Jesse Boykins III is an artist. He may be cited as an rnb singer, a songwriter, a producer and he’s even working on a documentary. But he doesn’t want to be pigeonholed. While the defiance of genre is a cliche that seems to be screamed by the majority of artists nowadays, with Jesse – whose concepts seem to spread way beyond just the music he releases, sonically reinventing himself as he goes – it feels like it’s warranted.
His latest record Love Apparatus, sees the Brooklyn-based vocalist collaborating with electronic producer Machinedrum to question and explore love as we know it. Our love for one another, for what we do and our appreciation for the world around us.
To coincide with the album, Jesse has also been working on a documentary about women. Released in weekly segments, the work-in-progress film sees Boykins questioning women about their views on relationships, gender and love.
We hopped on Skype with Jesse for an insightful conversation about the album, the films, women, love and why you better not label him Neo Soul. Pay close attention and you might just learn something…
How has the reception to Love Apparatus been so far?
I feel like people are receptive to it. Everyone who has heard it, and listened to it have appreciated it. I was actually a little surprised at first because I thought it might have been a bit too different for my fanbase, but they’re receiving to it so it’s good.
And what about the documentary side of the project?
I don’t think people understand that part yet. I knew it would be a little different. I mean as far as the women go, the women who watch it, they love it. So that’s interesting to me, but people are slow to that aspect of the whole concept.
What came first, the songs or the documentary?
It was the songs. The songs inspired the questions for the documentary. Most of the album speaks on balance and left-or-right decision making, which path you choose within a relationship. So that’s pretty much how I came about with the questions for the documentary. And halfway to finish the album I started the doc.