Xowie Jones is turning all her fears, anxieties and annoying little flubs into music. On the 22-year-old TikTok sensation's debut single, "UH OH!" (off BANK Artists/ Elektra Records), Jones distills all that complicated, bad energy into a blown-out, in-your-face bop with a hook that her 7 million followers can scream back in solidarity: "I just made an uh oh!"
Related | PAPER People: Xowie Jones
The track "is about turning the fears in my head into smaller problems, little uh ohs." Jones tells PAPER. "I'm always worried I’ll push people away by saying too much or overexploiting things; it’s an anxiety that lingers in my head." Ultimately, she says, "It helps if I can just go, 'Uh oh.'"
Growing up in North Carolina informed Jones' artist career; her dad was a metalhead, who listened to bands like Korn, and her mom was a Tripp pants-wearing punk with No Doubt on repeat. Jones dealt with bouts of homelessness as a teen, while her mom struggled with addiction and her dad entered the prison system, before she landed in Atlanta to pursue content creation and, now, Los Angeles to focus on music.
The accompanying video for "UH OH!" was directed by Erik Rojas and puts Jones inside a nightmarish fever dream after an analog video game sends her multiple warnings. She thrashes around a bedroom, switching between blonde and brunette, smashing her computer to bits with a baseball bat. "Wonder why I lie and I cannot be polite," Jones questions, shrouded in searing pop-punk guitars.
"Shooting a music video like ‘UH OH!’ has been a lifelong dream," Jones says. "I get to be play different versions of myself all in one video, combining some of the identities I’ve portrayed in my past social videos into the performer I want to be now and in the future." By the end, she wakes up from all the chaos in her mind, exhausted and confused.
With early support from artists like Machine Gun Kelly, Bebe Rexha and Madison Beer, "UH OH!" is just the beginning of what's to come from Jones. She has plans to release more music in 2022 and has been closely collaborating with JKash, WZRD BLD and Midi Jones on the material for her debut project.
Watch the official premiere of "UH OH!" and stream Xowie Jones' breakout single, below, clocking in at exactly one minute and 30 seconds (What are attention spans?). While you're at it, revisit her 2020 PAPER People profile, where she talks about everything from her go-to appetizer to her TikTok crush and more.
Photo courtesy of Jordan Knight