Cambridge graduate, festival founder and owner, incredibly gorgeous, and one of our Instagram faves: here’s Chris Jammer as you’ve never seen him before…

It’s so easy to see an attractive man living his best life on Instagram and just palm him off as having nothing else to do but post brand collaborations and their meals.

What we forget, however, is that it’s a curated version of our lives and there is so much more going on behind that camera lens. More so, we cease to care about what these people actually do.

Christian James – or Chris Jammer, as some of you may know him – is much more than a #InstaHottie. He is the founder of Strawberries and Creem festival in Cambridge, the town in which he went to university.

We sat down with him after his shoot with Darren Black to talk his footballing past, the current UK festival scene and his relationship with expressing his femininity.

Chris wears: hat by Laird Hatters, shirt by Diesel, shirt around waist by R.M. Williams, jacket by Beau Homme, trousers by Nobis, socks by Hype, boots by Cheaney.

Hey Chris! Out of interest, where did you grow up?
I grew up in Burnt Oak, North West London. My dad has lived in the postcode for the majority of his life and has never had any intention of moving. It’s not the most desirable place to live but I love it.

Where did you study?
I studied at the local catholic primary school then moved on to a state comprehensive called Mill Hill County, before studying Land Economy at Cambridge. Both my parents studied there and on my mum’s side both her father and grandfather went to the college I studied at. I didn’t really have much choice but I’m really glad I put in the work and ended up there.

Chris wears: hat by Laird Hatters, shirt by R.M. Williams, inner jacket by Oliver Spencer, outer jacket by Beau Homme, jeans by Diesel.

When did you first realise you are gay?
I think I’ve always had an idea that I was gay, however it wasn’t until my second year of uni when I came out to most people. It wasn’t the easiest. My friends and family didn’t believe me at the time, and I had no Idea how my dad and some of my close friends would react due to their views and upbringing. But no one had a problem with it. I was still the same guy.

You’re a very athletic guy, so did you play for any sports teams growing up?
I played football quite seriously up until uni. I captained Middlesex County and had interest from a few premiership academy teams. At uni I played for the college and uni teams, as well as trying my hand at rowing for a while. I was also drafted in to do shot put for the athletics club.

Chris wears: sunglasses by Moncler, shirt by Diesel, leather jacket by Scotch & Soda, briefs by D. Hedral.

Did you struggle with your sexuality around your football teammates when growing up? Is it a tough environment for a closeted kid to be in?
When I was playing football seriously pre-university I was still quite unsure about my sexuality. There’s a lot of homoerotic football banter, which I probably avoided as much as possible. I think.

Do you think we’re close to having a premiership footballer come out of the closet?
I think we are close, yeah. I’ve found society as a whole has become more more accepting in the past few years. Personally, I’ve not really been affected by homophobia directly. I think it will just take one to come out to get the ball rolling.

Chris wears: shirt by Diesel, leather jacket by Scotch & Soda, briefs by D. Hedral.

What made you want to start your music festival Strawberries and Creem?
I started Strawberries & Creem in my first year at uni with three mates who I had met through putting on student club nights. We wanted to bring something different to Cambridge in terms of the music people were listening to and the sort of events on option.

Our first festival was about 1000 people in the grounds of a big country house estate. Since then we have booked the likes of Skepta, Kano, Wiley, J Hus and Nelly! When I graduated from Cambridge, I decided to take it on full time and expect to have over 10,000 in attendance this June. Off the back of Strawberries & Creem we have launched another festival in Cambridge along with a series of food festivals taking place in Spitalfields market throughout July.

Chris wears: hat by Laird Hatters, shirt around neck and bomber jacket by Diesel, bag by Fiorelli, trousers by Oliver Spencer, socks by Hype, boots by Cheaney.

What’s the biggest challenge when organising a music festival?
The biggest challenge is cash flow with this sort of business. It’s a big task working all year for a one-day event that people buy tickets for last minute! Also trying to get the balance of acts right. We usually book acts that we as a team all love and believe add something to the festival. We have to back our decisions on that and hope that people agree with us.

Chris wears: sunglasses by Moncler, cardigan by Drifters LDN, boxer briefs by D. Hedral.

Do you think there is enough diversity amongst headline acts who play the huge festivals in terms of race, gender, sexuality and age?
I think it depends on the type of music festival – especially with regards to race. The rise in popularity of urban music has lead to increased representation of black artists headlining major festivals. However, it would be good to see more Latin American and Asian acts coming through.

There is a real problem with gender within the industry. Many festivals have been called out for their lack of female representation. I think we have a responsibility as festival owners to ensure equal opportunities. There were a number of female acts we wanted to include on our line up who are killing the game right now, but unfortunately things didn’t quite work out. However, I think there needs to be a bigger pool of female acts coming through to choose from as well.

I think there is less of an issue with age and sexuality maybe because it is less openly discussed.

Chris wears: sunglasses by Moncler, cardigan by Drifters LDN, boxer briefs by D. Hedral.

What new music are you listening to at the moment?
I’m a big fan of the UK music the scene at the moment. It’s exploding with fresh music and talent is emerging all the time. I listen to quite a wide variety of genres and my best mate Preye works in A&R, so is constantly bringing me new music. Not3s has consistently brought out tunes for the last year or so, and I’m a big fan.

Chris wears: hats by Laird Hatters, shirt (left) by R.M. Williams, shirt (right) by Diesel, bomber jacket by Diesel.

What is your relationship like with expressing masculinity?
I think I generally come across quite a masculine person. I conform to most of the stereotypes in terms of my physical appearance; big, tall, muscular, and so on.

With that in mind, what is your relationship like with expressing femininity?
I’m not uncomfortable with my relationship with femininity. It’s something I really appreciate about my character to be aware and in touch with that side of me. I also think that because of my strong masculine side I am more confident with exploring and expressing femininity.

However, I think there are still barriers with it that I could break down.

Chris wears: bomber jacket by Diesel.

Styling & Art Direction // Darkwah Kyei-Darkwah
Photography // Darren Black
Grooming // Shamirah Sairally
Retouching // Ross Gillan