Our annual April Beautiful People Issue, celebrating a cavalcade of cuties to watch in different disciplines, has been such a sensation we've decided to showcase noteworthy movers and shakers all-year round on Papermag.com. We kicked things off in the city of Angels, and will be posting an L.A.-based Beautiful Person a-day for the next few weeks.
Our Lady J might be the only trans artist making updated gospel-inflected music today. A longtime singer, songwriter and professional pianist, her music haunts, uplifts and increases the fabulous quotient in a room by about a thousand percent. Our Lady J went through a brief media blitz simply for being friends with Daniel Radcliffe while also being transgendered -- trashy tabloids had a field day making offensive headlines and engaging in empty speculation. Now the joke's on them: J is the talk of the town, with a new album out and a much-talked about penchant for giving crazy, can't-miss performances. Our interview with the buxom beauty, below.
Describe what you do in 3 words.
Music, beauty, witchcraft.
What are you working on now?
I'm releasing my album Picture Of a Man. It'll be available as a free download on SoundCloud first, and then I'm releasing it on pink vinyl.
Describe living in L.A. in 3 words.
Sunshine, Silicone, Peace
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A preacher's wife.
If you got to take over MOCA, what would your first exhibition be?
I would exhibit Amanda Lepore's rhinestone collection, accompanied by live performances of Julius Eastman's entire piano catalog.
Are you from L.A. originally? If not, do you remember what your first day living in L.A. was like?
I'm from Amish Country in Pennsylvania, but I lived in New York for ten years before escaping to L.A. I remember thinking, "With all the plastic surgery that's happening here, everyone looks like a transsexual. I'm gonna blend in just fine."
What's the biggest misconception about L.A.?
New Yorkers are always saying that L.A. is vapid and empty -- but I think that's the result of a city-run brainwashing campaign in order to keep them all from moving to L.A.
Where's your favorite place to eat in L.A.?
Hugo's in West Hollywood.
Whose sex scandal is more embarrassing -- Anthony Weiner's or Arnold Schwarzenegger's?
I don't find sex embarrassing.
Who's the most beautiful person you can think of and why?
Beyoncé, although it's probably because she's having some sort of secret alien stem-cell transplants.
What's the most touristy L.A. thing you've ever done? (Or, what's the one touristy L.A. thing that's actually worth checking out?)
A night at the Magic Castle.
What's your best celebrity run-in story?
I used to be Lady Gaga's pianist at NYU, and I recently ran into her at the Chateau Marmont after not seeing her since she became Gaga and I became a woman. We gagged over each other's transformations and then giggled like little girls in her penthouse suite until the wee hours of the morning.
If you could be any star from Old Hollywood, who would you be and why?
I would be Mae West, because she got laid whenever she wanted to and never worried about her figure.
What's your favorite street intersection in L.A.?
Walden Drive and Carmelita Ave in Beverly Hills. There's an intentionally dilapidated house that looks like it's inhabited by a storybook witch.
How do we get from Chateau Marmont to Venice Beach? Give us driving directions.
Go west on Sunset until you hit the ocean, and then head south until you smell the patchouli.
SEE MORE FROM OUR BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE LOS ANGELES SERIES
Hair: Derek Yuen
Makeup: Ren Bray