First Listen: Jesse Boykins III Dives Into Complex Relationships On New Album ‘Love Apparatus’


In the heart of Times Square, there’s an artist making noise, and it’s not a local street performer.

Chicago export Jesse Boykins III is hosting an intimate listening session at Quad Studios in NYC Wednesday night (April 9), giving listeners a sample of his album, Love Apparatus.

He says the project, co-produced by with Machinedrum, doesn’t fit into one particular genre. “I feel like my past albums could only be put in one genre like good Soul music,” he tells VIBE. “Now this [Love Apparatus] could be called pop, it could be called indie, it could be called soul, it could be called dance, it could be called electronic. I’ll just call that the world really. I always make music with my heart and my soul, and it’s truth, so ‘world soul’. Honestly, it’s everything.”

The ambiance was also everything, setting an intimate mood with dimmed lights and cushion pillows propped for attendees to lay back and unwind to the sounds of Boykins. The album, however, was a roller coaster ride of emotion, filled with all the ups and downs of a relationship.

Boykins penned a heartfelt lesson into each of the 14 tracks offered on his LP. “I took my time with every song and I wrote from my heart and I feel like what I needed to communicate on each song emotionally happened,” he said.

The album, which the 29-year-old said took five years to craft, is broken into two sections: the connection you share in a relationship (“Show Me Who You Are”), and the disconnection when you grow apart (“4 U 2 B Free”).

The spectacled, big-haired crooner is no stranger to creating music about the intricacies of a devoted relationship, given his past track record including the Cupid-approved “Come To My Room,” and the tissue box companion “Sobriety.” But for his forthcoming album, the Pisces singer just wants his fans to take risks, face challenges, and experience progression.

“When different perspectives are presented to you and you’re open enough to take it in and learn, that’s what most of the songwriting came from,” he says, “that experience and that lifestyle and wanting to take in as much information as I can and wanting to experience life to the fullest.”

Jesse Boykins III’s Love Apparatus hits all outlets April 22, just before hi scheduled performance at Irving Plaza in New York on May 3. Check out the rest of his tour itinerary below:

May 17 – Bootleg Theater – Los Angeles, CA
May 21 – The Howard Theatre – Washington, DC
May 24 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA

Photo Credit: Dondre Green