What? You don't know who Jesse Boykins III is? What. Okay. So most folks probably don't know about this hypnotic Jamaican-bred Brooklyn-based vocalist, with Bay Area bandmates Steve Wyreman and Anthony Coleman but, that’s all about to change – right now.
Citing part of his training to mentor and neo-soul frontrunner Bilal, this five-octave ranging songster has already shared the stage with Keyshia Cole as well as acclaimed soul acts Eric Roberson and Dwele.
And global tastemakers are steadily being taken captive; some got a first dose with Jesse's February 2008 self-released EP, "Dopamine: My Life on My Back," which features a unique sound you never knew you always longed for.
The single, "Tabloids," smashed the No. 2 spot on the Billboard Video Monitor with the video's feature on BET Jazz this past summer. And it don’t stop.
Nine months to make a baby and also the time it took for Jesse to craft his next musical masterpiece; Jesse's highly-anticipated sophomore release and first full-length album, "The Beauty Created" dropped Tuesday and it promises to do both – make your iPod knock and get a few knocked-up.
Featuring sixteen instances of audible ecstasy in a box – or tracks, "The Beauty Created" promises something old as well as something new. Boykins crafts timeless songs reminiscent of soul greats (Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye) all while combining his own unique style with a deft move towards a slightly more mainstream R&B sound.
He says the tracks were inspired by Spike Lee joints. Jesse is getting right to it with what he calls the “Deluxe Single,” including three singles – “Pantyhose,” a seductive, ethereal and synth-ridden panty-dropper, “Sunstar,” a sweet, breezy, summer-love ballad, and “Chanel,” a bass-y electro soul-jam – set to be individually released in that order.
The twenty-three-year-old embraces his craft and career experientially – as a whole, mutually inclusive; not only did Jesse write and arrange every track, but he’s also had a hand in editing, production, design and distribution for both his projects.
True to this ideal, Jesse regularly updates an eager listening community on the inner-workings of his process on his blog, ”The Life of a Singer.” When asked about the album title, Jesse answered, “I titled it after the band’s name; it was a team effort.”
Band mates include Marion "Ojay" Ross III (trumpet), Coleman II (trumpet, keys), Wyreman (guitar), Earl "Burniss" Travis (bass), Saunders Sermons (trombone), Jamire Williams (drums), Basil Wajdowicz (keys) and Jeremy Most (guitar, bass).
The artist, who often plays the Bay Area, will be back in February.
Bottom line: Co-sign. Cop it while it’s hot. Seriously.