Jesse Boykins III - Plain

Unquestionably, JB3 is one of my favourite upcoming R&B/soul acts. Arguably, he was one of the early pioneers behind the alt-R&B sound that’s penetrating the mainstream bit-by-bit, though in the intervening years he’s added many more strings to his bow, and arguably now thrives when in a more positive, livelier soundscape.

That’s precisely what we get from the lead single from his anticipated Love Apparatus LP (landing on 22nd April). The production is built on vibrant percussion, adding a quick (but not intimidating) speed to proceedings, tempered by the gentle melodies floating above it, with the soft synths and samples being almost lullaby-esque when isolated away from the collected piece. It’s a good combination of soulful melodies and a more modern style; it’s a testament to good craft (and mastering) when such divergent layers fit seamlessly together. That unique backdrop sets Jesse up perfectly, as his vocals move beautifully between his trademark drifty, airy style and a more energetic, extroverted delivery. His vocal gifts have never been questioned, and it’s another strong performance from one of the most naturally gifted acts on the scene today.

He’s even demonstrating new tricks in the video, with a fun, high-energy visual of Jesse breaking out some slick dance moves from start to finish. His carefree nature makes for an infectious positivity, and definitely makes this a good watch. Hopefully, this single is the one that breaks him through that next barrier. Available now.

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