Xopher James is Making a Splash in the Music Industry


( ENSPIRE Entertainment ) Xopher James Seamlessly Blends His Unique Experiences with Themes of Identity and Creativity in His Music

ENSPIRE Contributor: Natalie Dean

Up and coming musician Xopher James is blending his experiences as a queer, Black immigrant to make music that is as unique and creative as he is. Born and raised in Trinidad, he brings with him a Latin influence on music and fashion.

In a recent self-produced Docu performance, he expresses the hardship not only of being an aspiring creative but of growing up in a very traditional household and needing to find himself within that environment. He also works with fellow artists and mentors at Pittsburgh’s leading cultural center, Kelly Strayhorn Theater, and has recently launched his own brand and passion project, The Island Project.

Photo: Xopher James

Xopher recently spoke with ENSPIRE:

Tell us a little about your style– from fashion to music to creative work! What inspires you? Who are your icons?

I love fusing my life experience, as a young, queer, afro-Caribbean immigrant, with my art music, and fashion. I embrace those labels but in creating my art I move beyond them. 

One of my icons is Selena. She really had a vision for what her style was. A vision that was so clear that only she can design, illustrate and produce her brand. Second, her musical expression, she could make her culture’s music (tejano music) popular and playable on American pop charts. 

For me, I want to bring my Trinidadian/ Caribbean influence to my music, fashion, and creative process to the American pop music scene. 

What message do you want to send with your music?

I want to project the essence of who I am as a spiritually evolving human being. I want to ‌show my humanity through my music. And also I want to use my voice to break the taboos around body positivity, gender fluidity, and sex positivity. That is how I try to live my life and find new ways to express my art. 

Photo: Xopher James

We would love to hear more about The Island Project in your own words. What is it, what are its goals, and how are you setting out to achieve them?

The Island Project T.I.P evolved through my reminiscing about missing Trinidad, but it also was written to embrace my new roots as an American immigrant. T.I.P is a 4-track EP that I launched in Trinidad. It is a fusion of American pop music and Caribbean influences. My goal is to make my Trinidad sound popular in the states. Writing music has been spiritual and free-flowing but what I am developing and learning is the business, social media, and marketing aspects of emerging into the music scene. Those aspects are exhausting but they are helping me learn to emerge as a unique voice with art to express.   

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am proud of how much I enjoy live performance and how much it has helped me embrace and evolve in who I am. I’ll never forget my performances at the Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Museum of Fine Arts, and other staple performance outlets in Pittsburgh. 

Photo: Xopher James

Xopher James works to ensure that Trinidadian music and culture are appreciated in the US. He wonderfully blends sounds to create music and projects that reflect his own identity and his experiences, resulting in a work that is deeply personal and inspired. 

To learn more and support Xopher, click here!

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