Artist Spotlight by: Neud Kiros
James Fauntleroy has been a model employee of the music industry. After writing for everyone from Britney Spears and New Kids On The Block to Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake, the latter of which won him a Grammy, Fauntleroy moved into features. He’s best known for appearing on Drake’s “Girls Love Beyoncé” and the GOOD Music hit “Clique”, but was also featured on J. Cole’s “Born Sinner” and Big Sean’s “World Ablaze” among other hip-hop/R&B songs. On top of all of this, he was part of four EPs under the collective Cocaine 80’s which includes No I.D., Common, and Jhené Aiko. But after paying his dues in the industry, Fauntleroy is ready to move into making his own music.
So far, he has released “String Theory Acoustic” and “The Warmest Winter Ever” in May and late November, respectively. Both are short but sweet offerings. In terms of instrumentation, Fauntleroy almost exclusively uses his voice and an acoustic guitar. It seems like something you’d hear from a YouTube singer/songwriter sensation rather than a Grammy-winning, industry-backed artist. Regardless, it showcases Fauntleroy’s ability to create warm melodies with a minimal sound. There are a lot of harmonizing background vocals, which create an old-school R&B warmth. If that sounds enticing, take a listen to both of his releases here:
Fun Fact: “Fertilizer” on Channel Orange, is a cover of a Fauntleroy song of the same name – it’s really good.