I wrote several songs that were on my record Dendrophile. And I started singing songs that really resonated with me, including "The Golden Age of Hustlers," which is a song by Bambi Lake and Jonathan Basil, who lives in the Bay Area. It's about San Francisco and Polk Street. It's an elemental song for me. And that's how I started to rediscover my own voice. I had also just been in London; I went to Central Saint Martins College for my MA in scenography, which is like performance installation. One of my teachers was talking about Nina Simone, and how when you hear her sing you hear the life that she's lived. I set out to try and make my voice reflective of my experience, so that when people hear my singing voice, they'll sort of know what my life has been like and the world that I inhabit through it. That was my goal. And it really is a very satisfying thing, I have to say.
SFBG To be concentrating on your voice?
JVB And my life, and what my voice can say.
JUSTIN VIVIAN BOND
Feinstein's at the Nikko
222 Mason, SF