By Madeline Keane | 17 August, 2022
Lately, it seems that my FYP has been packed with independent artists promoting their latest single and encouraging viewers to stream their music. This makes sense, considering TikTok’s growing influence over the music industry, but it got me wondering: is there a secret recipe for fame and fortune when it comes to making content for the video platform? Today, I’m analyzing the achievements of one such TikTok sensation, singer-songwriter Jax.
Born Jackie Miskanic and hailing from East Brunswick, New Jersey, singer-songwriter “Jax” has quite a history with professional music: at just 18 years old, she was featured in the 14th season of American Idol in 2015 and finished third overall. After her time on Idol, she released one song, “La La Land”, in 2016 before being diagnosed with thyroid cancer later that year. Her vocal abilities were impaired due to her illness, but she continued to write songs for herself and other artists, and eventually re-learned how to sing after being declared cancer-free.
When Jax first joined TikTok, her content wasn’t reaching much of an audience. She told Fast Company in 2021, she took herself “super seriously”, only uploading “very produced content”, which didn’t exactly get viewers hooked. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit in early 2020, when she started letting herself have more fun on the app in quarantine, that she started gaining traction. One particularly successful TikTok includes the artist, dressed in a bathrobe and hair wrap singing a parody of “Stacy’s Mom”, the early 2000s classic by Fountains of Wayne, from Stacy’s mom’s perspective. Not only did she don the costume of her character, but she also adopted a thick, Jersey-style accent, which only added to the humor and reeled in more and more likes. These satirical videos have become a staple of Jax’s, having scored her collaborations with notable figures like “Phineas and Ferb” creator Dan Povenmire, Jesse McCartney, and John Stamos.
Now, how did these somewhat niche-seeming TikToks provide Jax with such an increase in fans? Here are some of my theories:
The songs that Jax chooses to cover are extremely popular with memorable and catchy melodies, so the association of her content to these tunes piques people’s interests!
In each of these POV videos, Jax embodied the characters that she was portraying, both in look AND sound! Not only does this add intrigue to her videos, but it paints her as charismatic, hilarious, and fun-loving.
For almost every one of her TikToks, Jax takes the time to craft interesting, well-thought out lyrics to match the message or story she is trying to tell. With each video, she proves her musical talent, effectively earning her credibility with her audience as a songwriter.
As Jax started to gain traction from her comedic covers, the original songs that she posted on her platform began to flourish as well. On December 15, 2020, Jax uploaded a video and captioned it, “I wrote a song about being broke and in love. It’s called Ring Pop 💍🍭💍🍭”. The song itself was released on streaming platforms in early January 2021, and Jax posted another TikTok later that month announcing her new record deal with Atlantic Records, one of the labels owned by Warner Music Group. Since then, the artist has put out several other singles, including “Like My Father”, her most popular song to date, and her newest release, “Victoria’s Secret”, which is the ultimate women’s empowerment anthem.
Jax’s story is one of resilience and authenticity. Today, her TikTok account, @jaxwritessongs, boasts over 11 million followers on TikTok, and she has truly proven that being real, genuine, and unique is what leads to success. Jax’s creativity and talent continues to shine through in both her fun and professional content, and her authenticity is part of what makes her so special.