Saint James Jr.: From Fashion Roots to Musical Heights Saint James Jr.: From Fashion Roots to Musical Heights Vanity Teen 虚荣青年 Lifestyle & new faces magazine

Saint James Jr.: From Fashion Roots to Musical Heights

Saint James Jr. is a visionary whose roots lie in multiple creative realms. Fashion and music drive his creative force, leading him across the United States and eventually to Europe. After building his expertise on the West Coast, he relocated to Europe in 2021, seizing new opportunities that sprouted upon his arrival.

James Jr. is a rapper and model based out of Luxembourg. His journey in the industry began five years ago, initially rooted in fashion before expanding into music. His latest full project, titled “I Hope You Find Happiness,” reflects his journey toward peace and contentment. Composed from a place of newfound tranquility, these tracks offer a window into his evolution.

Hailing from challenging neighborhoods in the States, surviving and thriving, especially as a black man, isn’t always the expected outcome. This project is a testament to that reality, showcasing James Jr.’s resilience and creativity.

Join us as we delve into an exclusive interview with Saint James Jr., the digital cover star of June for Vanity Teen, and explore the inspirations and stories behind his latest work.

Saint James Jr., you’ve mentioned that fashion and music drive your creative force. How do these two fields influence each other in your work?

Music and Fashion go hand in hand. To me it’s all communal work; when you’re creating pieces or constructing music it takes a team. So when I’m in a music session or walking the runway for a fashion brand, I see all the moving parts selflessly working together and to me is the best part of building a project. 

After moving to Europe in 2021, what were the biggest differences you found in the music and fashion industries compared to the West Coast of the United States?

Fashion is the trend in Europe especially Milan where I modeled. The influence it brings is more apparent so much so than the US because the trend in the states is music. When I’m in Europe and connect with a different artist they tell me how much US music influences their work.

In your new project “I Hope You Find Happiness,” you reflect on finding peace and satisfaction. What personal inspirations led you to this theme?

I think moving to a new country and learning different cultures; reflects that we are all different but the same. The world is so big and I am evolving in this moment of time. Living on a farm on a village studying French and Luxembourgish, my whole lifestyle has changed. This move has brought me peace and I have written each song from a place of stillness. 

Growing up in tough neighborhoods in the United States, how has that experience influenced your music and career overall?

Reflecting on those experiences growing up in the neighborhood brings Authenticity to the music and storytelling. Everything is real! So the music is easy to write because I am sharing my life experiences which are relatable. There are many bad neighborhoods around the world and to be able to survive the situations I came from in the US gives me that edge coming to Europe. I’m mindful of my blessings, so I make it an effort to be more vulnerable in my music cause of moments I’ve lived from.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when moving to Europe and establishing yourself as an artist and model in Luxembourg?

The language is the biggest challenge. When in Luxembourg it’s more French and Portuguese; Milan I had to get used to Italian. Musically starting a movement here is difficult because the people did not understand my lingo. That’s where fashion came to the forefront for me. Since fashion is the main influence in Europe, it opened up dialogue and conversations. When more and more people seen that I walked runway and worked in the industry, it made it easier for me to connect with my now European fanbase. It’s important that you can relate with people. 

Your project mentions survival and success as a black man. How do you address these themes in your songs, and what do you hope to convey to your audience?

The vulnerability is in the music because of the survival. These emotions help me express my feelings and in each track I reflect on my upbringing. I want my audience to know who I am; that we are more relatable though I am from a different culture. ¡

What specific experiences from your life did you want to capture in “I Hope You Find Happiness”? 

This project is not really for the radio. The beats are soul sample tracks; a feeling that gives reflection. This project captures moments of me growing up in the neighborhood, my time living in Los Angeles and the journey getting to Europe. 

You’ve worked in both fashion and music. Is there a particular achievement in either field that you consider a turning point in your career?

The turning point in my career was signing my modeling deal in Milan. This allowed me to have a place to start my movement musically as an artist. I grew in the scene and shared my music with many creatives. By being consistent, I was able become one of the upcoming rappers in the underground hip hop scene in Milan. At the time I never had the chance to perform. Signing that deal gave me a platform and now I’m performing in Milan, Luxembourg and France with the goal of performing in more countries. 

How has your musical sound evolved from when you started five years ago to your latest project?

Haha I was horrible. I remember during Covid I was living in Oakland and I told my mentor Lenny S. ( Senior VP Of Roc Nation ) that I was ready to start rapping. It was trial and error; I had band lab and my headphones so I would record songs from my phone. At the time it was not bad but looking back I think of the many mistakes I made! But I never I gave up I kept going at it. Consistency is everything because now I know my voice and have my sound. With the trial and error I found my flo. I réminiscence on those days at the beginning and I can appreciate where I am at with my music but I still want to get better. 

If you had to give advice to young aspiring artists from difficult backgrounds, what would you say about the pursuit of happiness and success in life? What message would you like to convey to the Vanity Teen audience about perseverance and personal growth?

Take risk without reward. Music saved my life and being able to now tell my story through music is a blessing. 

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