If one were to use an archetypal character from a school yearbook to describe Jon Chua JX, he would be “the cool guy” – super popular with his too-cool-for-school attitude, sitting at the back of the classroom, and peppering conversations with his low-key dark humour. Prior to this interview, this writer had the pleasure of working with him in his early music-making days and found that the reserved boy always seemed to have a witty comeback for every occasion.
Five years later, Chua has gone from being single to newly married, and he is enjoying every bit of it. “It’s been really great! I never imagined myself married, but I’m so fortunate to marry my soul mate who gets me, my work, and my lifestyle. Honestly, it doesn’t feel that different, except for the fact that I have more forms to fill up with the government, and that can get rather tedious,” he jokes.
He is still humorous, but to someone who has witnessed Chua maturing in the cut-throat entertainment industry over the years, his recently developed stable, collected and cool demeanour is refreshing. Also, he has shaken off his bad habit of hunching, which could be a big contributing factor to his new outlook.
A quarter of The Sam Willows, Chua has often been described by his other band mates as the guy who keeps the band focused on the task at hand. This seems to be at odds with the laid-back side of his character, but it undeniably proves his passion for music.
HUGO Cotton sweater, denim jeans
Many people know Chua as the singer/musician, but his passion also extends to music production. He set up Zendyll Productions in 2016 with fellow musician and business partner, Evanturetime, and has recently set up a record label. He shares, “I hope the company grows to help create a stronger and more unified music industry in the region, as well as provide a safe haven for musicians to come on board.”
It seems like there is a piece missing in Chua’s musical journey – a solo single. However, he has that sorted out with a new single dropping this month. “The single is my first shot at doing a song in a genre and style that I personally enjoy. I had the opportunity to co-produce the song with Evanturetime, and the genre is still pop in some ways. I don’t really have a working song name, but will probably figure it out a couple of days before the release,” teases Chua.
To have achieved all these at the age of 28 is no pure luck. Hence, Men’s Folio is thrilled to commemorate our coming-of-age 21st anniversary issue with this deserving local talent. It is a triple celebration with HUGO as well as the German luxury fashion label opens its first standalone stores (previously stocked in BOSS stores) in Singapore. The triple threat of longstanding quality menswear editorial, local talent, and international luxury fashion presence is a testament to the rest of the world that Singapore is a thriving ground for creativity.
Hugo Wool coat, polyester-blend shirt, wool pants, suede boots
What’s new in your life?
Probably the most interesting thing is that I just got married. My wife, Amanda Chaang, and I also just moved into a new house. So, there’re loads of household matters lately. The band has also been busy with the promotion of the new album, and my company just did a soft launch of a new record label called Zendyll Records.
Any plans on being a father soon?
Not that soon. I definitely want to have kids, but I think a dog or a cat would come first.
You’re in the midst of releasing your own single, how is that coming along?
The single is ready to go. It definitely sounds different from The Sam Willows music, but it has some elements of the band inside. I am just planning out the details with Sony Music. I’m super excited about it.
Photography Joel Low
Styling Wilson Lim
Photography assistant Alfie Pan
Styling assistant Sapphire Chin, Khoo Yong Hao, Marcus Li
Grooming Sha Shamsi using Armani Beauty
Hair Edward Chong/ Evolve using Kevin Murphy
Catch our exclusive interview with Jon Chua JX in the October’18, Vice issue of Men’s Folio.