We had the good fortune of connecting with Jakk Fynn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jakk, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Like most artists, I pursue my career as a musician because my desire to create cannot be quelled. When I was younger, music saved my life. This statement may seem trite, but for a trans person, there’s a certain heaviness to it. The percentage of trans people in the United States is less than 1%, and the attempted suicide rate hovers around 50%. With that in mind, you can start to imagine the level of loneliness and invalidation one internalizes at a very young age. I personally grew up in a conservative environment, so I couldn’t embrace my identity. This caused me a tremendous amount of guilt and shame, but music gave me a place to process these emotions. Unfortunately, representation was nil then, and as I grew older, I became more and more resolute to create visibility. I want to be what little me sought to see. So what better way to achieve this than in pop music? Its universality truly has the power to bridge the gap between everyone’s sense of “otherness”, anchoring us in a shared human experience.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My infatuation with music started young, but my journey as a singer / songwriter began when I was a teen. The warped tour scene really resonated with me and I dreamed of becoming a frontman. Unfortunately when I started auditioning I was serially rejected for being a “girl”. This hurt on many levels, but I eventually found some bands and was able to grow as an artist. Later on I signed to a random indie label, but it became clear they wanted me to present as hyper-femme. This made me super uncomfortable, but since I wasn’t out as trans, I felt powerless to speak. Needles to say, I was dropped. This left me depressed and defeated, so I tried to quit music. That was a dark year. Despite these difficult experiences, I created a focused foundation: pursue music wholly as myself. My mantra became “if I build it they will come”. Idk who “they” is, but I stay steadfast. I wish I could say I’m a trans pop artist who is making money, but I’m not. Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon for musicians, especially within something as cut-throat as pop. Yet I think this struggle is integral to my story, I’m just this SoCal punk kid at heart who loves pop and refuses to stay in a box. If it means I have to work 50+ hours a week as a software engineer to self-fund my vision, so be it. But if I don’t believe in me, who will? And I think that’s what sets me apart, being so invested that I bleed to try to make this happen despite the risk.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For the purpose of this thought experiment I’m going to pretend it’s pre-pandemic. So first off, I’d see what sounds interesting to my friend e.g. nature, shopping, bars/clubs, shows, museums, exploring, etc. For nature things, I’d take them on a hike in the Palisades, drive up the PCH, and visit the Griffith Observatory. As for food, I’d share some of my favorite vegan spots such as El Cocinero, Honeybee Burger, and Locali. I’d also make the coffee rounds at places like Profeta, Javista, Alfred etc. When it comes to nightlife, West Hollywood is always a safe bet. That said, there are a lot of great spots in Hollywood, Echo Park, and Silverlake too. Personally though, I enjoy circulating between bars in the Arts District. I’d also say it’s worth it to check out one of the rooftop bars in downtown. As for museums, the Getty comes with a view, LACMA is tried and true, and I enjoy the Broad. When it comes to shopping, Melrose is overrated, but I’d still do it lol. Honestly though, I love thrifting, so I’d be down to just drive to and fro for all the finds. I could go on for hours about the places I love, or my outstanding bucket list, but I’ll stop and end with this: LA is an amazing city filled with an abundance of options. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to dedicate my shoutout to my best friends Mila and Danny; I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. I’ve known Mila since we were teens, and she has helped me through my darkest times. Whether it be identity issues, family turmoil, romantic woes, or failing mental health, she’s there without fail. As for Danny, I started collaborating with him musically many moons ago, and our friendship has steadily grown. Not only is he supportive in every regard, but he pushes me as an artist. No matter where life takes me, I know these two will have my back and for that I am truly blessed.
Colorful Photo w/ floral shirt: Katie Day Car, cyc wall and desert photo: Taylor Gill