St.james AKA Sarah from Byron Baes stole both the show and multiple men’s hearts on the popular Netflix series, so it shouldn’t come as too much as a surprise that her popularity as a musical artist has quickly soared too.
The luminous alt-pop artist dropped her new single ‘Aquarius’ last month and it has been very well recieved by fans. In the track, st.James’ trademark vocals clearly ring through amongst hip hop, electronic and alt-pop undertones.
“Aquarius is about shining the light on what was once hidden in shadows. It’s personal and also written from a collective point of view. The awakening of our minds and deciding to forge our own beliefs from information presented to us, rather than consuming mindlessly and regurgitating old, tired belief systems,” she said of the single.
To celebrate the recent release of ‘Aquarius’ we caught up with st.james as part of our Get To Know series to find out more about her life and music.
Check out Aquarius by St.James:
How did your artist name come about?
My sister has called me James since we were kids. We gave each other these alter egos for fun and they kind of stuck. And my initials are ‘st’ so it sort of made sense. I know I didn’t want to use my birth name to record music and I wanted something beautiful and poetic so it started out as L. st James (like W. Axl Rose). Then everyone started calling me Elle and I didn’t like that so I dropped it and it became st.james
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
I’m not sure I could use any words to describe it to her that she would understand in English! But I would probably say bubbly fun pop music. Then give a bunch of out of date references to give her an idea.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
I have a couple I’m working on in the studio right now. The one I hope to be the next single is called ‘I Just Fucking Love You’ and it’s kind of about that weird grey area when you’re in limbo after a breakup and you don’t know how you feel, you just know it sucks. But it’s kind of upbeat and if you don’t listen too closely to the lyrics you can still have a fun time vibing to the track.
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What do you love about your hometown?
My favourite thing is that you can be who you want to be here and not be judged. I have such an incredible support team here; people who want to see you win, genuinely. That’s pretty rare. The Gold Coast is also just a fun place to live, the weather’s amazing and there is always something to do!
Career highlight so far?
I can’t pick one specific one but I am always so stoked and so honoured when someone in the industry digs my music. Whether it’s a respected producer, another artist or a radio presenter. I also have to say Baes because that was such a wild ride and huge stepping stone for me.
Fave non-music hobby?
I love rollerskating. And any sunshine related activities. My friends are all pretty active so when we’re not working we will do pub crawls on bikes and lots of beach trips.
What’s on your dream rider?
I played a show at Palazzo Versace one time and me and the band were given plates to the buffet but we couldn’t eat until after we finished because it’s just too hard to perform on a full belly. By the time we finished, the buffet was over. I think about that buffet all the time. So, my dream rider would just include a tonne of really indulgent food to pig out on post-show!
Dream music collaboration?
Jack Antanoff. I am obsessed with everything he does. I feel like he’s so incredible at taking already talented female artists and just getting the absolute best out of them. I dream about the music I could create with him. Also, Max Martin, he just knows how to write catchy pop music. That would be a dream come true to work with those two.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Touring internationally. Creating music and also being in a position of influence to change some shit in the world that keeps me up at night.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
The Boys of Summer – Don Henley.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My dad told me once ’when you look out into the sky and truly see how small and insignificant we are compared to the universe, it puts into perspective how little the things you consider problems actually are. It sounds kind of harsh and depressing but it really helped me deal with the chronic, debilitating anxiety I had in my teens and early twenties.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
I am obsessed with music theory, melodic math and the formulas to write pop music. I was never good at piano theory when I was little because it bored me. But now, I could study it all day. What makes a great, catchy song.. I get myself into holes where I’m reading or watching videos on it for hours.