How SAINT PHNX Honored Their Dad's Memory With 'Happy Place,' Featuring Jasmine Thompson
Brothers Stevie and Alan Jukes make up the Scottish duo SAINT PHNX, and this summer, their uplifting and emotional single "Happy Place" went viral for all the right reasons.
The song is a touching tribute to their father, who passed away earlier this year, and is a powerful ode to hope. The single has been streamed millions of times, and just last week, the band released a new version, featuring vocals by English singer-songwriter Jasmine Thompson. We got the chance to ask SAINT PHNX about the writing of the song, its origins and why Jasmine's contribution was so meaningful to them in the interview below.
Sweety High: What was the songwriting process for "Happy Place"?
SAINT PHNX: We were in the middle of writing an album of a completely different sonic through the pandemic. Our dad had a terminal lung condition which he was diagnosed in 2017. He sold everything and his dream was to build a house for him and our mum, which they did. In late 2020, his condition got worse. Our studio is above his garage, so when we had finished a song, we would take it in to show him. One day, we went in to check on him and he was staring out his window, looking at these beautiful hills. He seemed at peace and free from his worries. From then, the idea of "Happy Place" was born. On Christmas night our Dad was rushed to hospital. He was in there for a month and we would FaceTime him. He always asked about our new music, so we decided to write, record and finish "Happy Place." We had just finished recording the vocal around 6 p.m., and at 8 p.m. that night, we got the call to say our dad was dying and we had to say our last goodbyes. We were lucky enough to play him the songs before he died. He loved it. It's a moment we will cherish forever.
SH: How did this collaboration come about? What do you think Jasmine uniquely adds to the track?
SAINT PHNX: We love the tone of Jasmine's voice. She heard our story and we jumped on a call together. When she sent over her vocal take, we knew it was something special.
SH: In what ways does this track honor the memory of your dad?
SAINT PHNX: Having a female vocal on the track feels like it's our mum singing to our dad. It's pretty amazing and something we are immensely proud of.
SH: Do you hope this track will also help others overcome the loss of a loved one?
SAINT PHNX: We've had so many messages from people around the world sharing their stories with us. It's pretty incredible. When writing "Happy Place," we never wrote it with any other intention than to help us through a difficult time and to know that is helping other people is just unbelievable. It gives us a feeling that we literally can't describe.
SH: What are some of the things you do when you want to go to your happy place?
We visit the place our dad was born, St. Andrews, Scotland. It's a very special place that we hold close to our hearts.
SH: What's your favorite lyric from the song? Why?
SAINT PHNX: "If I could wish upon a star, I'd take us right back to the start, close my eyes and live those days again." It takes us back to our childhood. We would give anything to relive those moments with him.
SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
SAINT PHNX: We can't wait to release our debut Happy Place EP with Atlantic Records on Jan. 14: This is a collection of songs that represent the emotions we were feeling during the last six months of our dad's life. It is quite fitting, as its release week will be a year since our dad passed, and we want to celebrate it the way we know how—through our music.
We hope you like it, and please pre-order wherever you get your music from and tell all your family and friends to do the same! It means the world to us and we want to share this moment with you!
Love discovering the stories behind great new music? Click HERE to read our interview with Fleurie on her new track, "Millenium Angel."