Artist Spotlight: Rooted is just getting started, forcing youth and dynamism back into alt-pop

Rooted is an Asian-American band that most would need to do a double take when seen live. The group is made up of five members, all of whom are college students. The indie pop-rock band formed after performing covers of Guns ‘N’ Roses, Journey and Echosmith.

Just as they were getting started, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but that didn’t stop Rooted from diving headfirst into uncharted waters. They premiered their upcoming debut single, “Waiting,” with an accompanying music video.

Mixed and recorded at Moosecat Recording Studio and mastered by four-time Grammy-winning engineer Will Borza, the new song is a mix of sounds from the 80s and 90s, reminiscent of the pop scene of the era. The band even categorizes the new track as “older music with more depth and meaning.” “Waiting” is an ode to a crush that seems out of reach, with Lim wondering if they’ll be able to realize what lies ahead.

The idea behind ‘Waiting’ is to want something or someone in life, but to be so afraid of not getting it that you don’t even dare to try,” Lim says, according to a press release. TREND “Sometimes the expectations and goals people have of themselves can overwhelm them to the point of mental and emotional shutdown.”

The music video features singer-songwriters Shalom Lim and Genevieve Thai, bassist Valen Shieh, guitarist Karissa Lee and Selina Ye on keyboards and synth. They occupy a classroom, passing a handwritten note asking, “Do you want to start a band?” This scene directly parallels how the group of five first met in elementary school.

Throughout the music video, viewers see an array of images of the band on an art-driven soundstage, symbolizing their future careers and musical aspirations. Even though they are young, you can tell Rooted is just as ambitious and serious as any other band.

After years of waiting to perform, the band graced the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds stage this year to show off their talent, gaining a steady following afterward. Rooted also participated in the annual Los Angeles College of Music program, “Summer Xperience”, where they received mentorship from faculty members.

As Rooted continues to bring a young and vibrant sound to the alternative pop genre, their new single is gaining momentum. Recently, “Waiting” was added to Spotify’s “Best New Music” and “Indie” playlists. With these new accomplishments under their belt, the band is beginning to make their voices heard, even after just one single.

With no clear signs of further releases, Rooted will have young fans eagerly awaiting a single on streaming platforms. Yet their musical background is unique and diverse compared to many other alternative bands.

If you’re looking for a new song to listen to this summer, “Waiting” is worth listening to, but Rooted as a whole is also worth your time.


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