Boots became the internet’s favorite mystery late in 2013 when he was credited as a songwriter and producer on Beyoncé’s surprise self-titled album alongside super-producers like Timbaland, Pharrell, and Frank Ocean. But it was some guy named Boots who was credited with writing some of the album’s most personal songs: “Heaven”, about a miscarriage; “Blue” about Beyoncé’s daughter; and “Haunted," which maligns the music industry.
In no time, BuzzFeed, Pitchfork, Vogue, and just about everyone else took cracks at answering the question, “Who is Boots?” Reporters were calling his parents’ house in Florida, someone tried to sell photos of him, and Beyoncé fans started following him around Brooklyn. “To go from none of that to a lot of that, I didn’t take it well,” he says. Still, the 27-year-old has nothing but positive things to say about her. “The only reason she and I worked so well together is because something I had to say resonated very deeply with her,” he says. “It’s amazing that it happened.”
Jordy Asher started in Miami. He was in a string of rock bands before he and a girlfriend took a hard left turn towards indie-pop as Blonds. They broke up; Jordy moved to New York, became Boots. How he got from there to Beyoncé (and Jay Z’s label, Roc Nation) is still unknown, and Boots won’t be the first to discuss the matter. He’d prefer to talk about the future, beginning with the lead single from his upcoming album, “Mercy.”
Watch Boots play an acoustic version of “Mercy” on piano here.
Boots is sticking with his idiosyncratic indie methods. He replaces all the songs on his SoundCloud on a whim. He almost exclusively releases music without warning – no marketing or social media campaigns. And when he tours the country, as he is doing now with FKA Twigs, he prefers to get a rental and drive himself. The mystery of Boots has been solved, but he remains an enigma.
Watch Boots cover St. Vincent:
Watch Boots perform "Only" (new):
Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with the movie Rosewater. It’s no comedy — the movie is based on the experience of a journalist who appeared on The Daily Show, and then was arrested and tortured for it in Iran. Also, the man behind the band Bahamas may hail from the great white north, but he plays sunny folk-rock. And a look back to how Buck Owens stormed Carnegie Hall with the boot-stomping Bakersfield sound.
The director of the mind-bending blockbuster Interstellar explains that despite his reputation for making convoluted movies, he just wants you be entertained. Comedian Harry Shearer needed all 25 years of experience on The Simpsons to play his latest role, Richard Nixon, without embellishment. And public health officials in the 1940s turned to an unlikely source of help in their fight against syphilis: Hank Williams.