Paxton Ingram photoshoot and interview for FAULT Magazine 29

 

Photography: Dalong Yang

Fashion Editor: Chaunielle Brown

Hair Isaac Davidson using Oribe

Make-up: Soo Park Using Bioderma & Nars Cosmetics

Photo Assist: Maya Lous

Fashion Assist: Ariane Velluire/ amah Dong

 

An earnest soul with an infectiously inviting smile, Paxton Ingram’s echoing laughter is enough to make you see him as a kindred spirit. If you’re not an avid viewer of The Voice, you may not be familiar with this gifted, rising spark. Paxton’s presence is always filled with excitement, home cooked with a welcoming charm.

Despite being east-to-west dial tones away, Paxton’s bubbling enthusiasm carried well – and we were able to unravel a lot more about the endearing and delightful singer-songwriter.

What was the first thing that came to your mind when you opened your eyes this morning?

The first thing that came to my mind was, “I have to pray.” [chuckles]

Since I’ve been here, I’ve really been trying to devote a moment to myself in the morning – to have that moment with me and God, you know? Just so I can just align myself in the day. And to help set my attention and get everything set up so I can go into the studio or whatever meeting that I have that day with a clear head. Like I know what I want to say and be comfortable in myself, you know? And that definitely kind of helps me just to stay clear, stay focused and stay like…ready. For whatever.
 
Absolutely. Do you have any particular word or scripture that comes to your mind or that you keep on repeat?
You know it typically changes like sometimes it could be… uh man… Deuteronomy… uhhh…

Oh my gosh! I’ve been reading Deuteronomy too! So funny you said that!Yes, girl, Deuteronomy! He is… he has gone before me and… oh man, I gotta go find it! [laughs]


I got it! Deuteronomy 31:8!  “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Yes, that’s the one, girl! Gets me through it!

I love your name, it’s so strong, so bold, so badass, so cool – what’s the story behind it?
So, I got my name from my Mamma, for starters [laughs]. She says she wanted a stand out name. I think it was from a book she was reading, a character who was named Paxton, and I think she just fell in love with it and just rolled with it.
You know, when I was a kind I didn’t like it. I wish my name was Kevin or Kyle or…Or Derek or Tim, Why can’t I have a normal name, mom [laughs]?!
Where did music begin for you? Can you tell us a little bit about your childhood? Any distinct memories that had a factor or influence on your where you are now?Music started for me very early. When I was a kid, I remembered my older brothers would be around the speakers freestyling. That’s my very first memory of music. And thinking, what are they doing? Creative, that whole thing, whoa how cool! And I would just get up and try and do what they were doing and, you know, just say something stupid – random nonsense. But I guess my brothers didn’t light me up because I was doing it. I was just a kid trying to be like them. My brother was a musician too so there was always music around the house.

How old were you?

I was a kid, so probably like five or six. You know when you first start getting memories – around that age. One of my very first first musical moments: I remember being in my living room, watching a Michael Jackson concert –  live in Bucharest. I’ll never forget it because I went out and found it years later. 1992 – you know when he just stands up and the crowd just goes wild for five minutes and he’s not even moving? That shook me as a kid, and I knew that was something I wanted: I wanted to make people feel that. You know, he was such a symbol – he was THE pop star. That was so monumental for me.I always go back to Michael when it comes to anything that I do. Especially when it comes to performance because he was the greatest.

‘The Voice’ was certainly a clocking point along the journey for you. What did you take away from that and would you have done anything differently?

Hmmm…Knowing what I know I now, I would have definitely done some things differently. Just having some skin now, but if I still had the same innocence that I did, I think what I did was perfect. Everything went the way it was supposed to. I had an amazing experience. I grew a lot. I learned a lot. I learned how to handle myself in situations like that because you’re on live, prime time television and the whole world’s watching you. Are you going to go home or are you going to stay? You know you’ve got to have that muscle in you, and so it definitely grew me faster than I thought. It gave me a little bit of thick skin. That whole experience was something like a boot camp. And they give you the tools to really go out there and to make some noise and to do it. And that’s what I think is awesome about that show.

What do you hope your music will do for the people? You’ve said how much you love what you do and that you definitely want to make a statement. So what is it that you’re hoping to achieve?

I’m hoping to make people feel something. I think that we go to music for therapy. It’s a form of medication, the purpose of which is to make us feel something. It’s an escape – just like any kind of drug. I feel like if I make someone feel empowered, if I make someone feel great, if I make someone feel better than they’re feeling at that moment, I think that’s the purpose of music. I think that’s the bigger picture – music has the power to go beyond your own achievements and become bigger than you. It belongs to people in general – a shared experience.

So if music is about sharing and communicating with people then what do you think about the role of technology in youth culture – specifically the undeniable increase in our use of technology to communicate? Where are we headed?

I think music and technology have always been the same thing. They’re like cousins or brothers. We wouldn’t have music today without technology. It’s always about  the newest, latest, tech thing that can make the sound even better, or make you work faster or get your ideas down from A to B.

I think the future of music…[pauses] I think all music will be free one day. On some cool device, some cool way, all music will be free. Because when I think about it, I feel like music was never meant to be for sale. I think music was always meant to be enjoyed. Like when you walk into a store or a restaurant, you just hear random music: you’re not paying for it. When you turn on the car radio, you’re not paying for that, you’re just hearing it. You just bump into music. Music is meant to be shared. Back when it was folklore and the village and jungle – they were just singing it. And eventually we will go back to a place where it’s just shared and free.

Aside from singing and writing new music, what are the other things you’re looking to do in the future?

I definitely want to showcase my dance more. I’m a trained dancer and I trained for years and years. We had this conversation, me and my team, not too long ago. They are saying, like, “Hey, I think it’s a hidden secret that you can dance!” I’m like, “I think you’re right, we need to showcase that way more!”

I’m also thinking about starting a podcast to talk more about different things and express my personality a bit more outside of my music.

 

And wrapping it up, tell us, what is your FAULT?

Sometimes I feel like I don’t enjoy the moment long enough. I’m anxious-slash-impatient and I want everything to happen now – or yesterday! I keep asking myself, “why am I not there now?”
And that’s why I said trusting the process has become such a big thing in my life – because things don’t just happen immediately like that. It’s a waiting game – you hurry up, put the work in and then you wait. So I definitely have to tell myself ever day: “Yo Pax: chill!”

Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for doing this for me – talking to me, having me on set. Doing the gorgeous photoshoot. That was the best experience of my life, I swear I’m not just saying that. The energy and everything was just incredible. I haven’t experienced anything like that so it was just really beautiful to do it. And I thank you guys for trusting me to kill it!

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 29 – THE MOVEMENT ISSUE –  IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

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