Just Jack's life is a lot different now he's no longer mainstream after releasing Starz In Their Eyes
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Sorry to make you feel old, but it’s been over 15 years since Just Jack took over airwaves with his hit song ‘Starz In Their Eyes’.
All the way back in 2007, the irresistibly catchy tune shot to number two on the UK Singles Chart and went certified Platinum.
Today, it’s still a massive track with over 35 million plays on Spotify and the power to get everyone in the room up on their feet.
While the love for the hit single has stayed the same, Just Jack, aka Jack Allsopp, definitely hasn’t.
The Camden-based singer, who used to dedicate every waking minute to concocting new music, now has other priorities to consider - namely raising his two kids.
Don’t get me wrong, Jack is still releasing music non-stop.
Earlier this year, he released his latest album That Was Now and, alongside Overtones - the album that gave us ‘Starz in Their Eyes’ - it’s probably his proudest release to date.
But his process is a little different these days.
For one thing, he’s no longer being whisked back and forth from national radio interviews to TV appearances to prime-time festival slots like he was in 2007. And he’s quite grateful for it.
He told LADbible: “I never tried to make a big radio hit. I never really wanted to be like a pop star.
“It was a strange time, it was a stressful time. I ended up being in a lot of environments that I wasn’t particularly comfortable in.
“I was grateful for the radio plays and stuff like that, but I never felt at home with pop people. That’s never how I saw myself.”
In fact, Jack says that he ‘couldn’t be happier’ with how things have changed for him since then.
“I’ve always been a bit of a control freak. I think being in that world where you have managers and record labels and all these people around you pulling you in lots of different directions and things not always going as planned, there are so many things that you don’t really have control over.
“Now I have full control over literally everything, which obviously can be quite a lot of work. But I couldn’t be happier with that. "It’s a great feeling and a real privilege to be in that position.”
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise from the guy who took off with a song about the perils of fame.
Speaking to LAD about the timeless hit, Jack said: “It seems to become more and more relevant as time goes on.
“I always feel a certain fondness for it, regardless of the fact that it is always going to be something that I’m sort of judged on and the thing I’m most associated with.
“But I’m quite thankful that I’m associated with something that I feel has some integrity. I really like the energy of it and it’s just a tune that people really just loved.
“The main reason I’m able to still make music is the fact that I made that song. It still pays a good portion of my bills on a nuts and bolts level. It allows me to carry on making music.”
Another thing that’s changed is Jack’s fan base, who have been growing up alongside him for the past two decades.
“We’ve gone from kids just messing around to having relationships and kids and responsibilities of being a ‘grown up’,” he said.
Thanks to his more subtle presence in the music industry, Jack has been able to have a more intimate connection with his fans.
They’re not the type to stop him in the street and badger him for his time and attention.
“I had a taste of that when Starz came out and I was on TV and stuff like that. I was getting recognised quite a lot. And not all of those interactions were positive,” he said.
Instead, Just Jack fans write to let him know how much certain songs mean to them.
When he’s not making music or doing dad jobs, he’s reading and replying to their comments and emails, or packing up merch to ship out from his house.
It’s a much more comfortable relationship.
At the moment, most of his fan mail is regarding his latest release, ‘That Was Now’, which came out earlier in the year.
The album ranges from emotionally charged moments to joyful, uplifting tunes, all delivered with his instantly recognisable voice and casually poetic lyrics.
Opening up about the inspiration behind this album, Jack explained that a good portion of them were brought on by ‘massive upheaval’ of his best friend passing away.
“It was just a terrible time for all kinds of reasons. Some obvious and some not so obvious. I think that some of the songs on this album were written as messages to people who had been affected by what happened” - one of his favourite songs on the album, ‘Treacle’ is a perfect example.
“I never used to see music as a cathartic thing. I know a lot of artists find making music very cathartic. I never really saw it in that way, but in this particular incredibly sad situation, it really really helped me.
“In all honesty, I cried loads when I was making this record. It allowed me to access emotions that I really needed to process.”
All that being said, rest assured it isn’t a downer whatsoever.
Much like Allsopp’s hit ‘The Day I Died’, the album meshes a certain amount of joy and warmth with the sorrow, musing on how short life can be and what’s really important
Paying a special tribute to his late friend, the last song on ‘That Was Now’ introduced fans to a totally different side of Jack - and it's one they can expect to see a lot more of.
‘Last Song (Tribute)’ is a house track, produced entirely by Jack, in memory of the music he and his friend used to listen to in the late 90s.
“I tried to make it as authentic as I could. And I was really happy with the outcome. I think he would have really liked it and that was the main thing.”
He’s so pleased with how the song turned out that he’s now working on an EP with ‘more dance floor stuff’. Watch this space.
Until then, though, ‘That Was Now’ is definitely one to sink your teeth into if you haven’t already.
And throw in a couple of rounds of ‘Starz in their Eyes’ for good measure.
Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy / Instagram/@Justjackmusic