The Musician Who Got Matching Tattoos With His Mom

By
Manhattan-based musician Sterling Infinity. Photo: Bobby Doherty

Sterling Infinity, Musician

I’m guessing Infinity is not your given name?
No. Sterling is my real first name, but when I was in Barcelona, this woman on the street came up to me and was like, “I love you,” and I said, “But you don’t know me!” She said, “Love is infinite and never dies.” That stayed with me, and then when my father was about to pass away, he told me I should be Sterling Infinity. 

Where are you from?
A small town in Illinois. I was the youngest of six, and we were in a traveling gospel band. My dad thought he was Joe Jackson — I was the youngest, so I was Michael. I was homeschooled and wasn’t allowed to watch TV or listen to secular music. We toured throughout the U.S., and when I was 17, we came to New York, played a show at the Hilton, and I got a production deal. I decided to leave the band. My siblings were really mad, and my father didn’t speak to me for two years.

So then what?
After that, I traveled the world. I met a flamethrower in Nicaragua, and we went to Europe. And I finally had life experience to write songs about.

Lightning Round
Age:
28.
Neighborhood: Upper West Side.
Workout: “I lift weights five times a week with a Russian trainer who told me, ‘I make you big like stallion.’
Tattoos: Five. “My mom and I just got matching roses on our thighs last week.”
Favorite museum: The Met.
Favorite designer: Rick Owens.
Fashion inspiration: “Tina Turner is my mother, and David Bowie is my father.”

*This article appears in the April 6, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.