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Justin Tranter

Tranter at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.
Background information
Birth name Justin Tranter
Born June 16, 1980 (1980-06-16) (age 29)
Origin New York, United States
Genres Pop, electronic dance music, glam rock
Occupations Musician, singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2004–present
Labels Razor & Tie
Associated acts Semi Precious Weapons
Website Official site

Justin Tranter (born June 16, 1980) is an American musician and jewelry designer. He is most famous as the lead singer of Semi Precious Weapons, a New York "garage glam" rock band. His jewelry line, Fetty, is sold in major stores like Barneys New York, Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic.


Early Years

Tranter and his three older brothers were raised by his parents in Lake Zurich, Illinois. He studied music at the Chicago Academy for the Arts from 1994-98.

After graduation from high school, Tranter moved to Boston to study at the Berklee School of Music. Along with songwriting, he also took classes in business management in preparation for a career in music. Tranter graduated from Berklee with a degree in Songwriting in 3 years with a 3.9 GPA.

Music career

Tranter recorded his first album, Scratched, while still at Berklee. After graduation Tranter moved to New York where he put together his first band as the house band for an off-broadway show called Rockstars NYC. The show closed after 3 weeks and Tranter went on to record his second album, Tear Me Together.

In 2004, Tranter joined forces with fellow Berklee graduates, Cole Whittle and Dan Crean, and Aaron Lee Tasjan to form Semi Precious Weapons. High profile manager B.P. Fallon brought in Tony Visconti to produce their first album, We Love You. Funded by Tranter's jewelry sales, they originally released the album as a free download. Semi Precious Weapons signed with Razor and Tie and re-released We Love You in September 2008.[1]

On November 12, 2009 via Semi Precious Weapons Myspace Status Update-

"We are in LA making the record of our dreams"[2]

Design career

Jewelry was a natural outlet for Tranter’s creative talent as experience with his mother’s jewelry business led him to his early day job in a jewelry store after he moved to New York. Tranter’s jewelry company, Fetty, grew out of necklaces he designed to sell as merchandise for the Semi Precious Weapons shows. [3] These rock-and-roll inspired pieces consist mostly of heart and weapon themed charm necklaces and earrings. These pieces caught the eye of buyers of retail chains Urban Outfitters, Hot Topic; selling more than 100,000 pieces with the proceeds funding the self-release of the Semi Precious Weapons album “We Love You”. Fetty has evolved into a three-tiered line (Fetty, Semi Precious Weapons and Fame) available at Barney's, Urban Outfitters, Fred Segal and, as well as NYC boutique Alter. His signature line, Fetty, is sold exclusively through Barneys New York and consists mainly of 14K gold and sterling silver encrusted with Braille words in diamonds. His jewelry has captured the attention of celebrity Kate Moss[4] and England’s Princess Beatrice[5].

Branching out of jewelry, Tranter has also shared his design talents with Donna Karan. In 2008, he designed a limited-edition sneaker for DKNY.[6]

Television appearances

Tranter appeared as a guest on the E! cable network show Chelsea Lately in October, 2008. In December 2008, he also appeared as a coach on the MTV reality show MADE in which he helped a young girl transform into a 'Rock Star'.[7] You can also see him in the diner in the music video for Telephone by Lady Gaga.




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