Jenkins performing in 2011
Stephan Douglas Jenkins
September 27, 1964
Indio, California, U.S.
Stephan Douglas Jenkins (born September 27, 1964) is an American musician best known as the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for Third Eye Blind. Under Jenkins's leadership, all five of Third Eye Blind's albums ranked in the top 40 of Billboard's Top Album Sales chart: Third Eye Blind (1997) ranked 25th, Blue (1999) ranked 40th, Out of the Vein (2003) ranked 12th, Ursa Major (2009) ranked 3rd, and Dopamine (2015) ranked 7th. Jenkins wrote or co-wrote all of the band's most notable hits, including "Semi-Charmed Life", "Jumper", "How's It Going to Be", "Losing a Whole Year", "Graduate", "Deep Inside of You", "Never Let You Go" and "Blinded".
Jenkins was born in Indio, California, and moved to Palo Alto, California, at age six. He attended Henry M. Gunn Senior High School and graduated in 1983. Jenkins got interested in music early in life. He recalls creating original musical works at the age of five using pots and pans on the floor of his kitchen at home in northern California. When he was 13, his family relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, to support his father's career, but the Jenkins family returned to the Bay Area two years later. In 1987, he graduated from University of California, Berkeley, with a B.A. in English Literature.
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Jenkins began musical work as a drummer. During high school, he performed with Fast Forward, consisting of Jenkins on drums, Nick Dement (guitar), Ben Austin (bass), and Greg Magel (guitar). Though the precocious Jenkins was still in high school, the other three were students at neighboring Stanford University. With the breakup of Fast Forward, Austin and Magel departed; Jenkins and Dement added new bassist Scott Lockhart and formed the trio Splash. Stanford University student Lawrence Schoeffler made a music video for their song "Suzaie" as part of his graduate portfolio in film production, which was broadcast on MTV Basement Tapes (1983) and won a Bronze Medal at the International Film & TV Festival of New York.
Puck and Natty
Jenkins then formed Puck and Natty (the name originating with the Shakespeare characters, but also serving as a playful poke at a well-known Bay Area jazz duo, Tuck & Patti), a 'funky rap masta' group, with Detroit rapper Herman Anthony Chunn in 1992. Puck and Natty was short lived; however, their track, "Just Wanna Be Your Friend" landed on a soundtrack album of the hit TV show Beverly Hills, 90210 in 1992. In a 1999 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Jenkins provided a synopsis of the way things went down. "'You want me to do a song for your TV show that I've never seen? No problem,' recalled Jenkins. 'It was $7,800. I bought groceries.'" The duo later changed their name to Puck & Zen because of a complaint from the jazz duo, Tuck & Patti.
Third Eye Blind
Jenkins formed Third Eye Blind in 1993 with Kevin Cadogan. They played small gigs around the San Francisco Bay Area for years and were, for the most part, unknown until they were signed in 1996 by Elektra Records. The band's deal with Elektra was later reported as the largest publishing deal ever for a previously-unsigned artist. Jenkins has written or co-written every song on the band's five studio albums and one EP. Jenkins won two California Music Awards for Best Songwriter. along with bandmate Cadogan; in addition, he was nominated three years in a row as Best Vocalist and won Artist of the Year.
As a producer
Jenkins produced Vanessa Carlton's second album Harmonium (2004) and co-wrote four tracks, including the lead single "White Houses". He co-produced Heroes & Thieves, Carlton's third album, with Irv Gotti, 7 Aurelius, and Rick Rubin. In 2015 Jenkins produced Spencer Barnett's EP "13 Summers In."
Jenkins made his acting debut with a cameo in the film Rock Star (2001) playing Bradley, the lead singer of the fictional band Black Babylon. He has also appeared in the former Nickelodeon series All That, and he appeared on the MTV candid camera show Punk'd when Vanessa Carlton was the subject of one of Ashton Kutcher's practical jokes. He also starred as the lead role in the 2003 independent thriller, Art of Revenge.
When asked about living as a high-profile musician, he stated "Am I a rock star? Yeah, I guess. I also get to live in North Beach and go to a pub and drink my pint and go to a café and drink my coffee. I carry groceries home on the tank of my motorcycle. I find pleasure in things that are simple. Is that a rock star's life? It is for me."
- "Stephan Jenkins".
- "Billboard Chart History". Billboard.com. Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
- Harrington, Jim (June 6, 1997). "Blind-sided". Palo Alto Online. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Guthrie, Julian (April 20, 2003). "He can see clearly now". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Selvin, Joel (November 28, 1999). "Blind Ambition". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Schoeffler, Lawrence. "Suzaie by Splash (see video description)". YouTube. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
- "Six-Pack: Stephan Jenkins". Rhino Records. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- "Interview: Vanessa Carlton". Slant Magazine. October 4, 2007. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
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