Interview: Boulevards – The Future of Funk

With two releases to his credit, Jamil Rashad AKA Boulevards is ready to bring his latest vision of modern-funk to the masses. Hurtown, USA will see release on December 8th, 2017 blending classic influences with Rashad’s unique flair and swagger.

To celebrate the forthcoming album release, we interviewed Rashad to go along with streams of singles “Wear & Tear,” “Steady” and “Nu Burn Ave (Intercruise)” which features Neon Indian. Check it all out below and pre-order your copy of Hurtown, USA here.

Hi, Boulevards! Congrats on your new album. Can you tell us a little more on who you are and how you first got into making music?

My name is Jamil Rashad aka Boulevards, born and raised in Raleigh North Carolina. I started getting into music when I was 16. My father worked in the music radio industry so music was always a part of my life. I started writing poetry and the making songs. I dabbled in punk rock, hardcore, producing hip hop and etc. I went solo and just locked myself in my room for hours trying perfect and make progress on my craft.

What’s your songwriting process like? Who are some of your biggest influences?

My songwriting process is usually simple. I work with producers/composers in the studio or sometimes via email. We do everything from scratch and send each other demos and notes to build the songs we want. My biggest influences are Rick James, Prince, Earth, Wind and Fire, Grandmaster Flash, Whodini, a lot of disco and boogie.

What are some of the larger themes at play on Hurtown, USA? How did it come to be?

Hurtown, USA is about self reflections. Dealing with loss, running out of time, heartbreak. This record drove me to the point of insanity. H had a lot of things on my chest, I had a lot of poetry I wanted to create into songs. I knew what I wanted to express on this record. It’s a record about driving through pain and heartbreak.

Any new Raleigh-based artists/venues/purveyors of the arts you could turn our readers onto?

My favorite artists are Lonnie Walker, American Aquarium, Zensofly, Kooley High, Towers and Ace Henderson. My favorite venues are Kings, Neptunes and Lincoln Theatre.

Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?

You guys can follow me on Instagram and Facebook, I’m playing Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, NY on December 15th.

Any parting thoughts? Open platform!

Just don’t be afraid to express yourself as an artist, keep truck’n.

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