Brother James is the spiritual singer-songwriter moniker of LA-based producer & songwriter Justin James Sinclair, who’s equally influenced by classic songwriters like McCartney as he is by authors like Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Flannery O’Connor and more. Deeply inspired by monasticism, Justin has centered the music of Brother James around mysticism, deep personal reflection, and the daily, necessary struggle we all face to remain present, fully alive, and grateful. His stories document and guide us along the messy human process of pursuing truth and attempting to love people well.
“Brother James has a way of producing tracks that are not only impassioned but also deeply philosophical.”
“To me the biggest struggle is staying present, alive, and grateful. The most difficult thing in the world is living each moment fully alive and embracing who I am where I’m at.”
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Today I’m heading up to a monastery/hermitage in Big Sur for a 2 week retreat. (By the way, it’s been about a year since my last post. Hello.) I’m breaking the silence with this post first of all to say: I won’t have access to the outside world, except for a few minutes of wifi a day – so if you need to get in touch send me an email – I won’t see IG messages/comments and likely won’t see texts. email@example.com But while we’re here, a life update: For the past year I’ve more or less taken a break from social media completely. This trip is how I’m going to end the year – the retreat will be the first half of a 30 day “Tech Declutter” as recommended by Cal Newport in his book Digital Minimalism – cut out all non-essential tech from your life for 30 days, spend that time considering your deepest values, and then reintroduce tech carefully only in support of your values. Originally the retreat was was just an excuse to spend extended time with a singer-songwriter monk named Cyprian, but after a few unexpected turns into a few foggy, anchorless, directionless months it looks now like a much-needed time of rest and reflection. And it serendipitously lined up perfectly with the end of my time off social media, finishing Cal Newport’s book, as well as a fresh burst of energy and clarity about my beliefs, philosophy, and the direction of my career and artist project. For example, this song – largely inspired by Cyprian. It’s a little taste of what’s brewing for my artist project – a demo version of one of the songs I hope to release on streaming platforms etc. by the end of the year. If you want to hear the whole thing, read the lyrics, download it, and/or hear some other demos – head to found.ee/digdemo (link in my bio) where you can do any of those things aaaand help make these releases possible in the process! Love – Justin
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Hot take: an open ear and an open heart are all anyone will ever truly need from you. Take a moment to slow and listen to someone’s pain today. Prepping for the first Brother James show, tonight with @layniemitchell opening in East LA! Get tickets @ justinjamessinclair.com/#shows (linked in bio) ?: @thejoylee