Style, success and working with Beyonce.
Fashion Editor: Rhys Marcus Jay // @rhysmarcusjay
Styling Assistant: Effie Bilal
Photographer: Joel Smedley // @smedleyshots
Photography Assistant: Joe Richardson // @josephleerichardson
Videographer: Nakaash // @kashkam
MUA: Eliza Clarke // @liiza.j
Art Director: Jade Adeyemi // @adeyumyum
Interviewer: Lynn Moyo // @mongamelii
“Everything that I make has a tangible feeling to it, has an emotionalism to it. I’m just making art, I’m expressing myself.”
Starting by creating music when he was 12 years, Saint Jhn’s steady rise from a boy who was inspired by his brother’s love for music to a Hip-Hop star in his own right is undoubtedly something to marvel at. Self-assured, with an unquenchable desire to be great, it would be Saint’s artistic obsession and unflinching self-expression that would catch the eye of Hip-Hop royalty and Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke. Biggs would eventually sign the singer, songwriter and record producer to his management company, and the rapper’s stock would continue to rise steadily
With a sharp mind, lyrical fixation refined by penning hits for some of the top artists of the decade, a flair for hypnotising melodies and unmatched style, the Brooklyn-based rapper is one of the most exciting artists to emerge the past couple of years. His album’ Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs’ with its breakout track ‘Roses’ which would award Saint his first top 10 entry in US charts and would land at number one on the UK Singles charts only further cemented what a lot of us already knew; Saint Jhn is a star.
Only at the genesis of his moment, Saint Jhn is a dynamic artist who is the embodiment of everything creativity should be. We caught up with Saint Jhn during his stop in London. Read the exclusive interview below:
How have you found your time in the UK?
Sexy. Quick, short, direct, and Jamaican food. That’s how I’ve spent my time.
What’re your thoughts on the Jamaican food here in London?
I love the Jamaican food out here! You can find fire Jamaican food in New York too but outside of New York, this is probably second best. Of course, Jamaica being number one.
Growing up between Guyana and New York, how did that shape not only you but your sound and approach to making music?
I think it just changed what I listened to, I grew up listening to Jay in New York and when I was in Guyana I was listening to Beenie Man, so for me having Jay and Beenie Man is a bridge between them. I didn’t know this dynamic at the time, all I knew is those were the things that I liked but that’s because I was deep in the culture and I was responding to what was affecting me as a kid. Think about it, that combination is a result of what you get from my music now.
Okay, what are you listening to at the moment?
Uzi just came out, Lil Baby just came out, Megan the Stallion just came out, so as the records come out I’m listening. I’m a part of the culture, I’m from this so I’m listening. I’m excited to see what people do, I’m excited to see how far they push it forward, Lil Baby’s project is fire, Lil Uzi’s project is fire, Megan the Stallion is pushing it forward, I love seeing women in a hip-hop take a strong position like that so I’m listening. There’s some new kid I’ve never heard of, that somebody’s going to play me tonight that I’m going to listen to and probably dive into their whole project. I’m just listening, I’m scouring the internet trying to find gold.
You’ve been spotted at fashion weeks around the world a few times, where does your interest in fashion stem from?
I think I like the expression of clothes, I don’t necessarily care about fashion. I don’t know who designed what, when they designed it, what they meant by it, what the inspiration was, those things aren’t important to me. I’ve never been fascinated with things that are hype-driven, things that are socially important because somebody said so, I like what I like. I like colours, I like prints, I like textures and all I’m trying to do is make myself a little sexier than I was in the morning when I woke up.
In the past, you modelled for Gucci, and recently we’ve seen artists such as Offset Playboi Carti, and Kid Cudi walk the runway for some luxury brands. Is that something maybe we can see you doing in the future?
Yeah, I think it would be cool. I did it before I could do it again, maybe do it a little better. When I did the Gucci campaign it was for the fragrance, I guess I smelt good so maybe they wanted me to smell good with that. I like that. Let’s do it again.
What are your favourite fashion brands?
The people I really respect and I love what they’ve done. I love Pyer Moss and Fear of God, those are important designers that represent the culture that I come from, and the places that I come from and that’s a bigger story for me. I identify more when the stories written for me, with a name that I recognise and a title that I can repeat, characters that are reminiscent of at least a reflection of myself. I’m more excited about it.
I think there’s a Jay-Z line ‘what’s better than one millionaire? Two especially if they’re from the same hue as you’.
He said it best.
Will we see you delve more into designing? You already have your own merch and clothing line.
Yeah, the Not a Cult collection. I’m already making clothes. I started making clothes because people wouldn’t give me clothes, designers wouldn’t loan me clothes, I didn’t know where to get things from and I was too poor to really go buy the things that I wanted so we started making them. I figured if he can charge $1500 for this hoodie and that hoodie cost $150 to make why couldn’t I just make the hoodie I wanted to make without he or she.
What’s next for you?
I’m constantly working on new collections, I think of music as collections. So collection one came out in 2018, 2019 Ghetto Lenny Love Songs came out, every single summer, every year you’re going to see me. I shouldn’t make it summer, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. I like collections and seasons are important, you got to see something from me every 12 months at least. It has to happen because that matters to me, I want to exist in space and time.
Any final words for the readers?
If you know me, don’t know me, you’re just getting to know me. I’m just getting started.