Jesse Boykins III ‘When You Get There’ (Prod. Hudson Mohawke)

Jesse Boykins II Purple Sneakers

If you’ve not heard of him yet, you should take note of JESSE BOYKINS III, and not just for his audacious name. The R’n’B artist has been out of action for a while but he’s back with a cinematic ballad of epic proportions.

The song opens as a slow piano ballad, with crooning oh’s and soft dulcet vocals. But not all is it seems, with female vocals creeping in and a drum beat that kickstarts too. Tension builds and the track crescendos – but just when you think it’s all going to drop, Boykins holds back.

The song is produced by Hudson Mohawke, and uses the Scotsman’s bracing remix of Jackson and his Computer Band’s ‘Vista’ as its main sample. The resulting mix is part organic heartfelt lament, part EDM club track. It’s certainly euphoric, but a cheesy Eurovision entry from Sweden, this is not.

The song descends into a dubby, off beat mash up of wailing vocals and soaring synths, and it keeps on building, seemingly never ending. If there was a video for the track, you can imagine objects and people and places rushing past in a blur as Boykins flies ever faster through time and space trying to catch up with his lover as she rushes away from him, trying to ‘get there’, wherever ‘there’ is.

From its slow beginnings, things are now well and truly underway. The song keeps on building, keeps on going – the refrain “tell me where you’re going when you get there” is repeated throughout, like a manic hyped up chant. It’s a beautiful song though and Boykins never loses his grasp or control over it.

It’s testament to Boykins’ experimentation that he can pull together two such diametrically opposing musical genres – piano ballad and techno. It works though and the result is an ethereal orgasmic five minutes. Don’t think about it too much, just go with it.

Words by Katie Rowley





British. Blonde. Beach-goer. She sounds awful, doesn’t she.