Rock, Trap

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While screaming along to the song “Empty” in a throng of teens at a Juice WRLD show in Dallas last year, something clicked for Jaden Hossler.

“It was a God thing,” says the 19-year-old Chattanooga, Tenn. native. “That's when I literally said to myself, in the middle of this huge crowd, ‘I have to at least try.’” He decided to commit to music full-time -- but first, he had to get the lyrics of the Juice WRLD song (“Empty, I feel so goddamn empty”) tattooed on his right arm.

The Deals: Travis Barker's DTA Records Signs TikTok Star Jxdn, CEEK Pacts With UMe for VR Concerts

Hossler was raised on classic rock, but was also a pop fan (the 2011 Justin Bieber documentary Never Say Never made him cry, he admits) and performed in a few high school plays. Later, artists like Juice WRLD and XXXTentacion soundtracked his senior year, when he fell into a deep depression. “I didn’t think I was going anywhere,” he says.

It was around then that he downloaded TikTok to cope and connect with people, posting quick comedic clips set to music. In a matter of months, he had raked in millions of followers (he currently has 7.6 million), and couldn’t help but notice a spike in likes when he would sing bits of songs himself. His following earned him an invite to join the Los Angeles-based TikTok influencer home, Sway House, as well as Talent X, a social media management team.

Now, he’s fusing the worlds of rock and hip-hop under the stage name jxdn (pronounced “Jaden”) -- and turning his social-media savvy into his biggest tool for artistic promotion. At the top of this year, Hossler released his first song, the hard-hitting trap-rock fusion “Comatose” (which his former Talent X manager, Gavin Rudolph, uploaded to DistroKid), and soon after signed a recording deal with Travis Barker’s DTA Records, a joint venture with Elektra Music Group.

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