Boulevards is the stage name of one Jamil Rashad, a Raleigh, North Carolina-based artist raised on the funk sounds of his parents’ record collection. As a teen, Rashad dipped into the metal and punk scene of his hometown, but eventually found his way back to the soulful grooves of Rick James and some hole-in-the-wall punk rock, influences that loom large on his recently released debut album, Groove!, released just days ago on Captured Tracks.
Between the retro funk grooves of a single like “Move and Shout,” and the synth pop boogie of “Got to Go,” we were curious to learn more about the influences and inspirations of Boulevards. Rashad took a moment with our Musical Influences questionnaire to tell us more.
The First Record I Bought:
The first song I remember was Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew,” because my father always put me on to Miles as a kid and taught me the importance of Miles.
The first single I bought:
As a child was The Fugees’ “Ready or Not,” great song reminds of middle school dances!
The first live show I attended:
Some punk band in a hole in the wall spot.
The song that reminds me of home:
Most likely “Raise Up” by Petey Pablo because it’s [the] North Carolina anthem!
My musical guilty pleasure:
Top 40 music. There are some great pop songs out here I just love.
The finest song from my musical hero:
Rick James’ “Throwdown.” I have always loved Rick, he influences everything from songwriting to performance and that album is my favorite from his collection.
The song I wish I wrote:
Slave’s “Watching You.” It’s such a party funk jam. The bass lines are infectious, and so killer!
The song that should be played at my funeral:
Funkadelic’s “Cosmic Slop.”
My favorite track from my record:
“The Spot.” One of the more personal tracks from my record.
Images: Lauren Gesswein
Purchase Boulevards music on iTunes