The grandiosely-titled Jesse Boykins III is a singer song-writer who just so happens to possess impeccable taste in producers. His latest savvy musical decision takes the form of “Black Orpheus,” the first single from his upcoming Zulu Guru album with Melo-X that will drop in October via Ninja Tune. So in the run-up to that release, Hive pressed Boykins to compile his favorite currently practicing production foils.
In 2007, me and Theophilus London started working together and he was on a label called Normrex who had MachineDrum on their roster. We just kept working together. When I first met MachineDrum he was a cool cat, like mad quiet, and we’re both Pisces so there’s a lot of similarities. But that man’s got history, from the glitch he put out to the cinematic stuff; he had this record called Want To 1 2? around the time we started working with Azealia Banks. We used to live three blocks away in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn and just chill. His music library is so huge, so we’d sit there, listen to music, smoke weed. That was it. And because we’re both Pisces the music we make is definitely fuckin’ emo!
2. Jeremy Most
Nobody really knows about him, ’cause he’s kinda like laid back, but he’s one of my heroes as far as production sounds goes. He works with an artist called Emily King.
Sinden’s cool as shit in the studio. He’ll let you do whatever, he’s pretty free with it. He’s an idea guy: He’ll lay out a thousand ideas and play me all of them. He knows how to collab. He’ll be like, “I’ve got this drum line and this synth part,” and I’m listening to it and I’ll ask him to bring the keys up, then play a little baseline. It’s like a team, like we’re working together. He’s a smart dude, and he knows how to make music that people in the moment will know and like.
4. Gold Panda
I did an EP where I hopped on Gold Panda tracks. I’ve never worked with him, but listening to his music I can hear the influences, like even when he takes samples of like his parents talking. It’s cool shit like that.
He did this remix album of Maxwell’s BLACKsummers’night album and Maxwell heard it and bought it. He paid for it to put it out officially. That’s like what people know Melo for, but he’s also a really good remix producer and a really good MC. He’s only just now starting to work with other artists — he’s like one of those hermit cats.
Stream Jesse Boykin III’s “Black Orpheus” here: