Exclusive Track Premiere: ‘Stranger,’ Wrestlers feat. Jesse Boykins III

Published October 8, 2015

ABOVE: WRESTLERS. PHOTO COURTESY OF DREW REYNOLDS, RED BULL SOUND SELECT, AND CONTENT POOL.

While producers often remain behind the scenes, Houston-based production duo Wrestlers has landed live performance slots throughout the U.S. and Canada, including at Lollapalooza, Counterpoint, and more. Together, Aidan Kennedy and David Elkin produce tracks ready for the dance floor, but retain the soul behind more underground R&B and pop. Tomorrow they’ll digitally release the two-song single “Perennial” via Red Bull Sound Select, with features from Jesse Boykins III and Shy Girls. Here we’re pleased to exclusively premiere “Stranger,” the track made in collaboration with Boykins.

“The song started out with myself and David locking ourselves in my studio until we had a couple of demos to show for it,” Kennedy tells us. “Jesse is without a doubt one of the front runners in today’s R&B game… When he came into the studio, [we] pretty much gave him free reign with the lyrics and meaning of the track.”

As Kennedy explains, “Stranger” focuses on romantic ambiguity, and Boykins’ smooth vocals layer perfectly atop Wrestlers’ funky electronic, bass-heavy, and dance-worthy production. When creating the song, Boykins also taught Kennedy and Elkins a thing or two—even if it was about Justin Bieber.

“Somehow [Justin Bieber] came up in conversation,” Kennedy recalls. “Jesse asked if we had heard his record Journals, to which we said, ‘Of course not.’ He stopped the session, sat us down, and played some songs. Having someone like Jesse show us his growth as an artist made us appreciate his craft more than I thought I ever would.” With a laugh, he continues, “But hey, Justin is doing just fine without my endorsement.”

“PERENNIAL” WILL BE RELEASED TOMORROW VIA RED BULL SOUND SELECT. FOR MORE ON WRESTLERS, VIST THE DUO’S SOUNDLCOUD.