Signed to Republic Records, 20-year-old Maryland native, Stefan James, is seeking to set himself apart from his R&B contemporaries.

Up and coming 20-year-old Maryland native, Stefan James, was just signed to Republic Records. Stefan James is seeking to set himself apart from his R&B contemporaries. The Republic Records newest family member joins iconic artists already on their roster such as The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Drake, Aminé, and Black Sabbath.

Stefan James, Inked Magazine, Inked Interview

Photography by Brian Ziff

How did music play a role in your childhood adolescence?

Music was everywhere. It’s the only way I ever knew how to really communicate.

What can fans expect from you in the near future in terms of new music?

I’m just writing about my life and being honest. Right now, the industry suffers from passionless mediocrity. No one writes for themselves, everyone only cares about material success and polluting the music industry with fabrications. I’m a singer-songwriter at heart. I’m just writing about my life, no filters.

Photography by Brian Ziff

Photography by Brian Ziff

Where along the line did you decide to pursue music as a career?

Music was never a career choice for me. I didn’t grow up considering ‘career choices.’ Making music was instinctive. It was the only thing that helped me deal. It’s my addiction and my therapy at the same time.

Photography by Brian Ziff

Photography by Brian Ziff

Let’s talk tattoos. What was your first tattoo, and how did it lead you to become a collector?

I started getting tatted when I was young and never stopped. I’m 20, and I’ve had these tattoos for years. I feel that most of these [tattoos] are reminders, and I get a new one every time I want someone or an idea to stay close.

Photography by Brian Ziff

Photography by Brian Ziff

Which is your favorite tattoo?

There are a lot. Some of the tats on my sleeves are reminders of my brother. The ones on my neck are some of my favorites; they’re reminders of my constant struggle to get better. I have a “dia de los muertos” tattoo—it’s a constant reminder that I shouldn’t grieve over the people I’ve lost on this earth, but celebrate their memory.