Eli “Paperboy” Reed
Eli “Paperboy” Reed is a survivor. He was one of the first of the new wave of singers and songwriters to embrace unabashedly soulful music and he has been tearing up stages all over the world with his heart-stopping falsetto screams for over a decade with no plans to slow down. From humble musical beginnings growing up outside of Boston, at 18 Reed moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi and cut his teeth playing and singing in juke joints all over the Delta. From there he took the well-trod path to Chicago where he spent a year as minister of music the Southside church of Soul legend Mitty Collier.
Soon after returning to Boston, he was bit by the songwriting bug and released his first full length, “Roll with You” in 2008. Reed’s combination of powerful soulful vocals coupled with his strong pop sensibility as a songwriter made people all over the world stand up and take notice. Soon there were calls coming in from everywhere; television shows in the UK, festivals in Australia, and a jaw-dropping schedule of national and international tour dates. Major record labels came calling, deals were signed and Reed’s star kept rising, now with the help of song placements in major movies, television shows and commercials. The albums Come and Get It (Capitol – 2010) and Nights Like This (Warner Brothers – 2014) went on to do more than $2.5 million in total licensing, while Reed and his crack band continued to wow audiences on five continents.
After some much-needed time off, Eli recorded and released My Way Home (Yep Roc – 2016) and 99 Cent Dreams (Yep Rock – 2019). Now Reed has improbably become an elder statesman of the genre, and he’s begun seeing new artists who are taking inspiration from his unique sound. A sound that, over everything else, prizes feeling, energy, and, yes, Soul.