Roanoke, Virginia isn't known as a hotbed of R&B or hip-hop, but producer, DJ, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Stimulator Jones has emerged to show there's plenty of soul in the Old Dominion. Stimulator Jones was born Sam Lunsford in Roanoke in 1985 to a family that loved music. Lunsford's mother played piano and has perfect pitch, his father was self-taught on clarinet, saxophone, and guitar, and his brother was a guitarist, drummer, and vocalist. Lunsford grew up in a house where he had instruments at his disposal at all times, and he started playing the drums at a young age, next teaching himself bass and guitar. He was exposed to a rich variety of music, ranging from jazz to alternative rock to hip-hop, and after joining a local ska-punk band called Dr. Teeth & the Elektrik Mayhem, he worked with a number of bands, including the Red Skulls, 63 Crayons, the Funk Cousins, San & Rhi, and the Young Sinclairs.
In time, Lunsford became interested in music that combined the organic sound of funk and soul with the structures of hip-hop and electronic music, and he launched his Stimulator Jones project. The first Stimulator Jones release was a cassette titled Scuffed Suede Music, a collection of home recordings built around samples that was released in 2014. As Lunsford advanced with Stimulator Jones, he used fewer samples and made greater use of his own skills as a musician, with the albums La Mano (2016) and Silver Age (2017) reflecting this progress. In October 2017, Stones Throw Records announced that they'd signed Stimulator Jones to the label, and they quickly released a new single, a smooth exercise in sexy funk titled "Need Your Body." A second track, "Choosey Lover," followed in January 2018 as Lunsford worked on his first album. Exotic Worlds and Masterful Treasures, performed strictly by Lunsford, arrived three months later. ~ Mark Deming