Vanessa Contenay-Quinones (born in Paris, France; aka Vanessa Quinones, also known under the musical alias Vanessa St. James as part of the dueting Vanessa St James and Lou Reed Sunday Morning 2004) is a London-based singer-songwriter.
Contenay-Quinones was influenced by a wide variety of music early in life with the sounds of the 50/60's being predominant. She was born in Paris, but raised in the Canary Islands in her early years before returning to Paris (releasing her first record by the age of 16). After that, she moved to England to start her music career. She settled first in Brighton, absorbing the dance music culture and starting up Latin infused beats and samples pop duo Espiritu with Chris Taplin, before moving to London.
In the mid '90's she co-wrote/co-produced and recorded as the primary member of Espiritu, assisted by former Frazier Chorus member Taplin. Two Espiritu albums and six singles were released in this time, the album 'Always' being a Japan (EMI Japan) only release and featured the UK and Japanese hit single 'Always Something There To Remind Me'. The second album 'Another Life' was released in the UK by Heavenly/Deconstruction-BMG and in Japan by EMI. In 2003, she co-founded the band Vanessa and the O's alongside Smashing Pumpkins co-founding member James Iha, Popsicle's Andreas Mattson and Niclas Frisk of Atomic Swing releasing debut album 'La Ballade d'O' in 2005. In 2009/10 she started work on the 60's French pop inspired solo project 'Allez Pop!' working with Alex Rizzo and Elliot Ireland of Skeewif in London releasing the album Vanessa presents Allez Pop! to rave reviews.
In August 2012 the second Vanessa & The O's album 'Stories For Watering Skies' was released in Japan. The European release via Grand Palais/Modulor Paris France has been announced by the artist for April 2013.