Justin Tranter

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Justin Tranter
Justin Tranter 2009 Tribeca portrait.jpg
Justin Tranter in 2009
Background information
Birth name Justin Tranter
Born (1980-06-16) June 16, 1980 (age 35)
Origin Lake Zurich, Illinois, United States
Genres Pop, dance, glam rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2004–present
Labels Razor & Tie, Interscope, Geffen, Cherrytree, Epic
Associated acts Semi Precious Weapons
Website Official site

Justin Tranter (June 16, 1980) is an American musician, songwriter and designer. He is the lead singer of Semi Precious Weapons, a New York rock band.

Early years[edit]

Justin 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. While at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, he started an annual AIDS Benefit[1]

After graduation from high school Tranter moved to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music. Along with songwriting, he also took classes in business management, in preparation for a career in music. Tranter graduated from Berklee in three years, with a GPA of 3.9 and a degree in songwriting. While at Berklee, Justin founded Musicians With a Mission, a scholarship fund for LGBT youth education.[2]

In 2003, Justin won an Outmusic Award for the song "Blend In," co-written with Stephanie Delk, from "Scratched."[3]

Tranter began his music career on the Lower East Side of New York City's underground club circuit.[citation needed]

Music career[edit]

Main article: Semi Precious Weapons

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.[citation needed]

In 2004, Tranter joined forces with fellow Berklee graduates, Neal Persiani (stage name Cole Whittle) and Dan Crean, and Aaron Lee Tasjan (who has since been replaced by Stevy Pyne) to form Semi Precious Weapons. He and Semi Precious Weapons opened for Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball from 11/09-5/11.[citation needed]

Since moving to Los Angeles in 2012, Tranter signed a new publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music to write songs for other artists.

Design career[edit]

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.[citation needed] Tranter's jewelry company, Fetty, grew out of necklaces he designed to sell as merchandise for the Semi Precious Weapons shows.[4] These rock-and-roll inspired pieces consist mostly of heart and weapon themed charm necklaces and earrings.

In 2008, he designed a limited-edition sneaker for DKNY.[5]

Television appearances[edit]

Tranter has appeared as a guest on the E! cable network show Chelsea Lately.[6] 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] Tranter appears in the diner in the music video for Telephone by Lady Gaga.[8]


  1. ^ "17th Annual Academy AIDS Benefit.". Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ "Semi Precious Weapons Official Bio". April 2010. Retrieved December 12, 2008. 
  5. ^ Newman, Sabrina (February 7, 2008). "StyleHive Sneak Peek: Justin Tranter's Exclusive DKNY Sneaker Line". Retrieved December 12, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Guest Appearance on Chelsea Lately". November 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ "MTV MADE: Rock Star. Season 9, Episode 30". December 6, 2008. Retrieved December 12, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Telephone (Video)". November 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2015.