Soul maestro Jesse Boykins III celebrates the major label release of his BARTHOLOMEW project with a hour-long visual album. Originally released independently in 2016, the singer-songwriter recently signed with Def Jam Records, who released the mixtape-turned-album across all digital music platforms on Dec. 8.
Describing the videos as Visual Expressions, Jesse stars as Bartholomew, the astral man, as blunt as he is dreamy and explorative, in other words, the ideal Jesse.
BARTHOLOMEW features an impressive roster of buzzing young artists across the R&B, Hip Hop and Pop landscapes, including Willow Smith, Syd (of The Internet), Luke James, Noname, Little Simz, AudioPush, Melanie Fiona, Bridgette Kelly, DeJ Loaf and more. As a whole piece, Jesse categorizes the film as a Sci-fi romantic comedy inspired by songs and moments on the album.
Born in Chicago, Jesse Boykins III was raised in Jamaica by aunts and uncles while his mother attended graduate school. In addition to the hymns he sang in church, he was exposed to Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and other reggae greats. Later attending high school in Miami, Jesse was turned on to jazz and was selected in his senior year to sing at various events with the Grammy Jazz Ensemble in Los Angeles. Jazz studies continued with acclaimed polymath Bilal at the New School in New York City, where Jesse learned Pro Tools and made his first experimental recordings. Developing into a writer and producer, he debuted in 2008 with the 8-track EP Dopamine: My Life On My Back; and then his first album, The Beauty Created.
BARTHOLOMEW follows up and expands the impressionist universe that Jesse conjured up on his last album, the critically hailed Love Apparatus of 2014. Watch the full visual expression above.