25 Aug. '22
An online search of Oxford Languages offers two thought-provoking definitions of the term 'X Factor.' First, 'a noteworthy special talent or quality'; and next, 'a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.' While both of those capture fast-emerging singer-songwriter Jason Shand's ascending career and recent string of international hits to a T, there's now an all-important new third way to experience the phrase - as the sophisticated pop artist's explosive, high-energy and edgy new electronica rock single.
It's an anthemic rush of a tune, a burst of swaggering confidence that finds the NYC-bred and -based performer declaring of his powerful and soulful voice, 'It's so smooth, It's so rich, you can taste it' and pointedly asking anyone who might stand in his way, 'What does my dust taste like? How does it feel down there? I'm walking on air/You couldn't hold me down forever.' When he gets to the heart of the lyrical matter - 'It's a view on a clear day/The rain is gone... I can fly, I can fly' - he's encouraging all of us to take risks in our lives, because one day, with hard work, persistence and patience, they just might pay off.
Originally written in an incredible spurt of songwriting after leaving his five-year stint as lead singer of a prominent Boston alt-rock band, "'X-Factor,'" Jason says, "is a song about self-celebration, about self-achievement, about overcoming all the doubters and naysayers... as well as telling them where to get off. It was about me feeling my oats and telling those who put me down, 'You blew it.' It's definitely a very personal song so I'm thrilled to be releasing it! I hope it inspires people to envision themselves as the best they can be and motivates them to be everything they can be. Like everyone may be telling you that you can't, but you can and you will!"
'X-Factor' originally appeared as a track on Jason's debut album Because of Zeeva, but in the wake of his recent global success with three hit singles from his sophomore collection The Petty Narcissist (released in January 2022), he listened again and the lyrics and vibe spoke to him anew. It was like a revisit to the wave of confidence that would later inspire him to write 'I Know,' which reached #4 on the World Indie Music chart and Euro Indie Music chart; '$$$ In The Bank (Let Go), which hit #2 on both charts and his trademark hit 'The Petty Narcissist(Arctic Ocean),' Jason's first #1 on both charts. These triumphs have also led him to get back to performing live, and he's been headlining regularly at NYC hotspots Rockwood Music Hall and, more often, The Bitter End.
Jason recently posted on his website: "A few weeks ago, 'X Factor' blared from my speakers and the song spoke to me more powerfully than it ever has - and I knew it was time to let this cat out of the bag and share it with everybody else. By the time Because of Zeeva was finished, I was exhausted. I gigged but didn't have the bandwidth to do much else. There was next to no radio promotion for the album and no singles were released. In essence, that album ended up being just for me, my family and friends. The recent success I have had with those three singles from my last album are offering me this unique opportunity to release earlier material - some of it even more relevant and potentially impactful than when I first recorded it."
'X Factor' will be the title track for Jason's unique upcoming ten-track compilation album that includes his three recent international hits, select songs from both of his previous studio albums and the brand new, cleverly titled mid-tempo pop rocker 'Boxer Shorts Bottom & The Italian Mafia,' which will be his next single. The jangling, hard-driving melody backs a colorful, incisive narrative aimed at a former best friend, who came on to Jason's husband while the singer was away. X Factor - The Album will also feature 'Triggers' and 'Subscription to Blindness' from Because of Zeeva and 'Crumble,' 'Oh Fabio,' and 'Seeing You (Eyes Wide Open)' from The Petty Narcissist.
X Factor - The Album is set to be released on September 15.
Written by John Widran
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