LALIN ST JUSTE
singer & songwriter | Oakland, California
“showing your humanity is always the way to go”
she sings. she sings with a band, she sings alone. she sings to heal, she sings to change. she sings for the people, she sings for herself. “it is a voice that i use to heal, to process the world we live in, to go beyond this reality.” and what a a voice it is. here, how (and why) Oakland singer / songwriter Lalin St Juste does it all.
where do you live?
“i live in Oakland, California with one of my closest friends, Deepa. i have lived here for the past two years, after living in El Cerrito. i love Oakland and being just a few minutes away from friends and events.”
what do you do — professionally, personally, passionately?
“i am the lead singer of a band called The Seshen, as well as a solo singer / songwriter. i am passionate about Blackness, queerness, literature and nature, to name a few things.”
what path led you here?
“i have always loved to sing as way to express myself. it is a voice that i use to heal, to process the world we live in, to go beyond this reality. being an artist allows me to incorporate the various components of my identity and create a sound outside of spoken language.”
WHAT INSPIRES YOU? DRIVES YOU?
“what drives me is the power of transformation and healing. what drives me is each possibility for change. what inspires me are those who came before me, such as my ancestors, and those who are here who are continually crafting a new paradigm, a new world. i’m inspired by those who allow their imagination to go beyond an already defined construct.”
how do you approach your music? what do you hope to achieve?
“i hope to achieve the ability to connect and inspire and heal through my music. i want my music to serve the listener... in a variety of moods and emotional states.”
why do you do what you do?
“performing on stage is special because i get to connect in a visceral way to the people inhabiting the space with me.”
something you’ve learned “on the job”?
“that striving for perfection is not the answer; showing your humanity is always the way to go.”
what's the single best thing you bought, read, did, listened to, saw, cooked and /or dreamed up so far this year?
“i’m reading the Secrets of Voodoo and i love learning about Haitian culture, which is my heritage. i’m looking forward to singing for people again.”
three random items you can’t live without?
“guitar, journal, keyboard.”
all-around life hack you swear by?
“travel points on credit card.”
not-so guilty pleasure?
“binge-watching RuPaul’s Drag Race.”
“i love myself.”