Originally in issue #12
Article by Julie Dean
A makeup artist turned musician and fashion designer, Star is channeling his penchant for the shock factor into more and more mediums. And yes, I said “his.” Don’t let the hair or lipstick or eyeliner or high heels or, well any of it, fool you. Actually, ask him and there is no gender to his existence – “I’m a mannequin.”
With a flair for the dramatic, the 21-year-old’s latest release, Cupcakes Taste Like Violence, has helped accumulate over 50,000,000 plays on MySpace. The techno-pop beats and over the top lyrics have helped Star carve a niche in the wide open of the thousands of bands floating across the popular site. Whether it’s your thing or not, Star’s cult following and widespread success is undeniable.
Substream caught up with the self-proclaimed “Queen Bitch Supreme Among Internet Royalty” to get a closer look behind the pop culture phenomenon that is Jeffree Star.
SMP: Tell us about some of your ventures.
JS: Well, in the beginning I was just a makeup artist and I never really pictured myself doing anything else. But now that I have so many doors open, I kind of want to be that indie rock Paris Hilton – but with actual intelligence – she’s just stupid.
SMP: What was your big break?
JS: I think it was working for Kelly Osbourne. I looked so crazy when I was younger and I was always doing makeup. So I would go to these clubs and I never sought anyone out. I don’t really care who anyone is but they would come up to me and be like, “Wow, you look so great.” It was kind of my own business card.
SMP: Your mother was a model and you began experimenting with her makeup at a young age. How did she influence you?
JS: Well, we used to not really get along. She’s really sensitive and I’m really harsh and crazy. Our clashing made me move out, which I think is good because when I see people who are 23 and living at home I’m like, “Wow, you might want to go do something with your life.” So now we are a lot closer. She really motivates me to do whatever the fuck I want to do.
SMP: How does makeup bridge into music?
JS: They are ways I express myself. They’re my creative outlets. But now music is way better for me. When I’m in the studio writing and recording is when I’m the happiest.
SMP: How important is MySpace in the creation of your fame?
JS: I was involved with all those sites in high school where you post your picture and someone says something really rude or rank people. I had a lot of free time after school, so I always had a really popular profile. So when MySpace came out I had like 30,000 friends and went over to MySpace. Way back before they had new features, you couldn’t change your “top eight,” so it was me and that hooker Tila Tequila in people’s top eight. I posted really crazy pictures of myself and had blogs about image and self-esteem and how I hated everyone and it really caught on.
SMP: How have the issues of sexuality and gender played a role in your career in general?
JS: So many people are close-minded. They aren’t open with themselves. I want to be that punch in the face that says, “Who cares!” The more people try to hide sexuality, the more it’s going to be brought up. Like that Katy Perry song or I’m putting out this song, “Lollipop Luxury.” It’s very sexual and fun so we will see what happens. I like to make fun of sexuality, especially with gender. I guess if you’re like 14 and you stumble across my page, it’s like, “Is he a guy or a girl? Does he have a vagina?” It’s funny.
SMP: Can you tell me about your tattoos?
JS: I have like 75. The first one I ever got was the word “cunt” on my ankle. I became obsessed with portrait tattoos and one of my best friends is Kat Von D. I have some pretty cool ones. I have an obsession with beauty queens. My favorite is JonBenet Remsey but I have one of Princess Diana, too. That’s kind of something else – the media really only pays attention to white people. I think America is really racist.
SMP: Why did you add a free song for your fans on your MySpace?
JS: It had been so long since I’d put out any new music. It was kind of a thank you to everyone for waiting for my music. Everyone is stealing music anyway, so I figured I’d give this to people who were buying merch and stuff like that.
SMP: Walk me through a day in the life of Jeffree Star.
JS: Well, every day is something new. It’s kind of like Hurricane Katrina. Some days I’m recording or going shopping or having a group orgy. Maybe today I’ll go to Louis Vuitton and have sex with a straight guy. I have to balance my time.
SMP: If you could be on tour with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
JS: Spice Girls. Lil Kim and Cobra Starship.
SMP: You have a shocking image. What are you addressing with your aesthetic?
JS: My whole life is a contradiction on purpose – to make you think. I think people have forgetten how to have their own opinions. They’re always waiting for someone to tell them what to do and what to wear – it’s so boring. I use really crazy subject matter, like all of those pictures of me throwing up and cutting myself, it’s to make people think rather than be so mediocre. Instead of just seeing another girl with implants, I want to have meaning to what I do.
SMP: You have the last word. What would you like people to know about you?
JS: I don’t know how it happened, but everyone thinks I’m this crazy bitch. Maybe because I don’t have eyebrows. A lot of bands talk shit about me and I post a blog calling them out. Fuck them. The future is bright pink so put on some sunglasses, bitches.