Miss Jason is doing the lord’s work. Hundreds of years from now academics will wonder: how did Londoners cope in 2020, before the city crumbled into a Tory-induced dystopia? Thanks to Jason’s Closet, a lively web series that follows the energetic host as he traverses London’s eclectic parties armed with nothing but his camera and effortless charm, they’ll have a reliable record.
“Jason’s Closet is trash TV. I stand by that, it’s a guilty pleasure and probably the best thing to watch when you’re hungover,” he tells gal-dem readily. In the trailer for Jason’s Closet season two, he addresses the state of the nation (essentially we’re Brexit-obsessed losers addicted to misery). “I always wanted the show to abstain from carrying any political message. I always wanted everything to be very surface level. I say this because, in my opinion, nothing is making sense. You turn on the television and you hear the same messages: ‘Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Theresa May, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson’. There’s no joy in any of it,” he explains. With this series, he’s disrupted the repetitive and dour news cycle and chaos by cutting through the noise with, well, much louder noise.
As such he wants to encourage people to pay attention to the spaces where people find ways to connect, get along, and completely let go: “Live your best life, striving for experiences and meeting new people.”
As a gift to gal-dem, he’s premiering the penultimate episode of the season with us as he visits Bombay Funkadelic. And, we also talk about the capital’s best new nights, club-ready clothing, and how he became an entertainer to watch.
How did you come up with Jason’s Closet?
I started it because I was sick of doing empty ‘side jobs’, I’d been style assisting for a while but always had to keep a side job in either hospitality or retail to make ends meet. I got to the point where everything was feeling stagnant and I wasn’t using my full potential. I knew I had a strong performance background, I knew I loved conversation, and I’m extremely hedonistic. It was just about finding the right medium to express these things.
Is London nightlife getting better or worse?
London nightlife is always going to be fab. In a city as multicultural as this, there’s absolutely no way for it to get worse as cultures mix to create subcultures.
When was the last time you woke up and felt that flash of post-night out guilt?
Each and every Sunday after 12pm.
Is your on-screen persona a carefully constructed character or have you always been energetic and eccentric?
What you see on screen is me on a regular night out, I’m literally partying with the people. I don’t think anyone should ever force a character, people can tell when its not real and the interaction becomes awkward.
“Everyone deserves the right to express themselves and covered by the blanket of darkeness people find it easier. It’s like having sex with the lights off”Miss Jason
Talk to me about baby Jason: How were your formative years?
I grew up in south London and I say that with pride. I have two younger siblings from my mother and I’m the youngest of 13 on my biological father’s side. I grew up in the church, my stepfather is Anglican, or Church of England and my mum was pentecostal. I left the church at 15 or 16 because I was sick of feeling demonised for my gay thoughts and actions. I became comfortable in my skin when I realised nobody can do me like me.
You’ve shot up in popularity since you began the show, what’s been your career highlight so far?
I would definitely have to say travelling around the UK with BBC Radio 4 and Mary Portas. First of all, she’s an icon. I can remember me and my mum (the rehabilitated shopaholic) being addicted to her show Mary Queen of Shops. Secondly, it made me have a ‘this is my career’ moment. I just remember feeling so fulfilled.
Your show has an H2T cam looking at all the varied garms across London’s eclectic nightlife. What style tribes would you say the city has?
The city has too many to name. One thing I will say though, it’s so great to live somewhere that spearheads individuality, with the show I’m able to visit very different scenes and it’s always amazing to see the story people tell (in that specific scene) with their look.
When was the last time you wore an outfit and thought – fuck I look fantastic.
I’m generally quite good at styling myself, it may take 50 million hours before I’m satisfied but we always turn it out. The last time I felt like that was probably recently at Fashion Week, the Love magazine party look. It was an ode to Prince (my dad in my head). I had on the gorgeous Charles Jeffrey coat, a crisp-white art school shirt dress with the most beautiful diamante, knee-high Dr Marten boots and a green cowhide Kara chain bag. I gagged at myself in the toilet mirror.
What are three lesser-known nights/ clubs that are always fun that gal-dem readers could escape to?
Well, it’s been a while since I’ve actually seen one that I’m crazily interested in, however, I know a few my peers love are Hot Box in Tottenham, Lick and there’s this amazing night in Stoke Newington called Cousins that is hosted by my favourite DJs.
What’s the weirdest night you’ve ever been to?
Torture Garden was definitely an experience I’ll never forget. It wasn’t so much what was going on inside, it was more the aftermath of people leaving and integrating back into society. Watching Bentleys and other luxury vehicles pull up, people running to the tube, people waiting for a bus in all half-naked in Elephant and Castle. I was fascinated.
Who are your favourite London designers making club-ready clothing?
Asai, Charles Geoffrey and obviously Mowalola.
What hairstylist can you rely on to make you feel extra.
Why is nightlife a human right?
Because everyone deserves the right to express themselves and covered by the blanket of darkeness people find it easier. It’s like having sex with the lights off.