Jason Maxwell discusses his writing process, the single “For Now” and Canadian country music
There’s a buzz, and it’s growing for Jason Maxwell. The singer-songwriter has just released his new single, “For Now”, a beautiful intro track to his classic folk and country sound. Hailing from Toronto and now based in Nashville, Maxwell has become known for his festive, communal live performances, with fans drawn to his honest approach and charming, relatable themes and lyrics.
Despite his young age, Maxwell has plenty of experience and versatility as a musician, having now released over 20 songs and featured on an assortment of Spotify, Amazonand Apple Music reading lists. He used the online community to his advantage, connecting and growing his fanbase through technology. Impressively enough, it has amassed over 1.5 million streams in total so far.
We recently had a chat with Maxwell to find out more about him. We discussed his songwriting process, the country music scene in Canada, career highlights so far, and Desert Island records.
What is your writing process?
Jason Maxwell: “It certainly varies in that there is no strictly regulated process or approach. Sometimes I have a specific lyrical idea or phrase that I want to build the song around; other times I’ll have writer’s block in terms of content, and instead I’ll work on a lead vocal or instrumental melody to build the feel and groove of the track. For me, there is nothing like words first, music second or vice versa. I find that I write and produce my best songs when I find the kind of sonic energy that resonates genuinely and passionately. Once I find that space, I always try to build the whole soundscape around that core feeling that ultimately brings the song to life.
“My methodology isn’t necessarily conducive to an efficient song-making production line, but it’s certainly an efficient methodology for producing quality songs out of song quantity.”
When you write, do you do it with live music in mind or do you write a song just for the song?
“I can’t say I’ve ever written a song just with live in mind; if anything, I’d say that in my case it’s the exact opposite; I try to write the highest quality song for the sake of the song. That being said, there are definitely times when I’ve noticed sections of a song that could be performed differently live, but I always end up reworking a new arrangement to play live instead of altering the original arrangement. of the song’s demo track.
What’s the story behind “For Now?”
“The song was inspired by a past relationship that ultimately failed, largely a case of ‘good girl, bad time’. About a year after our relationship ended, I noticed she had moved on to someone. again, and my first reaction was to immediately wonder if his new relationship was as serious or meaningful as his previous relationship with myself. “For Now” is a direct reference to his new partner: is he really a perfect partner for my ex-girlfriend, or is he just a temporary fling for now?”
“I think it’s fair to say that Ontario is the Nashville of Canada, while Alberta and Saskatchewan are more like the country scene of Texas and Georgia. »
What’s the country music scene like there in Canada?
“Country music is probably the fastest growing genre in Canada right now. In western British Columbia, you’ll probably find the most folk/roots side of the country. In Alberta and Saskatchewan you will hear more traditional country style. In the East, you’ll find the majority of Canada’s great pop-country bands. I think it’s fair to say that Ontario is the Nashville of Canada, while Alberta and Saskatchewan are more like the country scene of Texas and Georgia.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three CDs with you for eternity, assuming there was a solar-powered CD player, what would they be?
“continuum by John Mayer, how do you remember me by Josh Kerrand There really is a wolf by Russian. continuum might be the greatest album of all time; back and forth, there are no skips and each song is as well-written and well-performed as the last. Josh Kerr is by far my favorite songwriter, so how do you remember me is obvious. Last but not least, Russ always brings the vibes and feel with well produced tracks and deeply meaningful lyrics.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
“I feel like there were a few memorable moments, and each one surpassed the last. The first time I performed on stage in front of a sold-out crowd, and then it was the first time I heard my song on the radio. But to date, my most surreal moment has been added to editorial playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and youtube music. Recognition itself is incredibly humbling, and seeing my name and songs next to some of the biggest names in the industry on editorial playlists is one of the coolest feelings, not so much because of the external validation, but more because it’s like, “Hey, you belong at this level, you CAN do it at this level.”
If you had an unlimited budget, where and with whom would you record your album? What about production and mastering? And why?
“For starters, you’ll always find me recording at Blackbird Studios because it’s arguably the best studio in North America. It would be a treat to have Josh Kerr co-write and co-produce. I would definitely have my favorite producer Shawn Moore because he knows exactly the sound I’m looking for and there’s no one who pays more attention to detail, from scratch tracks and demos to engineering and mixing. I would love John Mayer to record guitars, and it would also be surreal to sing a track with Morgan Wallen.”
“It would be amazing if an artist with non-traditional backgrounds came across my profile and inspired themselves to become a country artist because they see me chasing them too and they think, ‘if he does, I can also’. ‘”
Share something about yourself that has never been revealed before.
“Most people assume my origins are Spanish, Mexican or indigenous, but I’m actually half Filipino! My father’s side is from Europe and my mother’s side is from the Philippines. For reference, I look more like my mother’s side, but with my father’s features. It would be nice if there was increased visibility for multicultural artists, especially in the country genre, which arguably lacks Asian representation. It would be amazing if an artist with a non-traditional country background came across my profile and inspired themselves to become a country artist because they see me chasing them too and they think, “if he does, I can also “. ”