Jack Powers Always Told You He’d ‘Sell Out’

There comes a point in every artist’s climb to the top when they must make the difficult decision: To sell out or stay underground. For New York-based alt-pop star Jack Powers, the answer is simple and arrives in the form of his latest single, out now. “‘Sell Out’ is about doing something you want to do even when people say you shouldn’t,” he tells PAPER. “It’s about following your inner feelings, desires and intuition in a loud and bold way.”

Created in collaboration with Jeppe Laursen, who famously co-wrote and produced “Born This Way” with Lady Gaga, “Sell Out” was a long time coming for Powers. “[Jeppe] was also one-half of Junior Senior and I had been dancing to ‘Move Your Feet’ since I was a kid,” Powers says. “So it was time to rock.” The track’s concept arrived from a casual chat between the two in-studio. “At one point in the conversation, I spilled and half-jokingly, half-maybe-not told him, ‘I can’t wait to sell out.’ And then we got up and wrote this song.”

Powers kicks things off by directly questioning all his critics: “Oh, does the money make you mad? Oh, does my success make you sad?” Being a “Sell Out” is ultimately more about Powers’ desire to make “everybody feel good” through his music than anything else, though. “It feels right and it should,” he sings above Laursen’s eclectic, weirdo-pop production. “I always told you I would be a sell out, a sell out.”

The music video, premiering today, explores America’s many paradoxes. “I guess I’m fascinated by the things people do low-key that society doesn’t expect them to or want them to do based on their public persona or something,” Powers says, explaining the “Sell Out” scenes that highlight this. He first appears as a governor giving a press conference in response to money laundering accusations. In barely there red, white and blue costumes, Powers is shown in sexy office scenes, a heated interrogation room and one very “Telephone”-esque diner.

Watch the campy Joaquin Castillo-directed visual, complete with full “Jacky P” choreo, below.

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