Boots (musician)

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Boots
BOOTS shadow.jpg
Boots in 2015
Background information
Birth name Jordan Asher Cruz[1][2]
Genres Alternative R&B, experimental hip hop
Occupation(s)
  • Record producer
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • rapper
  • director
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboards
  • guitar
  • drums
  • bass guitar
  • synthesizer
  • percussion
Years active 2011–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website darkdaze.tv

Jordan Asher Cruz,[3][2] better known as Boots (stylized as BOOTS), is an American record producer, singer, rapper, songwriter and musician. He first gained recognition in 2013 for his significant contributions to American singer-songwriter Beyoncé's critically acclaimed self-titled fifth studio album.[4]

Career[edit]

2012–13: Early career and working with Beyoncé[edit]

Jordan Asher Cruz was a frontman of bands such as Blonds,[1] Young Circles, Blond Fuzz and Stonefox.[5] In June 2013, he was officially signed to rapper Jay-Z's entertainment company and Sony Music Entertainment imprint, Roc Nation, under the pseudonym Boots, for publishing.[6] In the same month, a fashion film (starring Chanel Iman and Viktoriya Sasonkina) featuring music by Boots was released.[7]

With his contributions to Beyoncé's self-titled fifth studio album, released in December 2013, Boots came onto the music scene largely unknown.[4] Upon the release of Beyoncé, he updated his Facebook page, saying he had been "working on [Beyoncé] for most of the past year", and that he had "produced 85% of [the album] and [had] four original songs on the album".[8] Boots contributed additional production, background vocals and instruments to the album's first R&B/hip hop single, "Drunk in Love", featuring Jay-Z.[9][10] Beyoncé later referenced Boots' work on the album, saying he is "a new producer that [she] completely respect[s]", that "he is an innovator", and she is "so proud to work with him".[1]

In an interview with The New York Times, Boots would not speak of his previous projects or how Beyoncé found his demo, only confirming he signed a publishing deal with Roc Nation in June 2013. A last-ditch bout of songwriting yielded “I'm On To You,” a moody minor-key song with layers of eerie background voices and a particular rhythmic undertow. He saw it as a template for a solo album. “That song was my heart,” he said. At his first meeting with Beyoncé, he had already written songs he believed would resonate with her, but she was more enthused by his experimental material. Beyoncé refused to leave the song alone, saying to Boots, "This shit has to knock harder than any rap album out there." The song became "Haunted", and the previous title "I'm On To You" was instead recorded as a phrase in the song's refrain.[11][12]

Following an infuriating meeting with a record label, Boots wrote the stream of consciousness rap from "Ghost" and played it for Beyoncé in the early stages of recording. She identified with its content as she had similar experiences from signing a recording contract at a young age. Boots made the song in a hypnotic state, saying, "I started with guitars, just building the layers until they resembled Aphex Twin soundscapes. And then I completely contained them within the beat".[11]

2014: Solo releases[edit]

On February 13, 2014 Beyoncé's official Facebook page shared a link to Boots' personal website which contained an original composition titled "Dust" with an accompanying music video.[13] The song was of the first to be released which featured Boots singing lead vocals.[14]

On March 11, 2014 Boots released two more songs. One titled "Howl"[15] as well as another titled "Autumn (Lude I)" which featured R&B artist Kelela. The release of "Autumn (Lude I)" included another music video, directed by Boots.[16] "Autumn (Lude I)" featured Boots rapping instead of singing.[17] On March 25, 2014 Boots yet again released two songs. The first was a song titled "Ride Ride Ride" which reportedly featured background vocals from Sia Furler.[18][19] The second song titled "Alright", featured Boots prominently rapping. In the song, Boots mentions selling "1 million in one week", alluding to Beyoncé's album surpassing one-million digital sales in its first week.[20][21] On April 8, 2014 Boots released two more songs on his Facebook page. The first titled "Sheep/Lookin' Muthafucka (Lude II)" is a two part song. The first half hears Boots singing quietly over an electronic and orchestral arrangement. The second half features Boots rapping with a motif that plays heavily off of Nicki Minaj's "Lookin Ass". The second was a song titled "My Heart Is a Stone Today (Unharmed)"[22][23]

On April 11, 2014 Boots uploaded a photo to his Twitter reportedly of a track list. The track list contained all of the songs he had previously released. Prominent features listed were Shlohmo & Jeremih, Kelela as previously mentioned, Son Lux, Margot and a final feature that is unconfirmed.[24] He later went on to announce that the track list was a mixtape titled "WinterSpringSummerFall" but did not confirm a release date.[25] In July 2014, Boots scored the trailer of 2015 film Fifty Shades of Grey using a slowed-down version of "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé who re-recorded the song and string arrangements by Margot.[26][27] On September 8, 2014, he released his first single, "Mercy", on his SoundCloud account and on iTunes. On September 11, 2014, he released a video for "Mercy", directed by himself[28][29] On October 31, 2014, Boots performed "Early" with Run The Jewels on the Late Show with David Letterman.[30][31] On November 6, Boots released the new song "I Run Roulette."[32]

2015–present: Motorcycle Jesus and AQUΛRIA[edit]

On February 19, 2015 Nowness premiered a trailer for a post-apocalyptic film titled Motorcycle Jesus, which was written and directed by Boots, which featured five original songs.[33] In an exclusive feature story with Jon Pareles for The New York Times it was revealed that Boots would be releasing a solo album "later this year". The interview also revealed that Boots had produced unreleased albums for British singer FKA Twigs and Autolux.[12] On March 18, 2015, Boots performed "I Run Roulette" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The performance—which featured Boots, two drummers, and a light show—garnered rave reviews from critics.[34][35][36][37][38]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
Heat.

[39]
Aquaria
  • Released: November 13, 2015
  • Label: Columbia
14

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details
Motorcycle Jesus
  • Released: March 3, 2015
  • Label: Canvasback/ATL
#DARKDAZE
  • Released: February 13, 2018
  • Label: Self-released

Mixtapes[edit]

Title Album details
Winter Spring Summer Fall[25]
  • Released: May 6, 2014
  • Label: Self-released

Guest appearances[edit]

Songwriting and production credits[edit]

Title Year Artist(s) Album Credits Written with Produced with
"Haunted" 2013 Beyoncé Beyoncé Co-writer/Producer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter Beyoncé
"Drunk in Love"
(featuring Jay-Z)
Additional producer - Detail, The Order, Beyoncé, Timbaland, Jerome Harmon
"No Angel" - Caroline Polachek, Beyoncé, Patrick Wimberly, James Fauntleroy
"Partition" - Timbaland, Jerome Harmon, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Key Wane, Mike Dean
"Jealous" Co-writer/Producer Noel Fisher, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Eric Proctor, Rasool Diaz, Brian Soko Detail, The Order, Beyoncé, Hit-Boy, HazeBanga
"Flawless"
(featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
Additional Producer - Hit-Boy, Beyoncé, Rey Reel Music, HazeBanga
"Superpower"
(featuring Frank Ocean)
- Pharrell Williams
"Heaven" Co-writer/Producer Beyoncé Knowles-Carter Beyoncé
"Blue"
(featuring Blue Ivy)
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter Beyoncé
"Lie, Cheat Steal" 2014 Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 2 Additional producer - EI-P, Little Shalimar
"Early"
(featuring Boots)
Featured artist/Co-writer Jaime Meline, Michael Render -
"A Message" 2015 Kelela Hallucinogen EP Co-writer Kelela Mizanekristos, Alejandro Ghersi, Dominic Salole -
"Glass & Patron" FKA twigs M3LL155X Co-writer/Producer Tahliah Barnett FKA twigs
"Figure 8" Tahliah Barnett FKA twigs
"I'm Your Doll" Producer - FKA twigs
"Mothercreep" Co-writer/Producer Tahliah Barnett FKA twigs
"SelectAllCopy" 2016 Autolux Pussy's Dead Carla Azar, Greg Edwards, Eugene Goreshter -
"Soft Scene" Producer - -
"Hamster Suite" Co-writer/Producer Carla Azar, Greg Edwards, Eugene Goreshter -
"Junk for Code" Carla Azar, Greg Edwards, Eugene Goreshter -
"Anonymous" Carla Azar, Greg Edwards, Eugene Goreshter -
"Brainwasher" Producer - -
"Listen to The Order" - -
"Reappearing" - -
"Change My Head" - -
"Becker" - -
"6 Inch
(featuring The Weeknd)
Beyoncé Lemonade Co-writer/Producer Abel Tesfaye, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Danny Schofield, Benjamin Diehl, Terius Nash, Ahmad Balshe, Dave Portner, Noah Lennox, Brian Weitz, Burt Bacharach, Hal David DannyBoyStyles, Ben Billions, Beyoncé, Derek Dixie
"Thieves! (Screamed The Ghost)"
(featuring Tunde Adebimpe)
Run the Jewels Run the Jewels 3 Co-writer Jaime Meline, Michael Render -
"2100"
(featuring Boots)
Featured artist/Co-writer Jamie Meline, Michael Render -
"Panther Like A Panther (Miracle Mix)"
(featuring Trina)
Co-producer - EI-P, Little Shalimar, Wilder Zoby
"Didn't I (Say I Didn't)" 2017 Vic Mensa The Autobiography Co-writer Victor Mensah, Alexander Baez, Darian Garcia, Carter Lang, Ernest Wilson, Malik Jones, William Pulliam, Jonathan Tanner, Tyrone Griffin Jr. -
"Have Fun Tonight" Fischerspooner SIR Co-writer/Co-producer Warren Fischer, Casey Spooner, Jonathan "Michael" Stipe, Andy LeMaster Fischerspooner, Michael Stipe
"Take Me Apart" Kelela Take Me Apart Co-writer Kelela Mizanekristos, Dominic Salole, Alexander Shukburgh -
"Everything Is Just Alright" 2018 Fischerspooner SIR Co-writer/Producer Warren Fischer, Casey Spooner, Jonathan "Michael" Stipe, Andy LeMaster, Michael Cheever Michael Stipe
"I Need Love" Co-writer/Co-producer Warren Fischer, Casey Spooner, Jonathan "Michael" Stipe, Andy LeMaster Michael Stipe

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Davis, Justin (December 19, 2013). "Finding Boots: The Mysterious Producer Behind Beyoncé's New Album". Complex. Retrieved December 24, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Castillo, Arielle (January 22, 2010). "Tonight's Stonefox Show in Fort Lauderdale Is Likely the Band's Last". Miami New Times. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  3. ^ Finney, Ross (October 28, 2014). "Boots 101: A primer on the mysterious Roc Nation producer". Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b Tanzer, Miles (December 13, 2013). "Meet Boots, the Unknown Guy Behind Beyonce's New Album". BuzzFeed. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  5. ^ Castillo, Arielle (January 31, 2012). "Q&A: Blonds on Backing Up the Hype; Show Tonight at Bardot". Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  6. ^ "Photo Posted by Boots". Facebook. June 1, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  7. ^ "Spectral – An eye exam like no other, Starring Chanel Iman". Vimeo. June 26, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  8. ^ "Boots Shared a Link". facebook.com. December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "Beyonce Album Credits". beyonce.com. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  10. ^ "How 'Beyonce' Stayed a Secret, and Which Songs Will Be the First Singles". Billboard. December 13, 2013. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Greene, Jason (January 21, 2014). "Beyoncé's Muse". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "After His Coup With Beyoncé, Boots Strides Out of the Shadows". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  13. ^ "Happy Birthday Boots". Facebook. February 13, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  14. ^ Greene, Jason (February 13, 2014). "BOOTS – Dust". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  15. ^ Greene, Jason (March 11, 2014). "BOOTS – Howl". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  16. ^ "BOOTS – Autumn (Lude 1) (feat Kelela)". Dazed. March 12, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  17. ^ "BOOTS – Autumn". Complex. March 12, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  18. ^ "BOOTS – Ride Ride Ride". Spin. March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  19. ^ "BOOTS – Ride Ride Ride (feat Sia)". Time. March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  20. ^ "BOOTS – Alright". Dazed. March 25, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  21. ^ "Beyonce's Album Sales Cross 1 Million in iTunes". Huffington Post. December 19, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  22. ^ "Beyonce Producer Boots Drops Two New Songs: Listen". Idolator. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  23. ^ "BOOTS – "My Heart Is A Stone Today (Unharmed)" & "Sheep/Lookin' Muthafucka (Lude II)"". Stereogum. April 8, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  24. ^ "BOOTS Track list". Twitter. April 11, 2014. Archived from the original on April 21, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  25. ^ a b "WinterSpringSummerFall". Complex. April 12, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014.
  26. ^ Feeney, Nolan Feeney (July 24, 2014). "Fifty Shades of Grey: The Story Behind Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love" Update". Time. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  27. ^ Nostro, Lauren (July 24, 2014). "Interview: BOOTS Talks About Reworking Beyoncé's "Crazy In Love" and Scoring the "Fifty Shades of Grey" Trailer". Complex. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  28. ^ "BOOTS - Mercy". YouTube. 2014-09-11. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  29. ^ "Boots". Bootsonboots.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  30. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  31. ^ "Run the Jewels and Boots Perform "Early" on "Letterman" | News". Pitchfork.com. 2014-11-01. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  32. ^ Geslani, Michelle (2014-11-07). "Boots shares new song "I Run Roulette" — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  33. ^ "Nowness". Nowness.com. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  34. ^ "Watch Boots' Larger-Than-Life Tonight Show Performance". Stereogum.com. 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  35. ^ "Watch Boots Destroy "I Run Roulette" on The Tonight Show | Pigeons & Planes". Pigeonsandplanes.com. 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  36. ^ Vain, Madison (2015-02-26). "BOOTS scorches on Tonight Show, plots U.S. tour". EW.com. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  37. ^ "BOOTS Ignites The Tonight Show With "I Run Roulette" Live Okayplayer". Okayplayer.com. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  38. ^ Kaye, Ben (2015-03-19). "Boots lights up the stage on Fallon — watch". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2015-12-31.
  39. ^ "Boots – Chart history". Billboard Top Heatseekers Albums for Boots. Retrieved March 17, 2016.

External links[edit]