HM meets The Bullitts
Jeymes Samuel aka The Bullitts is in Hotminute’s humble opinion one of the creative geniuses of our generation. The self professed Metamedia Storyteller – metamedia as he tells his stories through the arts of moving image and music – is soon to release epic ‘They By Die Dawn’ (TDBD) - Oscar and Grammy worthy we think. We just had to get this dude in the HOT seat before his sure to be *TDBDblowingupofstratosphericproportions* so read on London town.
HM: For those hermits who don’t know, Jeymes please introduce yourself to London town and let them know exactly what The Bullitts is all about.
My name is Jeymes Samuel aka The Bullitts. It isn't a band, it's just the moniker that I make my music under. People used to refer to my songs and tracks as 'Bullets' and I loved the Steve McQueen movie Bullitt so the name and spelling kind of stuck. One man is a plural so to speak.
HM: We’re here to talk about your album ‘They Die By Dawn & Other Short Stories’ amongst other things. There’s a distinct Western/Country feel throughout, what inspired that?
It was organic. I create from the hip without a second thought. I think, I create. I don't pay attention to anything else outside of what is in my head so my songs are different sonically to anything else you're likely to hear.
With the song 'They Die By Dawn' it just came out sounding like a Western movie. I was in Ennio Morricone Zone I guess. So I played all of these instruments and then sampled myself back (I always do that) and the song just happened. That song laid a foundation for the album, maybe not sonically, but thematically.
HM: The visuals for your tracks are immense!! My particular fave is Landspeeder closely followed by the Storyboard P short. It’s as if the track was composed by following his movement, is that how ‘Close Your Eyes’ came to be?
The song 'Close Your Eyes' was inspired by two things; The first being 'Un`Chien Andelou', it's a French short film directed by Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel. It's beautiful and I couldn't get those visuals out of my head. The second inspiration came from the song 'Doll On A Music Box' from the film 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' by Sally Ann Howes. It's amazing. Watching her sing and straight up do The Robot is easily the biggest influence on 'Close Your Eyes'.
BUT, in the recording process of my album I happened upon the street dancer Storyboard P, who is in my estimation the illest dancer in the world. He became an inspiration for so many pieces I've created. Watching him is like a celebration of life. That's why in the beginning of the Storyboard P/Close Your Eyes video, you hear an Afrobeat type acoustic version of the song. I actually composed that piece to Storyboard dancing.
HM: You showcase your comedic talent in Supercool. I love that Rosario Dawson is up for anything but what about the British public, how did they respond to you giving Rosario a show in the middle of Soho?
Haa. Good question! I told my cameraman to not show the people gathering behind him, just keep filming us (no pun intended). There was a huge crowd off-camera and they all thought it was real, because the whole piece was filmed in a single shot, one take and no rehearsals.
The crowd loved it, but they were equally like "WHAT THE HELL?!"
HM: Lucy Liu features as a narrator on the album. What was it about Lucy that made her your pick to narrate?
I literally woke up one morning and said to myself; "I need Lucy Liu to narrate my album!" That was it. Every time I watch her on screen, I would always marvel at how beautiful her voice is. It's amazing. I used to watch her on Ally McBeal and want to fall asleep to her voice. Yet, she has such a sexy, dangerous, deadliness about her that makes her the perfect femme fatale.
HM: Idris Elba and Jay Electronica are also part of the ‘They Die By Dawn & Other Short Stories’ magic. That’s a lot of HOT talent under one roof what was life in the recording studio like?
It is amazing beyond words. Picture this; The Bullitts headline The Big Chill festival with Kanye West. On stage I have Lucy Liu narrating, Idris Elba DJing and Jay Electronica as my wing man. It is literally like a dream state. Off the meat racks!!!
HM: Back in 2011 you’d mentioned that this would be part of a trilogy is that still the case? If so, how soon can we expect part two?
Absolutely. I aim to release Part II by the end of the year. No big visual so no long wait. Just a dope ass album with an ill narrative.
HM: So in terms of the creative what came first ‘They Die By Dawn’ the album or ‘They Die By Dawn’ the movie.
I started recording the album first, just as a collection of the songs that were running around my head. But I always had the movie in mind since I was a kid. The thought of a Western showing people of colour that REALLY EXISTED always appealed to me. I never thought I would do it this soon though. But in the words of Victor Hugo, "Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come."
HM: Was it your intention to hold off on the album release for two years? Did you always intend it to accompany the movie?
At first I wanted the album out immediately, like all artists. But when I shot 'They Die By Dawn', I wanted to wait until I could load up the gun properly and fire off. It was worth it, because in the words of Martin Lawrence in Bad Boys; "When I come, I come with the thunder!".
HM: Talking of the movie how did you assemble the HOTTEST cast in the history of hot casts. I mean just how connected are you?
I wasn't connected at all. I'm literally just a man with a plan. A kid from Harrow Road, West London. But I would fly to every single place the actor that I wanted was. I would meet with them and explain my plans for the film and one by one, they all came on board. It was wicked man. I assembled my Dream Team of talent to tell a story and bring to life characters that previously had no voice.
HM: Being that you’re from the UK, and us Brits aren’t known for our westerns, how did you go about researching and writing the script?
Well I am a die hard lover of the Western. I love it beyond words, so it would be startlingly insulting when I would watch how Asians, Hispanics and Blacks are portrayed, so I started researching the subject. I just wanted to find out if there were any cowboys and cowgirls of colour. We all learn about Calamity Jane but never get told about Stagecoach Mary.
In researching, I came upon this rich history of the Old West with so many people of colour and so many stories about them. So I put them all in one place at one time and assembled them like The Avengers. And wrote a story around it. I guess one can say that I am a lil' bit of a gangster. Ha!
HM: So without giving everything away give us a breakdown of the ‘They Die By Dawn’ storyline.
Four outlaws arrange to meet up in a saloon owned by Stagecoach Mary (Erykah Badu). Each outlaw has a bounty on their head. They have a shootout. Last man standing collects the bounty on the rest. Classic western shootout… but there is so much more!
Everything. Baz Luhrmann, Jay-Z, myself and Anton Monsted put together the music for the movie. That was the team. Numerous meetings, studio sessions, travelling, late nights, planning, scheduling, and the most amazing conversations. It was a wonderful experience.
Jay-Z wanted me to do it with him I think because I do both music and film. We met through Jay Electronica and got on like a house on fire. Jigga is the coolest guy on the planet… Literally.
HM: ‘The Notorious Nine’, is that the sequel to ‘They Die By Dawn’? Please say you’re aiming for a HOT trilogy of ‘Fistful Of Dollars/For A Few Dollars More/ The Good, The Bad, The Ugly’ proportions?!?
Haha. Yeah 'The Notorious Nine' is the feature length sequel to 'They Die By Dawn'. It is seriously dope. I'm firing on all cylinders creatively, from the score to the visuals. I was searching for that "Wow" moment. I have found it. And then some.
As far as a trilogy, let's just say that I'm continuously expanding the western universe of what was initially TDBD. I won't give too much away, but in the words of Loaded Lux; "You gon' get this work!".
HM: I imagine your creative genius of a mind like a Dali or Escher painting an abstract maze of interconnectivity. What painting do you think best portrays you?
I think the 'Untitled (Skull)' painting by Jean Michel Basquiat best describes me. I relate to that the most because it shows all of those passageways into ones head and it visually describes my various ideas and non linear thought process.
HM: With so many talents I bet there’s more we don’t know about, care to share?
Haaa. I don't know what my talents are. I always feel that I get paid for breathing, because I always make music and film and would do it regardless. I think if I have other talents it would be my ability to recall information. I have a ridiculous memory. My mother always said I suffered from Hyperthymesia…. which incidentally is the name of the next album by The Bullitts. *Diddy voice; Take that. Take that!
HM: Lastly as a Londoner we need to know your fave HOT spots to…
- get a trim: I never cut my hair. Literally ever.
- catch a movie: Westfield Vue, Shepherds Bush and The Electric Cinema (Portobello Road)
- get new threads: G-Star Carnaby Street (strictly for jeans) and The Library, South Kensington.
- hangout with the boys: Momo bar and restaurant, Heddon Street, W1.
- grab a coffee: Electric House, Portobello Road.
Don’t worry we won’t be stalking you….much JS: Haa. Get your stalk on. It just means I'm successful.
We are literally hyperventilating in anticipation of the cinematic history TDBD will make when it hits these shores. Now Jeymes, will you quit pressing the flesh Stateside and bring your baby on home so us Brits can also marvel in your genius!! We’re serious dude!!
See for yourselves peeps this is the hotness is store for us when TDBD the movie hits our theatres - check out the explosive trailer ↓
Interview: Enam G/ @hm_teamenamg • Images: Provided by Jeymes Samuel