by Erinn Fortson
Arrica Rose drums up nostalgic memories for me with talks of California life during my interview with the musician. We share stories of West Coast residencies with one another, paying homage to a state we both loved living in. Rose remains a Californian and I vicariously listen to details surrounding this through my phone.
Lucky is the most recent EP release from Arrica Rose & the …’s. The album once again pairs the singer and her band with producer Dan Garcia (Rod Stewart, Christina Aguilera). “I was mastering a record and looking for a producer,” says Rose, recalling the start of her relationship with Garcia. “Dan was the first person suggested to me and we instantly clicked. It was one of those situations where I just liked all of his ideas and we felt really comfortable around each other. Being in a creative relationship with someone, you want to really feel like you can be your honest, most creative self and I think we bring that out in each other. So, that’s why we continue to work together, because it’s a good partnership.”
The six track EP was inspired by music of the past. Rose and her band mates have a unique appreciation for timeless albums and Lucky is their way of showing this. “Sitting down and listening to the records we wished we made was the inspiration for the new album,” says Rose. “Making the record also became about the concept of time, because there’s a nostalgic quality to our music which was something I wanted to explore further with Lucky. Sometimes you go back and listen to a record after you’ve already made it and suddenly you realize that all these songs are related and they create this bigger picture. Time is an integral motif in that picture.”
Lyrically, ideas for the band’s songs come from conversation. When Arrica Rose writes, she uses everyday interaction as a canvas to create a record’s tracks. “I’m always jotting things down,” explains Rose. “Someone will say a certain phrase that I can’t get out of my mind and that’s how songs usually start for me.”
Attending film school at the University of Southern California is what led Arrica Rose back to music during her early adulthood. She received a scholarship to study one art in college, but discovered she was truly passionate about another. Music had always played an intricate role in her life through familial influence and Rose’s own experience with playing in an all-female band during her teens. Scoring and other movie projects, however, is what made music a top priority again and confirmed Rose’s passion for making it.
Even though the movies took a backseat to music once she chose between the two, Rose’s love for film remains. “I really like to get involved with music videos and be part of the process,” she says. “I also still dabble in production work. Film will always be a part of what I do. It was one of those first things that I was drawn to when I was younger. Movies were always such an escape for me.”
Once finding her way back to music, Rose found her way to band members that would make up the …’s. “The group started with my drummer Ryan Brown,” says Rose. “A mutual friend introduced us and further along the way Ryan introduced me to a lot of the people I play with now, like Mark Thomas and Steve Giles. And then it grew from there. I was at this point where I didn’t want to just get on stage and play songs with my acoustic guitar. I was writing songs that I could hear other parts to. I wanted my project to not be just me. I wanted it to be a collaboration with a collective of awesome musicians.”
On April 13th, Arrica Rose & the …’s will have an official release party for Lucky at Hotel Café in Los Angeles. Scheduling more show dates this year to promote the new album are the hope of Rose and her band mates.
Rose recently did a show in San Francisco at 50 Manson Social House, but not with the …’s. Dear County is another project that Rose is involved with. Formed with fellow musician and boyfriend Mark Lynn, Dear County’s music is primarily influenced by country. Once again paying homage to the classics, Rose and Lynn model their sound after such greats like Loretta Lynn, Emmylou Harris, and the Rolling Stones. “We have eight or nine songs written so making an album is on the list,” says Rose. “But in my brain the plan went, okay, get Lucky out there first, then do some Dear County recordings.
Music is such an important part of my and Mark’s life, so we decided to do something together. We just wanted to do something simple and fun, leaning towards classic country. But of course whenever you try to steer something one way, it always ends up going in another direction. So, it’s taken on a bit of a different life than we thought.”