FOSTER JAMES INTERVIEWED BY SHIRON THE IRON
Let’s rewind. Tell me about the moment you realized you were born to be a musician.
I don’t know if I was born to! As long as I can remember I’ve loved singing, but it’s been a gradual process for me, one that I don’t think will ever really stop. I learn something new every time I work on music.
I think the aesthetics in your videos go hand in hand with your songs so well. How is the process to transpose music to images?
Oh thank you so much! I appreciate the artistry to short films and the amount of intense work necessary to produce something of quality, and I’m grateful to work with some incredible directors and producers and be able to learn from them. I was a fish out of water when I first started videos and learned quickly that I knew nothing haha, and it’s been a great experience to learn. I usually come up with a concept while writing the song, and I’ve been filming and directing some of my videos that haven’t been released yet.
You are also a fashion model. Do you consider modeling also as a form of art? If so, what’s the difference between being an artist as a model and being an artist as a musician?
I think everything that modeling surrounds is incredibly artistic- makeup, hair, clothing, styling, photography, film, etc. And working with those creative teams to come up with an image is a chance to see art come to life. I guess it depends on how much a model is involved… if you’re actively involved in the art direction, then yes absolutely, but some modeling is simply being cast in a part, standing where someone tells you to stand, and helping them to create their vision…and in those cases, not really, you’re basically a mannequin. But with social media, some models are actively involved in their aesthetic and branding and artists as well, so it depends.
Is it true that you shaved your head for a U$100 bet?
Haha yes, my boyfriend bet me $100 that I wouldn’t do it. We used my roommates razor, but didn’t know what we were doing so didn’t use a length comb… so it was as close of a shave as you can get. I was totally bald and I loved it. I recommend everyone does it once in their life, it feels amazing… the first shower is really fun. And it’s freeing emotionally, too.
Tell me how your creative process is. How do songs come to your mind and your heart?
I know this sounds cliche but it really is different with each song, and I’m far from an expert. Recently during the quarantine I’ve been recording vocals and guitar or piano in my room, then sending to a new drummer I’ve been working with, Ryan Adams (not the infamous one, this Ryan’s a great, talented guy) and working off of that.
We are living in a strange time, in a strange world, how do you feel about this moment and how is that affecting your future plans and career?
Yes, it’s unprecedented and strange times right now. I’ve always had to work multiple side jobs to support myself in NYC and been so busy with those, that finding time to work on music has been a struggle (which a lot of my friends also struggle with)… but these past 2 months I haven’t had to be running between jobs and have been able to stay home and focus. I think a lot of people have taken advantage of this time to learn new skills, or focus more on family, or just slow down and breathe a bit, and that is a silver lining amidst this otherwise really difficult time right now. Our society is so capitalistic and focused on more- doing more, making more, buying more- that we rarely ever have time to pause and focus on what actually matters.
What message would you send out to the world today?
I’d like to thank all of the essential workers who are putting their lives at risk and working so hard to keep us healthy and safe. And I’d like to say that if you are considered essential enough to be working during a pandemic, than you should be considered essential enough to be making a decent living wage, and hopefully the wages of delivery people, grocery store clerks, laundromat employees, and countless other essential workers are raised significantly higher as a result of this pandemic. Stay safe everyone, and pass along love in the little things each day.
Foster James @fosterxjames interviewed by Shiron The Iron @shiron_the_iron
shot by Antonio A Far @antonio_andradef