Photography by Tiggy Ara
Jesse St. John’s new single is the queer-pop song of the summer.
“Fake It”, the new single by LA-based singer and songwriter Jesse St. John feels like a queer contender for 2018’s song of the summer. Musically it’s bright, fun and pop-heavy, which makes sense considering Saint John has written songs for Britney Spears, Charli XCX and Brooke Candy. He’s also worked with singer-turned-Real Housewife of Beverly Hills Erika Jayne on her song XXPEN$IVE. “Fake It” has a total LA vibe to it too, it’s the sort of song you’ll want to blast in the car with the top down if that’s your thing. You can hear the Britney influence but it’s there with a bloghaus, Ed Banger kind of edge. “Fake It” has me seeing glitter and palm trees, not sunglasses and Advil. It’s exciting, too, to see the force behind many of today’s gay icons coming out with his own stuff. It feels like St. John is part of a burgeoning queer renaissance within pop music, material not just targeted toward us but written by us. What with Troye Sivan and Kim Petras eating up the charts, music – along with every other industry – is certainly having a queer moment.
It’s clear, though, that St. John creates more than just a fun pop song. On “Fake It” his lyrics are ultra-relatable and contemporary, capturing the unique emotions that come with being queer in the social media age. He sings, “Ever make you feel like a fraud, living just so people see it, wish that I was pretty enough to not think hard.” St. John pinpoints the age-old, trademark isolation of being queer but updates it for the Instagram generation. Beneath its poppy and glittery sound “Fake It” captures the all too well known loneliness that comes from watching everyone—myself included—curating their lives, presenting only their best angles online. St. John is, like so many of us, yearning for something deep and meaningful in the midst of all that; in the chorus he repeats, “Fake it until we feel it.” What really makes the song is his unique ability to fold these feelings into such a fun and exciting track. It’s real but it isn’t heavy, and by the end of the summer St. John will have you shouting “Feel it!” right along with him.