ball Concert and the Times Square NYC NYE show last year.

The new song golden hour is “about appreciating someone’s beauty and appreciating all the different little intricacies that make them beautiful,” described JVKE. “To me, when I got in the studio, I made this piano line and it just really inspired all of the lyrics. It just felt like a really beautiful moment, where you’re just with that special person and you are just appreciating who they are.”

The young musician is looking to come to the Philippines, hopefully soon. “I’m planning to fly overseas at some point this summer. And so we’re trying to figure out a way to get there. I’m really excited just to get out there. I’ve never traveled more than six hours (on) the plane. I know that the Philippines is about 24 hours to fly from where I am. So, it’s very exciting and hopefully, I will be in town soon.”

He also would love to collaborate with any Filipino artists as he has seen a number of TikTok artists from the Philippines performing his songs. “It’s so cool to see the twist in their perspective on the music. And so, I definitely love the vibe of the music and so, definitely I will be collaborating with some people there soon.”

He concluded the interview with a message of gratitude to his Filipino fans: “Thank you so much for supporting me and listening to my songs. I really just can’t wait to come and visit you, guys, and see you all and just have a good time and maybe sing some songs. That would be awesome.”

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