Jesse Boykins III Interview – Next Generation of Soul

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Jesse Boykins III, at age 23, has a timeless soulful sound of a man twice his age. He was recently nominated for a Soul Train Music Award and has a new album, Love Apparatus, slated for release next year. He is a neo-soul artist that puts an extra emphasis on soul, and armed with his band The Beauty Created, their records are only eclipsed by their live performances. Parlé Magazine was able to catch up with Jesse Boykins III during a stop in Houston for the “Soulcial Series.”
Parlé: You went to school in New York, what’s the best thing about New York?
JBIII: I would probably have to say the fact that you have all of these inspired people in one place at the same time. It’s definitely motivating, it’s a motivating city. You see your peers doing great things and it makes you wanna do the same thing, you know?
P: How soon do you wanna get back to Jamaica with the New York winters?
JBIII: I’m trying to now (laughs). Funny because I am on this tour and I was booked in these European cities that were colder than New York is. I’m going back to Miami after this leg of the tour is over with.
P: Talk about the process of songwriting. We have readers who aspire to break into the music business, and you have, at 23, been nominated for a Soul Train Music Award for your songwriting. Talk about the process of songwriting for you.
JBIII: I like to write from a piece of paper. Some people write from their phones and stuff but I like to write from a pen & pad. I definitely hear songs in my head and write them before I lay them down. I prefer to write the music before I get a track from a producer.
It’s your craft like anything else you wanna do, you know? It starts off as a hobby before it becomes a job. I write daily, always have. I write whatever it is, whether it is a short story or whatever. It’s not like you just get up & say “I’m writing a song today.”
People think it’s that easy because artists sing these songs but some of them are not writing their own songs. Song writing is a hard task. You have to keep people’s interests to make them wanna hear your song over and over again. Song writing is my passion, right under performing.
P: I remember hearing an artist once saying that he can fix a turkey sandwich then all of a sudden, song lyrics come to him. Is it kinda like that for you?
JBIII: That is the best time to do it because you are in the moment, you are right in the inspiration. You don’t wanna wait until you get back to the house because you can lose it.
I speak to students and when I talk to them, I tell them to go to a park or somewhere serene to write.
P: You mentioned performing. Talk about the rush of performing on stage.
JBIII: It’s wonderful. Nothing compares to it. It’s empowering because you spend all those months and years in the studio recording this album and now you are in front of the people performing. You get to see how people react to it, you can talk to them after the show to see how they received it. Like people who haven’t seen you perform live before or they have never even heard of you, if you put on a good show live, they’re like “Wow.”
I love that feeling, like when I do “It is” or “Pantyhose” on stage. The ladies get into it, the fellas get into it, and it’s a great feeling. I love connecting with people on that level.
P: You mentioned you do motivational speaking, talk about being a mentor for kids because I can tell you are passionate about it.
JBIII: Being a mentor is everything. You learn but you wanna spread your knowledge, your passion, your love, your art. Kids listen when I talk to them because they don’t see me everyday like their teachers.
I’ve been doing this for two years. I had a mentor growing up & she made sure I was going to auditions and made me believe in myself. That helped me out and made me believe in myself.
It’s frustrating at times because some kids don’t know how to research anything. I ask them sometimes “Who’s your favorite rapper?” and they are all saying Lil’ Wayne. But when I ask them who is Lil’ Wayne’s favorite rapper they are like, uhhh…
Little things like that you should know because it helps in your development.
P: You have a unique fashion look.
JBIII: I have a lot of ideas. I imagine things in my head and I wear it. It is influenced by a lot, music, era’s like the  30’s, things like that. I have a few people to help me out, point me in the right direction so to speak, then we just take it from there.
I have never been afraid of dressing outside of the norm, but I am comfortable with myself. That’s the main thing. Be comfortable with yourself and don’t worry about the next man’s opinion. Be you…

Jesse Boykins III, at age 23, has a timeless soulful sound of a man twice his age. He was recently nominated for a Soul Train Music Award and has a new album, Love Apparatus, slated for release next year. He is a neo-soul artist that puts an extra emphasis on soul, and armed with his band The Beauty Created, their records are only eclipsed by their live performances. Parlé Magazine was able to catch up with Jesse Boykins III during a stop in Houston for the “Soulcial Series.”

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Parlé Magazine: You went to school in New York, what’s the best thing about New York?
Jesse Boykins III: I would probably have to say the fact that you have all of these inspired people in one place at the same time. It’s definitely motivating, it’s a motivating city. You see your peers doing great things and it makes you wanna do the same thing, you know?

Parlé:  How soon do you wanna get back to Jamaica with the New York winters?
JBIII: I’m trying to now (laughs). Funny because I am on this tour and I was booked in these European cities that were colder than New York is. I’m going back to Miami after this leg of the tour is over with.

Parlé:  Talk about the process of songwriting. We have readers who aspire to break into the music business, and you have, at 23, been nominated for a Soul Train Music Award for your songwriting. Talk about the process of songwriting for you.
JBIII: I like to write from a piece of paper. Some people write from their phones and stuff but I like to write from a pen & pad. I definitely hear songs in my head and write them before I lay them down. I prefer to write the music before I get a track from a producer.
It’s your craft like anything else you wanna do, you know? It starts off as a hobby before it becomes a job. I write daily, always have. I write whatever it is, whether it is a short story or whatever. It’s not like you just get up & say “I’m writing a song today.” People think it’s that easy because artists sing these songs but some of them are not writing their own songs. Song writing is a hard task. You have to keep people’s interests to make them wanna hear your song over and over again. Song writing is my passion, right under performing.

Parlé:  I remember hearing an artist once saying that he can fix a turkey sandwich then all of a sudden, song lyrics come to him. Is it kinda like that for you?
JBIII: That is the best time to do it because you are in the moment, you are right in the inspiration. You don’t wanna wait until you get back to the house because you can lose it.  I speak to students and when I talk to them, I tell them to go to a park or somewhere serene to write.

Parlé:  You mentioned performing. Talk about the rush of performing on stage.
JBIII: It’s wonderful. Nothing compares to it. It’s empowering because you spend all those months and years in the studio recording this album and now you are in front of the people performing. You get to see how people react to it, you can talk to them after the show to see how they received it. Like people who haven’t seen you perform live before or they have never even heard of you, if you put on a good show live, they’re like “Wow.”
I love that feeling, like when I do “It is” or “Pantyhose” on stage. The ladies get into it, the fellas get into it, and it’s a great feeling. I love connecting with people on that level.

Jesse Boykins III doing what he does best

Parlé:  You mentioned you do motivational speaking, talk about being a mentor for kids because I can tell you are passionate about it.
JBIII: Being a mentor is everything. You learn but you wanna spread your knowledge, your passion, your love, your art. Kids listen when I talk to them because they don’t see me everyday like their teachers.  I’ve been doing this for two years. I had a mentor growing up & she made sure I was going to auditions and made me believe in myself. That helped me out and made me believe in myself.  It’s frustrating at times because some kids don’t know how to research anything. I ask them sometimes “Who’s your favorite rapper?” and they are all saying Lil’ Wayne. But when I ask them who is Lil’ Wayne’s favorite rapper they are like, uhhh…  Little things like that you should know because it helps in your development.

Parlé:  You have a unique fashion look.
JBIII: I have a lot of ideas. I imagine things in my head and I wear it. It is influenced by a lot, music, era’s like the  30’s, things like that. I have a few people to help me out, point me in the right direction so to speak, then we just take it from there.  I have never been afraid of dressing outside of the norm, but I am comfortable with myself. That’s the main thing. Be comfortable with yourself and don’t worry about the next man’s opinion. Be you…

 

 

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