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27 February 2013

What Do U Want Me 2 Do?: Jesse Jenkins Reflects on Premiering ''LOL (Live Out Loud)"

    Jesse Jenkins can now add song promotion to his list of recent accomplishments.
  Jenkins, 20, of Arlington, Texas, was one of two Prince fans to receive an e-mail on Feb. 21 from 3rd Eye Girl-- Hannah Ford, Donna Grantis and Ida Nielsen-- who make up the artist's backing band. 
  The message contained a link to their new song "LOL (Live Out Loud)," before it was officially released on the Web site with instructions to do whatever he wished with it, he said.
  Jenkins produced a short video that night which he posted on his YouTube channel. His clip--which, at the time of this writing has had more than 4,700 views-- introduced Prince fans to a five-second teaser of the song, included artwork for the single and a, now removed, link to download the track.
  Jenkins agreed to a telephone interview with "Dyes Got the Answers 2 Ur ?s" last week, to share details of his experience:

  ?: Tell me about a little bit about yourself and your background.
  JJ: Well, I like communication; I love words. I'm from New Orleans, (but), after Hurricane Katrina hit, I moved to Texas and I've been living here ever since. I'm into fashion and I love good music. I love the power it creates... My family would describe me as a little weird...I do things on a different wavelength. I am very spiritual, I'm into spiritual things. I lived in Europe for three months and I just came back. I lived in Sweden, and I was able to visit Germany and France...I've studied eternality and I don't believe in numbers... according to the records I'm 20, but, some people might think I'm older than that...
  ?: How long have you been a Prince fan? How did you discover Prince?
  JJ: I would say I've been a fan for close to three years. I was looking for a video (on YouTube), when I saw (a performance of) "Pop Life" during the One Night Alone era at the Aladdin (Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas). But, I really became massively interested when I heard 20Ten. It was leaked on YouTube before the release. (The song) "Beginning Endlessly"... it's just metaphorical, it's poetic. I loved the title, I loved the lyrics and from then on I just wanted to hear more of his music.
  I have been amazed at his musicianship. He writes all the songs and plays all the instruments... After I heard that album, I talked to one of my friends (and) she told me I should listen to Sign o' the Times, and that changed everything, too. I kind of worked my way backwards; I listened to the newer stuff first.
  ?: Tell me about your YouTube Channels.
  JJ: "Jesterants," that's where I have the Prince playlist. That's (the channel) that I have dedicated to rants (and) share some of the things I've written. "Demonstrativerand" was my first channel (where) I wanted to demonstrate random desires. (It has) a lot of Michael Jackson material (and) it's kind of a community-based channel. I'll post stuff that inspires me. It's a personal channel, a random channel.
  ?: I heard that you had been in contact with Dr. Funkenberry before you received the e-mail from 3rd Eye Girl. How did that happen?
  JJ: Dr. Funkenberry (had been) following me on Twitter since October 2012 and (in the past) he sent out a tweet (that) said "check Jesse out, he's a cool guy." (He said) Prince and the NPG (New Power Generation) were already looking at my videos back then.
  Well... I made a video when I came back from Europe, because, I was gone for so long. While I was (in Europe) I kind of took a break. When I came back, so many (Prince-related events) had already happened. I made a video about that and it got more than 1,000 views (on YouTube) by the next day.
  Later, I got a message from Dr. Funkenberry (that) said "somebody saw your video and they really liked it...They think you're very articulate and talented." He asked for my e-mail address, because (Prince's camp) wanted to send me something. He said, (he) didn't know what (they were) going to send or anything, but, to keep on the lookout.
  Then he was doing the Spreecast (an online interactive forum where Prince-related discussions and interviews are conducted via webcam) and I jumped on board and asked Bobby Z (former drummer for The Revolution) some questions. A lot of people kept asking my questions, because there were quite a few people in front of me...
  Right after I posted "LOL (Live Out Loud)," he warned me about some people who (might) want to steal the spotlight. He said (there will be) people who think I'm an insider and are going to hate on everything I do.

Courtesy of 3rd Eye Girl
  ?: Describe the entire process once you received the song from 3rd Eye Girl.
  JJ: After I spoke to Dr. Funkenberry those few times, I didn't hear much. I made other videos, he sent me a couple messages that said "did you hear from anybody?" I said no and (he said) "don't sweat it."
  When I got the e-mail (from 3rd Eye Girl), I thought it was spam, but, I responded anyway. They said "I have a new song, are you interested?" I said "yeah!" They said it was a gift and I could do whatever I wanted with it. I asked them "are you sure I can share this?" They sent the e-mail around 8:25 p.m. and I had to wait three hours for the link.
  There was another guy on YouTube named Jake, I believe, (Jak3vision), I know that he was the other person that Prince's camp sent the song to. I knew I wasn't going to play the whole song, because, you have to be careful. I played five seconds of it (in the video) and I posted the links (for people to download the song). It was downloaded more than 1,000 times from the two Web sites I used and both reached their download limit.
  Two to three hours later, (3rd Eye Girl) e-mailed me and said they really appreciated it and (asked) if I could remove the links, but, I could keep (my) video (online).
  We (Jenkins and Jak3vision) were basically used to keep up the suspense before (the song) released. I believe (the other video made by Jak3vision) was posted (on YouTube) around the same time or maybe a little a bit after mine. You can tell he used a lot of video editing. I checked it out, I watched it and I commented. The video was taken down by Controversy Music and I think it was because he played the entire song.
  ?: How did the entire experience make you feel?
  JJ: It really did feel like a dream; it didn't feel like it was happening... I knew it was coming, I just didn't know it would come so suddenly... It was hectic getting all of those follows (on Twitter) and emails. It was suspenseful. I did tell my followers at the time that I was going to drop a surprise right after I got the e-mail (from 3rd Eye Girl).
  ?: What has been the reaction from Prince fans so far?
  JJ: On, I've gotten a lot of "orgnotes" thanking me. I have been making videos for a while an sometimes, I don't think people understand my approach. I'm not an expert...I haven't even been to a Prince concert yet. What I know about him now inspires me to have the album discussions on my (YouTube) channel. I've had people question me about it, thinking it's a set up. But, I have no connection to Prince. 
  When Dr. Funkenberry told me he (Prince) was watching the videos, that was enough. I'm not one of those guys that thinks everything Prince does is good, (but) I appreciate his depth, his innuendo, his mystery...His music is spiritual and it changes me. He is human just like we are and I don't worship him. Overall (the response) was positive, (but) there have been some negative (responses).
  I'll never ask anyone to follow me on Twitter, or "like" me or "share" me... Someone said "you are the chosen one"... I just appreciate his work and I'm thankful that he shared what he (has) shared for so long.
  ?: Have you been contacted by 3rd Eye Girl since you premiered the song?
  JJ: The last message I got from them just said thank you and you'll hear from us soon...I wouldn't mind being contacted again, but, I'm glad to just have had the opportunity and having it come out the way it did.
  ?: What are you hoping for, as a fan, in 2013?
  JJ: To see Prince live for the first time, that's the one thing I'm looking forward to. I would love an official DVD release of (the) Montreaux (Jazz Festival), that's one of my favorites...I'm looking forward to new music. I'm (also) looking forward to the Billboard Music Awards and (Prince's upcoming performance on) "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."  I hope he performs "Screwdriver."
  ?: What do you hope will come out of this entire experience?
  JJ: I think that it might open some doors for my communication, (but) who knows what will come out out it? I'm humbled with what I do. It's always a surprise when somebody likes what I do... But, whatever comes out of it, like Prince would say, I surrender my expectation...
Courtesy of 3rd Eye Girl

Check out Jenkins video introducing "LOL (Live Out Loud)" on YouTube.


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  1. As much as anything else Jessie has a refreshing ,contemporary perspective on the music.Respect & Good Times Ahead Y'all:-)

  2. Right on, Jesse! Thanks for sharing that story.