Though he’s spent time in Los Angeles and New York, Jamil Rashad (a.k.a. Boulevards) can’t seem to shake his Tar Heel roots. That makes his fourth album, Electric Cowboy: Born In Carolina Mud (out February 11 on Normaltown; preorder here), a homecoming of sorts—one that warmly embraces the organic grooves of James Brown, Shuggie Otis, Baby Huey and other funk luminaries. With style to spare, “How Do Ya Feel” lays out the current parameters for Boulevards’ unilateral groove-based approach.
“I wrote the song about struggling to communicate my feelings to my family and peers,” says Rashad. “Usually, I find myself being short when someone asks, ‘How do you feel?’ I reply, ‘I’m good—chillin’.’ All the while, I know things are not OK and I’m struggling to grasp onto life.”
Based on the success of 2020’s Brother! EP, Rashad continued his collaboration with Durand Jones & The Indications guitarist Blake Rhein on Electric Cowboy. Other key players include Black Pumas’ Adrian Quesada and Twin Peaks’ Colin Croom.
The “How Do Ya Feel” video—which we’re proud to premiere today—was assembled from footage captured by director Alec Basse during the Chicago recording sessions. “Alec asked if it would be cool to take some shots of the process of creating the record,” says Rashad. “It’s simple and straightforward—just us having fun being focused on creating a body of art for people to groove to.”