For nearly a decade now, Brooklyn-based, multi-talented artist Jesse Boykins III has been evolving past the confines of genre to spill out his soul. From exploring the most important, meaningful aspects of the human experience to making music that sounds like R&B broadcast from another planet, Boykins III has been blending together soul, pop, funk and everything in-between to tell the stories of love, bonding and beauty in all their twists and turns. Today, he’s back with a surprise new project to convey the concept of “love without restraint or rules.”
Released as a joint venture with award-winning music/audio mastering outfit LANDR, Jesse Boykins III’s new BARTHOLOMEW album serves as his debut release as LANDR’s very first “Artist In Residence.” Today’s drop is also the inaugural release for LANDR’s Arist In Residence program in general, and comes to us courtesy of the renowned startup and WeTransfer, who teamed up with Boykins III to make BARTHOLOMEW a free download. Billed as a “totally collaborative process,” the new full-length boasts contributions from Willow Smith, Isaiah Rashad, The Internet’s Syd Tha Kid, Dot Da Genius, DJ Dahi, Mick Jenkins, Kilo Kish, Audio Push, Dej Loaf. The 17-track piece is breathtaking in its scope, both in the number of styles and genres it runs through and the way it utilizes it diverse range of collaborators. Just like Boykins says his project is “love without restraints or rules,” the sound showcased here is music without any genre-lines or borders.
With BARTHOLOMEW, Jesse Boykins III once again takes listeners on a cinematic trip through his ruminations on love and the deepest connections all humans can relate to. “Soundtrack” is one of the words Boykins uses when speaking on the inspirations behind his latest, and his new release can definitely be utilized as an eclectic, story-telling soundtrack for fully reflecting on past and current lovers. Out of all the projects he’s released so far, this is definitely the closest Jesse Boykins III has come to creating his very own audio-movie via album.
To understand more of the processes behind BARTHOLOMEW, we exchanged some words with Boykins to discuss the project, LANDR, his collaborations and more. You can stream the new album from Jesse Boykins III and check out our Q&A with him below. Free downloads of BARTHOLOMEW are available via WeTransfer here.
For your new release, what made you want to team up with LANDR? What is it specifically about the company that you connect and relate to?
They are innovative, They’re open to understanding the important of quality being shared across all levels of music whether it be independent or major label.
As LANDR’s first “artist in residence,” what do you hope to bring to the table artistically and what are their intentions with the “artist in residence” program?
Creative freedom in a space where you can control the energy, and build spaceships in peace.
If you could, explain some of the sounds, styles and creative movements that helped inspire your new project, BARTHOLOMEW.
Mainly by cinematic scenes developed in my mind. Film score, soundtrack.
If you had to boil BARTHOLOMEW down to one mission statement, what would that be?
No expectations, all inspiration.
Are there any specific narratives or themes at play with your new project?
Love without restraint, or rules.
For BARTHOLOMEW, you worked with a diverse range of high-profile talents. Out of all the collaborators featured on the project, which ones did you enjoy working with the most? And, which collaborators do you find yourself listening to on a frequent basis as of right now?
I’m a fan of everyone on the project, that’s why they are all on the project.
If you had to pick just a few songs to best represent BARTHOLOMEW, what would those be and why?
They all represent Bartholomew… take your pick.
Concerning the collaborative tracks with Willow Smith, Isaiah Rashad and Mick Jenkins, explain how those came together.
They’re friends. We respect each other in music and also creative direction of what we do as artists. Met the super honest authentic Zay a year ago at Red Bull Studio LA through the awesomely gifted Lil Simz. Mick the young passionate verbalist and I have been wanting to work together for a while and were finally able to be in the same city to make it happen. Willow, she is a supernova. Working with her alongside Syd Of The Internet was truly a magical moment in the process of Bartholomew.
Next up, what do you have planned? Anything specific in the works for your next collaboration with LANDR?
Nothing that I can reveal. Just Love.