A sultry, dark and immersive adventure lies in wait on Aquarius, aka the brand new single from luminous alt-pop artist st.james. Officially billowing out into the world, Aquarius marks a stylistic shift for st.james from her earlier work; but it’s ultimately a stunning and welcome deviation, bustling with futuristic hues as well as a smattering of st.james’ more vintage trademark flair.
A diehard lover of all things music, st.james grew up surrounded by pop music videos and listening to the likes of David Bowie and Bob Dylan with her father along the way. Currently based on the Gold Coast after previously working and living in Melbourne for six years, and a stint in Byron Bay in 2021 filming the Netflix series Byron Baes, st.james has repeatedly enamoured in 2022 with her optimistic, heartfelt tunes via tracks like Liars and Restless Life. And presenting a fun, mysterious, layered and darkly seductive outing fit for a futuristic kingdom on her new single Aquarius, st.james also continues to look to her own past to both bolster her creative process and connect with fans. Find out more in our our interview with st.james.
How has the build-up been leading up to the release of the single Aquarius?
It was so different from my previous single release. It’s really exciting because the last one ‘Liars’ came straight off the back of Byron Baes coming out and it was a song I sang on the show. So I felt like that track was very much connected to the show and not so much to me as an artist. It was cool but also a little daunting because I gained an audience who didn’t know me prior to Baes, who were keen to hear more of what I did and I knew that sonically, it was a departure form my previous sounds. It’s been received really well so I couldn’t be happier.
Was the process of making your single as challenging as you thought?
This was one great. They’re not all like that. I probably write five or six songs where it’s an uphill battle and a lot more work to get it to the finish line before I get an easy one. Aquarius was the easy one. I went in with an open mind and didn’t have a set story of what I wanted to say and I really think that helped. No expectations. But it just flowed.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
It’s pop, but like art-pop or synth pop. Little left of field. I love so many different styles of music and I’m influenced a little by every genre so I can see my sound evolving and changing as I go through different seasons in my life.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
That’s a hard one because I have SO many! I don’t think I could pick one but if I could pick three I would say – David Bowie, Taylor Swift and Max Martin
Best piece of advice you have been given?
The people who succeed are the ones who just keep working and don’t give up.
What is the st.James life story?
I grew up in a musical household. My mum taught me French and Creole songs she learned at school in the Seychelles and I can remember always singing and having music around the house. Mum and Dad bought my sister and I a piano when I was four and I was just obsessed with everything music. When I turned eighteen I started singing in nightclubs and then performing at corporate events and weddings. I moved around a lot and eventually moved and settled in Melbourne for a couple of years where I met Richard, one of my dearest friends. We started making music under the name ELLE and released a few tracks but I realised how unhappy I was in Melbourne. As soon as I started listening intuitively to my body and what I really wanted everything started to fall into place. I moved back to the Gold Coast and then had a stint in Byron where I filmed the Netflix show. I met my producers and manager and things have been amazing. I feel incredibly blessed and for the first time like I’m really on the right track.
Are you looking to tour more broadly?
Most definitely. I really would love to have more music out before I do, but I would love to tour internationally.
What’s next for st.james?
I’m in the studio and just writing and working on getting new stuff out. The next single is almost done and I am so excited to share it with you all!
Interview By Rob Lyon