Marcel Mensah | Eat More Spiders
Boston’s ‘Dreamboat’ R&B Singer: Jes X LONER
If you've been searching for an R&B summer anthem then look no further. On June 3rd ‘Jes’, releases her latest single “Dreamboat” on all platforms. In a special twist of fate, the LONER team got to speak with the emerging R&B singer on Boston’s first (real) warm day of the year. We were also given an exclusive first look at the tone-setting, 70’s inspired Dreamboat release.
Wait - Who is Jes?
Jes (with one s) is a New England local, growing up 20 minutes outside of the city of Boston. LONER sat down with Jes as she broke down her inspirations, the process behind “Dreamboat”, and what it takes to be an independent artist on the come up - with a full time job. Dreamboat is not jes’ first release, in fact over the past 2 years the singer has put out; an EP, 2 Debut singles and an assortment of slow jams on her SoundCloud. In picking through her developing discography, we found two things;
She’s extremely consistent in her craft.
Jes has been fine tuning and cleaning up her sound since the very first release.
Both of these traits have come together very nicely into her upcoming release.
Jes was a dancer for 18 years, and grew up with a musically inclined father. Because of this she's spent most of her life in the performance arts. This musicality of hers really took off during college, where Jes started to really dedicate time to her craft and message.
Since a young age, Jes cites her main influences as singing groups such as the Jackson 5, Boys to Men, and Mariah Carrey - inspiration you can definitely hear when you take the time to dive deep into her work and immerse yourself in her voice.
LONER had the chance to ask Jes (probably too many) questions about her process - and in answering those questions she offered a behind the scenes look at her writing process and method for choosing which stories to sing about.
Behind the Scenes - 70's inspired, Bedroom R&B
One of the most interesting things about Jes is her two part process to making music. Every R&B slow-jam starts in her bedroom, alone at a piano, where she pours her heart out on paper, writing lyrics and harmonies in whatever way feels truest to her at the time.
It’s after the foundation is built that Jes takes these 'in development' songs to her producer CHYLD who she sits down with to develop the actual “sound” one instrument at a time. While her lyric writing is solitary, she cites the rest of her creative process as deeply collaborative.
Since her first single release two years ago, Jes has worked with 12+ different producers and, in doing so, finally feels like she’s built a team that understands her sound / goals as an artist.
Dreamboat - Out June 3rd
With her inspirations and process in mind - let’s circle back to her upcoming single.
Dreamboat is a 70’s inspired, 60’s sampled, sensual and slow R&B song that feels like a perfect culmination of the work Jes has been doing to advance her craft over the past two years.
The Chorus - “I’ll take you on a dreamboat in the sky, baby keep your hands in at all times” - is a self described metaphor for having a great time with someone that means a lot to you - a romantic feeling a lot of us can relate to.
Dreamboat, in many ways is the first “happy” song that Jes has published as most of her music has lyrical roots in heartbreak and growing apart. When we asked her why that theme seems so persistent in her music she said -
“ - A lot of the Music I grew up listening to is about love and relationships and heartbreaks. A lot of the problems I have I take to my music - and a lot of those problems have been from tumultuous relationships”.
Dreamboat is an important release not just for us the listeners, but for Jes the artist. Now 26 years old, Jes says “I’m finally at a place where I can write about my sexuality...”. Touching on the fact that sexuality really isn't something to be ashamed of - a message that far too many people have had to to grow up and unlearn.
Jes say’s now, she’s not afraid to sing about wanting someone and that while this release is a big step for her, she also feels like it’s matured not only her sound but her as a person. It’s funny how often we grow with our projects - and how the person that goes into a project is very seldom the person that comes out of it.
Jes, as talented and refined as she seems, feels like she has a long way to go - and we can't help but agree. Her music now is magnificent but it’s also just the beginning. As she’s only two years into her career, we already can’t wait to hear how she grows through her next set of releases.
Jes plans on producing a music video for dreamboat sometime in June, and based on the visual direction she's already released for the project, we're sure to be in for something really special.
Dreamboat is OUT NOW - and you can listen to it here :)