Never be frightened of change. Always be willing to explore new things and never limit yourself from realizing your full potential. Doing the same thing repeatedly may get exhausting, so grow whenever the opportunity arises. I used to solely produce progressive house, but once I began to branch out and experiment with different types of genres, I was able to rediscover myself and develop a sound that I was pleased with.
As a part of our series about music stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Renald Joseph Benedicto.
Toronto-based songwriter and producer jav3x (jaah-vecks) is one of the most diverse artists found within today’s electronic dance genre. jav3x possesses the ability to blend power, emotion and creativity seamlessly through his distinct sound.
Starting at the age of 12, jav3x began his production journey in his bedroom after watching a deadmau5 livestream. From this point on, his true passion was unveiled. Renald began to teach himself how to write and produce, creating music that will someday inspire others.
After his strong tenure in the progressive house scene, jav3x began to experiment with different styles after gaining inspiration from other genres. Through this, he discovered a new love through EDM and pop. Taking a four-year hiatus from releasing music, it was time for jav3x to come out of hibernation. In 2021, he independently released his first single under his new image, “Die Young”, which showcases his newfound professional sound, marking the beginning of a new era for jav3x.
Fresh off his debut, jav3x had the opportunity to put his own spin on Mokita’s “sleepwalking” with Mike Kinsella of American Football. His remix has garnered over 170k streams, with his music amassing over 900k streams worldwide. Shortly after, jav3x released his originals “Broken Wings” and “Hurt People”, which so far have reached 15k streams each. His latest single, “Real Love”, proves that there is no force stopping him from reaching his true potential.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up/your background?
I am super honored to be a part of this interview series! I was born and raised in Mississauga, a city near Toronto, Canada. My parents both played different types of music, so I was always surrounded by music. My father used to sing and play the guitar to a lot of 70s rock oldies when I was a kid. The tipping point came when I went to my grandmother’s house for the summer. She had a small Casio digital piano that I used to play all the time, trying to imitate various songs by ear. That is when I knew that I could excel in the world of music
Can you share what brought you to this specific career path?
Throughout my childhood, I’ve always had a deep affinity for music. I was first introduced to electronic music when I was 12 years old, thanks to artists like Daft Punk and deadmau5. After seeing deadmau5’s livestream, I was inspired to make my own music in the hopes of motivating others to do the same. I was involved in a variety of activities throughout high school, including playing lead guitar in Jazz Band and teaching the school’s guitar class. Following high school, I still had doubts and did what any sensible person would do and enrolled in university to pursue a degree in engineering. Every day, I would go to class unhappy about the idea of pursuing something I didn’t enjoy, and I would use music as an escape. I recognized at this point in my life that I’ve always been at my happiest when I’m surrounded by music.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I began my professional career doing only progressive house for four years. There were a lot of bumps in the road that I didn’t recognize. I took a break from the industry to rediscover myself and my style and then transitioned from making progressive house to a broader range of music through Pop EDM. I was fortunate enough to get discovered by a manager within the first two months of my new style who then put out my work and gave me the opportunity to work with Mokita, and release an official remix of Mokita’s “Sleepwalking” after he was drawn to my work. After years of doing music, he became my first mainstream connection in the industry, and the transition took only two months.
Can you share the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
To begin with, I’m the type of person that prefers to learn by doing and educating myself. I used to make a lot of embarrassing tracks when I first started out as a producer. “Robotic Derp” was the name of the first track I produced. Although I thought that song was really fantastic at the time, I never really took music seriously. After that, I created another song using the knowledge and skills I’d obtained from the first. Over time, I began to improve every project I had created, with each song becoming more complicated as time passed. I began to compose music that I was proud of after numerous hours spent on FL Studio and a slew of YouTube lessons. I knew I was where I wanted to be when others around me started praising the music I was making.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
My new single “Broken Wings” had just been released on all streaming platforms! I’m currently working on a number of original songs that I hope to release this year, collaborating with some incredible vocalists. I plan to release an EP of my own shortly, and through this body of work, I hope to really define what “jav3x” means.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in music, film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Within an industry that is driven by impact and creativity, diversity plays a critical role. Strong diversity can generate a wide range of interests among creators, which contributes significantly to the daily stream of new content. Within the industry, diversity of thought is quite important. The fact that no two minds are alike, helps to propel entertainment forward. Music, film, and television will never be able to evolve and develop with the world’s continually changing cultures if there is no diversity inside the business.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each if you can.
1. Make music that’s true to yourself. If you’re creating music in the hopes of “making it” in the industry, you won’t be unique. Pursuing something that isn’t you will leave you exhausted.
2. Take pleasure in the journey, no matter how bumpy it may be. In anything you undertake, especially in music, there will be many ups and downs along the path. Always be grateful for anything that comes your way, good or bad, since it will help you get to where you want to go.
3. Don’t be hesitant to seek help. It’s difficult to do things on your own, especially in music. When it comes to learning something new, YouTube is your friend. There are a variety of resources available to master a new skill these days; take advantage of them. Additionally, networking with other producers and establishing those ties may be quite beneficial.
4. Consistency is a crucial component of success. Always strive for consistency in your releases, whether they be originals or remixes. It’s crucial to strike a decent balance between quantity and quality. Having a set schedule and sticking to it might also help you develop those talents every day.
5. Never be frightened of change. Always be willing to explore new things and never limit yourself from realizing your full potential. Doing the same thing repeatedly may get exhausting, so grow whenever the opportunity arises. I used to solely produce progressive house, but once I began to branch out and experiment with different types of genres, I was able to rediscover myself and develop a sound that I was pleased with.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
To truly avoid “burnout,” you must take care of yourself and engage in activities that relieve stress. Communication with friends, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and engaging in other activities can all assist to inspire creativity. Also, attempt to switch up your surroundings. Being in the same place for an extended period of time can be exhausting, so attempting to work in new locations or going for a walk will help you avoid “burnout.”
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I’d like to start a movement where people who have achieved success may mentor and pass on their knowledge to others. As a result, the industry may continue to flourish, and emerging talent’s efforts can never go unnoticed.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards or mentor who helped get you to where you are and why?
One of the most significant influences in my life has been my parents. Life has been different since I lost my mother at a young age. Music is the only thing that keeps me going and motivates me to strive to make my mother proud since I know she is always watching. Knowing that my father has always been a strong supporter of my music since day one, and I am fortunate that I can please him by just doing whatever makes me happy. He never asked me to change anything but follow what I love and that kept me going.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” or mantra? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value,” says Albert Einstein, a statement I like to live by. Rather than attempting to be the best, I’ve always pushed for my work to be valuable and stand on its own throughout my entire career in music. I’ve never tried to fit in with current trends; instead, I’ve always stayed true to myself and what “jav3x” meant to me.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Porter Robinson, one of the greats of electronic music, is someone I’d want to sit down with. I’d like to know how he was able to achieve true confidence in his music, which was something I struggled with in the beginning of my career. I’d like to poke his brain about how he manages to use basic sounds and samples and incorporate them into very complex productions. I aim to become more like him in that I can navigate myself to recognizing the potential in something so fundamental.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can find me as @jav3x on Instagram, and @jav3xmusic on all other platforms! Feel free to come by and say hi!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!