Published on December 10th, 2019 | by Marilyn Reles0
Vaporwave, Jujitsu, & Synth Pop – A Q&A with Blaque Rose
Blaque Rose is a retro-electro pop artist from the Pocono Mountains. His international fan base digs his use of nostalgic synths and vaporwave visuals, channeling an old yet trendy time. Preceding his 2020 EP release, Blaque Rose has released a visual for his single “Funky Vibe” – shot by Denz with the Lenz and animated by Pitchfork motion designer, Anthony Esquivel.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Blaque Rose to learn more about the inspiration behind his colorful visions and the effect his surroundings have had on his creative process.
What inspired you to partner your synth-pop sounds with retro visuals? And what about the 1980’s visual animates you the most?
I love watching old videos from the 80’s – back then, they took a lot of effort to make and they weren’t cheap. But those videos took you to another place because they were so trippy and so futuristic (Sci-fi) The era gave you a lot to think about – I think we’re supposed to be more advanced than what we are right now. A synth is a futuristic sound – It blends well with the 80’s animation and the younger crowd loves it. It’s something different then what they’re used to – like the official video for Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”. That video and the wall movie inspired me a lot and gave me a lot of ideas. Their videos had a lot of meaning; every time you watch it you see something different than you did the first time.
“Funky Vibe” follows your singles “Chosen One” and “Needed You”, which received an animated response from listeners overseas. Do you expect your new single to do the same?
Oh definitely! They understand the art! A lot of my fan base is comprised of artists who paint pictures or make sculptures…clothing designers..you know, people who respect fine art. And I’m touching people in Western Europe! People don’t realize that Russia has some cool as vibes now. The country is opening up more to the world and there are so many cool kids doing some really cool things with music, art and fashion. So big up to them – I love my Londoners as well! They have been supporting me from day one. Especially in the hip-hop scene; I network with a lot with my people from London. Europe loves “Needed You” and “Chosen Ones” a lot – they literally blew up my SoundCloud when they heard “Needed You” – they were going crazy! I still want to shoot a video for that song and it would be cool to shoot in Russia and/or London.
You said you partnered with Pitchfork animator Anthony Esquivel to create the new visual. Tell me about that collaboration and how it came about.
Yeah, Anthony Esquivel is a very cool Animator….very down to earth guy . When I first saw his work I immediately fell in love with it. I knew he was going to be the right fit for the collab; He hand drew everything out like the roses and stuff…definitely gave it an 80’s aesthetic. I feel really happy with his work because we wanted to give the video that old school feel.
Tell us about your LIVE show experience. Do you often play out? If so, do you play solo or with a larger band?
Yeah I usually play solo a couple of times a month, but this upcoming year I’m going to be playing with LIVE musicians. People don’t understand how hard it is to put a band together. Everyday struggles get in the way sometimes – with people, it’s all about timing. But in due time it will come and I just have to stay positive and keep on pushing. You can never give up on your dreams; you may not have what you want at the moment but when the opportunity arises it will reveal itself to you. You just gotta be ready when it comes to you.
What is the best show or concert you’ve ever seen LIVE?
It was a summer way back when… I don’t remember the year but, it was one of those boring afternoons & my buddy said “Hey I got an extra ticket to a show, do you wanna come with me?” I said “Sure why not!” So he picked me up and I ended up going to a sick ass kiss concert – it was amazing man… seeing these guys fly through the air spitting fire and giving the crowd a wonderful performance! I still think about that time till this day. I saved the Ticket Master ticket… that’s how much I love it. It was pretty cool seeing them play like that.
When you’re not writing new songs, what do you do? Give us a look into the life of Blaque Rose.
I work like the average American does. Trying to get to my goals…..financial freedom! Isn’t that what everybody wants? hahaha. I do many things when I’m not running around like crazy… I like helping other artists with their projects or sharing information with others because, you wanna know something? We are all we got so, if you got a good team, stick with them. It’s hard to find good people that want to work hard and build because in this music industry, you can get eaten alive.
I also love investing in other ventures. You always have to have a plan A, B, C or D – If one thing doesn’t work then you always have something else to fall back on. Since I’ve been grinding out my new EP Supernatural, I haven’t really had the time to go on a consistent basis to my boy Matt Prez’s American Killer Bees MMA gym to work out and have fun with those guys. I’ve been learning some cool Jujitsu! Or, I love to sit and read a good book – I’m a big fan of Manly P. Hall. I love to learn about the great works and read philosophy and history. I could be a nerd at times; we all have something nerdy that we do. Nowadays, we don’t have time for the simple things in life. Days and nights are getting shorter and shorter it seems. If you got time to run away for a few hours and do what you want, do it. You owe it to yourself to have a good time so, go out and be creative!
You’re from the Poconos – does the mountainous aesthetic of the region you live give way to introspection and inspire you to write?
At times it can be very peaceful. Especially in the summertime. Hearing the trees blowing and the birds chirping; it does give you a sense of peace. I’m actually from New York City (Flatbush, Brooklyn) and growing up there and then moving up here is a totally different world. I love to get really creative and start writing in the winter time because some days you get snowed in with 20+ inches and outside is completely covered with snow so, I use my time wisely to hop in the studio and start writing. It’s cool when you don’t have all those distractions interrupting the writing process; that’s when the supernatural things start happening. Open your third eye and dream and create magical music that inspires …positive vibes.
What’s your favorite food? We all have one.
I love all types of vegan foods. I use to be a vegan back in the day so I kind of balance that in my lifestyle. Still, I love pizza… yum yum…especially New York style pizza. I am very picky when it comes to pizza. Not everyone makes good pizza. I should have a show talking about pizza. I think we make the best pizza in New York City – from the crust to the sauce. They say it’s in the water, what makes the dough so good. I also enjoy West Indian food. My family is from the West Indies so we eat a lot of rice and beans. I can probably eat a whole pot of it it’s so good…never gets old lol.
What can fans expect in 2020? We’d love to know more about
We’re actually going to be releasing an EP called Supernatural. It’s a sick project that I have been working on for 2 years with my homie Nicole (Lakookala) Ranalli. It’s been a long journey. She mixed and produced some of the tracks. She’s definitely somebody the industry needs nowadays and her music is pretty dope as well. Check her out -I think she’s going to be releasing some new music as well William Chason mastered the Supernatural EP. Me and him are also going to be producing some new music for the actual album. That’s gonna be the next move for 2020. I’m working on that project we are also looking to get a band together for to actually go on tour. Looking for a cool funky jazzy band to take these funky vibes on the road. Also, I will be working on a short film with a couple of my friends; something pretty trippy so stay tuned because you never know! Also, we’ll be having merch available online as well as 12 inch Supernatural LPs. We’re constantly growing and getting bigger so stay tuned and follow me on this journey.