OutKast meets Tina Turner: Combining a unique sound of Soul, Rock, Hip-Hop, and everything else in between, singer/songwriter St. Juste, who has toured with John Legend, Common, The Roots, Life Jennings amongst others, delivers lyrics with cutting edge beats that will break the barriers of Hip Hop and bring a new perspective to the music. Her experimentation with music focuses on the mind, spirit and body. St. Juste’s sound not only reflects her passion for music but her creativity as well. Through her music she will take you on a journey of sound liberation filled with emotional lyrics and rock steady grooves.
Singersroom: Coming from a strict Haitian religious background, what made you want to become a musician?
St. Juste: It was the best form of expression I ever felt; it’s challenging, it’s alive, it’s fun. It’s a great [feeling] when you have the opportunity to perform in front of different people.
Singersroom: When you said that it’s a great feeling, is singing something that you always had in you or just something that you fell into?
St. Juste: It would appear to some as something I just fell into; a lot of people didn’t really know that I sing. It was something that I kind of kept to myself but it was something that I had always felt inside; but I just never really discuss it with a lot of people. Because the type of music that I, like I didn’t really hear a lot of it. I would hear new [music] from different artists [but] I just never really found a home for the style of music that I wanted to do. [Having found] a vehicle to express it; kind of fell into place.
Singersroom: You had an album entitled the ‘Confession Booth,’ did you feel like you had to get things off your chest?
St. Juste: It was about my Haitian Catholic background and not being so Church wise. I just remember having this confession booth going into this box and telling a person your secrets of what you’ve done wrong. That kind of dark room and another ear listening that you don’t really know. That’s pretty much how the music is when you buy an album, you’re listening to a person expressing what’s inside of them but you don’t really know them. It’s one prospective because it’s the person saying this is who I am and you write your own kind of conclusion.
Singersroom: So if a person buys your album they will have an idea of who you are as a singer, right?
St. Juste: Not really the type of singer that I am but the type of person that I am and the type of subject matter I like to sing about. More than anything my voice â¦ it’s a collage of different things.
Singersroom: Who and what inspire your music?
St. Juste: So many different things, there’s just not one particular thing. I guess my relationship with God. Like my experience with life more and the ups and down [of] things. Things that I do understand; things that I don’t understand, things that I have yet [to do]. My perspective on life as a whole, that’s what really inspires my music.
Singersroom: How important is God to you?
St. Juste: Well, when I said that God is a big prospective in my life, it’s more about my relationship wit God and not just sitting down on my knees and praying. It’s more like any parent [saying] what lessons have I learned, what lessons have I not learned, what messages have I got, what messages have I not gotten? What is my purpose here? When I said my relationship with God I am not talking about going to church getting on my knees and making a prayer but on the larger aspect.
Singersroom: What do you want people to say when they see you perform?
St. Juste: Each person have their own perspective, it’s not necessarily about what I want them to be. It’s for them to have their own experience. Some people gonna like what they see, some people are not gonna like what they see; but when I am performing in front of an audience I always want to give the very best and really convey the story and songs. So it’s really up to the individual what they walk out with but I hope they walk out feeling entertained.
Singersroom: You have played in the movie ‘Have Plenty,’ is your love for music greater than drama?
St. Juste: I can’t say that I will never go back to acting but I think that there’s so much I have to do with music right now.
Singersroom: In some of your songs you have mixed English words and Haitian words, are there any particular reasons for doing so?
St. Juste: I don’t use my background as a marketing tool it’s just what I amâ¦Even though I was born in America, on paper I have to say I am American but technically I am truly a Haitian child; both of my parents are Haitians. What really makes me American is everything outside of my body. I am proud of my culture…it’s not for marketing but it’s a part of me.
Singersroom: How do you stay true to your music?
St. Juste: Thank God my music does not have any rules; I don’t have any rules for myself. Right now I am at a point where I write all of my songs.
Singersroom: You have collaborated with Pharoahe Monch on his new album right?
St. Juste: Yeah, I wrote the hook for the first song on his album ‘Desire.’
Singersroom: What next for you?
St. Juste: I am working on putting out a new EP and a lot of writing.
—— By: Interview By Valerie Varasse