Not many people have the privilege of saying that they helped hoist a new genre of music altogether. Yet when referencing Jack Swing and Uptown’s legendary music run in the eighties and nineties, it’s hard to leave James Jenkins out of the picture. But the music producer doesn’t have his best days behind him. Until this day, he continues to lead the pack as an educator who influences the world of music, fashion, and film.
James Malcolm Jenkins, a.k.a. Jimmy Luv Jenkins, is an entrepreneur, music producer, executive, and educator who has solidified his place amongst the halls of music business greats. He worked alongside artist Anthony Hamilton on many of his tracks, like “Nobody Else,” “I Wanna Be With You,” and many others. He has also worked alongside artists like F.S. Effect and Finesse and Synquis and companies like MCA Records, Giant Records, and Reprise Records.
But James Jenkins’ most significant milestone has to be his work with Uptown Records, the music production and artist development company behind names like Al B. Sure!, Christopher Williams, Guy, Heavy D & The Boyz, Father MC, Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Notorious B.I.G., and Soul for Real.
“Uptown Records was not only a record label but a lifestyle,” explained James Jenkins. “We were credited as the first and only record company in history to create a lifestyle where people wanted to walk like us, talk like us, dress like us, and be us.”
In those days, it was tough to land a musician on any form of charts as R&B and hip-hop were on an all-time high, introducing a slew of music icons every single day. Yet despite the clout and noise, Uptown Music had mastered the art of developing talent and churning out hit after hit. Working alongside Andre Harrell, Russell Simmons, and artist Teddy Riley—who spearheaded the Jack Swing revolution—James Jenkins would rub shoulders with some of the most influential people in the industry. Artists, rappers, singers, filmmakers, directors, photographers, and other production and media professionals became close networks and friends. And until this very day, James has kept those people in his phone book despite Uptown’s defunct status.
Much of James Jenkin’s current success comes from his earlier foundations. From a young age, the producer and executive showed thick skin and an affinity towards entrepreneurship. Luv Jenkins was always hungry for learning and success. He exposed himself to teachings and wisdom from leaders artists such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Russell Simmons, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Truman Capote, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nicky Barnes, and many others. Today, he has compiled all his learnings into a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and experience, ready to share what he knows to anyone willing to be mentored.
James Malcolm Jenkins remains pivotal in equipping and developing artists to this day, as he’s recently worked with music and entertainment icons like the Grammy Award-winning producer Billie Lennox on various recording albums and other projects. Jimmy maintains that his best days remain ahead of him as he continues to strive for bigger things. He still has his mind set on building a $100 million company and making it to the Oscars. And it’s that ambition and drive that continues to put him among influential and ground-breaking circles in the world of entertainment.
Stay up to date on James Jenkins’ projects and collaborations by visiting his Instagram profile.