Jordan Asher, aka BOOTS – you may not know his name, but you’ve almost certainly heard his music.

I first encountered BOOTS on the second Run the Jewels album last year, featured on the tune Early. But I didn’t really know who he was until recently, after seeing his interview feature on NPR’s All Songs Considered. His story is nothing short of amazing, quickly going from being homeless to being signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and writing, singing, and producing on Beyoncé’s five times platinum self titled album. Asher has now jumped headlong into a career as a solo artist, with his debut album AQUARIA.

His style has elements of hip-hop, grunge, and electronic, but it’s impossible to classify. And his production savvy is the stuff of legend. His sound collection includes over 100,000 recordings he has made and organized over the years, just waiting to find the perfect home within a song. I hear echoes of Radiohead, CAKE, and Nine Inch Nails, but also Aphex Twin and John Cage. And yet there is something so wholly unique at the core of his sound, any comparison ultimately falls short.


This short documentary details his lifelong love of music, his teenage obsession with the Roland TR-808, his struggles with poverty and homelessness in pursuit of his dream, and how he still doesn’t think of himself as a producer:

And music isn’t his only creative outlet, he also wrote, directed, and starred in the short film Motorcycle Jesus, which accompanies five of his songs.

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