Rose Quartz Sits Down With TMN To Discuss New Album, Record Stores & More [Exclusive Interview]


Denver based Rose Quartz has long been a staple in many of The Music Ninja staff’s music diets. Back in December, the now four-piece released their re-tooled, textured and evolved debut EP as a full four-piece, Leaving Now, which we fell head over heels for and most recently dropped a collaborative ‘TMN Premiere’ single with Brothertiger, “Pleasure & Pain”. Last weekend we had the chance to take in one of our favorite music festivals, The Underground Music Showcase, in Rose Quartz’s backyard of Denver, which this year featured headliners like DIIV, STRFKR, Tennis and of course, Rose Quartz themselves for one of the busiest three-day stretches we have the pleasure of consuming all year.  After taking in their Saturday performance on the Main Stage, we caught up with Ethan, Alex, Clay and Matt after an intimate and enthralling set on Sunday at the Hi-Dive to discuss the important things in life. Like disco, Schlitz Malt Liquor and loads more. Read our entire interview below.

TMN: First off, thanks guys for sitting down with us, we’ve been huge fans since it was just Ethan & Alex as FLASH/LIGHTS, and then of course to the debut Flashlights EP from Rose Quartz. We’re just going to keep it super casual, so let’s just get right into it.

So, now that you’re a full live quartet with the addition of Clay on bass and Matt on drums, there seems to have been a shift in sonic temperament from the Flashlights EP  to your most recent EP Leaving Now, which we loved. Can you talk a little bit about how that shift has affected the songwriting and recording process for you guys.

Alex: Yeah, we’ve done a lot of different things now that we’re a four-piece. We’ve been writing for the entire band now, and shifting our influences much more to a funky, disco kind of influence. We’ve been listening to a lot of the BeeGee’s, Hall & Oates, and Michael Jackson…

Clay: …The Gap Band

Alex: …Yeah The Gap Band, and a bunch of good 70’s funk and disco. And I think that just that has really helped out, and then having four people, whether it’s on stage or in the studio, just having three other people to smile at has made us want to play I guess, happier and more upbeat in regards to the music.

Ethan: And now that we’re a four-piece band, the writing style has changed. When it was just the two of us we had to write stuff that could be performed by two people and didn’t look shitty. *Laughs from the room* Which limits the kind of writing we could do in terms of our live performances. So now that we can do it as a four-piece we can write much more complex stuff with more layers, and more tasteful ways we could actually recreate live. So that was a big shift for us definitely. Just.. finding the groove.

Read the rest of our interview with Rose Quartz after the jump….

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[R&B] Tory Lanez – Say It (Prod. Pop Wansel)

say it
Tory Lanez
Say It

After teasing us with a snippet of “Say It” late last week, Tory Lanez has come through with the unabridged version of his latest single as promised. It’s barely been a month since the release of Cruel Intentions, Tory’s collaborative EP with the WEDIDIT collective, but the Toronto native is already gearing up for another full length release set to drop through Benny Blanco‘s Mad Love imprint. The fresh new tune is rooted in old school R&B, as Tory once again shows off his singing chops over an instrumental that utilizes a sample of Brownstone‘s “If You Love Me”  to perfection. The song is a bit more mellow and relaxed than Tory’s typical output, but we’re not complaining. We trust that you’ll find this one in your rotation way past the end of summer.

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[NEW] Drake – Charged Up

ovo radio
Charged Up

We’ve done our best to stay away from the whole Meek Mill versus Drake fiasco that’s dominated the hip-hop headlines this week. While we’ll continue to keep our opinions about the issue to ourselves, it’s hard to ignore this latest output from Drake as he finally responds to some of the criticisms he’s faced. Though he claims to be “Charged Up,” Drizzy stays relatively calm and collected throughout the ominous single. The song was debuted earlier today as part of Drake’s OVO Sound Radio show on Apple Music, along with a few other tracks like “Right Hand”, a flip of D.R.A.M.‘s “Cha Cha”, and a new collaboration between PARTYNEXTDOOR and Travi$ Scott titled “No Feelings”. It’ll be interesting to see if Meek Mill decides to issue his own counter, because chances are this won’t be the last we hear from the two of them.

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Right Hand
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[Electronic R&B] RKCB – Ignite

RKCB Ignite Cover Art

Aptly described as “Short Films” on RKCB’s SoundCloud, “Ignite” effortlessly brings a story to life through lush, layered soundscapes and flawlessly sung lyrics.

Comprised of Riley Knapp and Casey Barth, this Los Angeles-based electronic duo is known for their avant-garde, often unpredictable songwriting abilities. They consistently and pleasantly surprise listeners time after time, and “Ignite” is no different.

Inspiring lyrics, impressive tone, and a flexible range come together in harmony to illustrate unseen imagery for the listener, taking them along for a near four-minute ride. It’s a sultry fusion of soulful RnB structure and delicate, inventive electronica, crafted around what seems to be a very personal experience:

Ignite is a story of telling your best friend that you are in love with them for the first time and balancing the first sparks with the long burn of your feelings. – RKCB

If you’re feeling this track from these two Angelinos, make sure to watch out for a new EP, which drops later this summer.

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[Future R&B] SPZRKT – Blind Man (Prod. by J-Louis)

blind man
Blind Man (Prod. by J-Louis)

This weekend Xavier Adams, the pride of Warner Robins, Georgia, released the latest song under his affiliation in the STRT_TRBL collective. Adams, more commonly known as Spazzy Rocket – and often shortened to SPZRKT – should sound familiar from previous coverage on his highly regarded work with Sango co-creating the EP Hours Spent Loving You this past March.

In fact, SPZRKT – whose music first appeared on TMN in 2013 – has seen rapid growth in recognition and popularity since the release of Middle of Things, a timeless single (and personal favorite) from Sango’s album North.

Following the success of other recent releases like “Crossroads,” “Can’t Wait” and “The Motive,” Blind Man is the latest instance displaying his ability to infuse tracks with soul and emotion. With an aesthetic charisma and the smoothness of a lullaby, Blind Man coincides with Spazzy’s previous musical themes such as the earthly and heavenly connection in healthy relationships.

Lyrically, the song strikes the listener with similar silkiness displayed on tracks from Hours Spend Loving You. With lines like “I’m gonna take my time with your mind, your ambition won’t leave me alone // body like a queen but it ain’t about your body baby it’s about your being”, Spazzy’s R&B crooning is a powerfully emotional talent that takes the production of J-Louis over the top on this release.

Listeners can stay up to date with all of SPZRKT’s tunes on his soundcloud, as well as that of STRT_TRBL. Check out “Blind Man” up top and bookmark this one for next year’s Valentines Day playlist.

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[Chill] XO – The Light

The Light

As he prepares for the release of The Ethereal Experience, UK producer XO dropped off “The Light” earlier today–the final song on the project and also the one truest to the EP’s title. Keeping the vibes soulful as ever, XO crafts a divine groove powered by a steady vocal chop, wavey synths and dynamic percussion. Although “The Light,” initially premiered on XO’s mix for Diplo & Friends, is probably the most laid-back tune we’ve heard from the up ‘n comer thus far, it keeps your attention all the way through by not losing its bounce. Immerse yourself in this blissful cut above–The Ethereal Experience is out on July 20th and can be pre-ordered here.

If you’re digging XO as much as us, also make sure to check out our interview with him from last year here.

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[Electronic/Chill] Soma – Uncertain


With the crazy amount of music submissions that come across every facet of our Ninja collective’s  e-mail and social media accounts, it can unfortunately become quite easier to stop searching and just let it come to us. So, on those rare occasions from which we manage to hunt down and fall in love with a completely new tune from an artist or band shrouded in mystery, well… it always holds a special place for us.  The latest entity to preoccupy this place in our heart is brand new project Soma, and their lush, breezy, two-step led single “Uncertain”. “Uncertain” walks an envious line between fragments of pop, chillwave, trap, R&B, house and even soul for a debut single rich in both its concept, sound and potential.

While not much has been uncovered in regards to Soma -whose only webpage is a secret portal that requires a password and their lone social account being a Soundcloud which lists Soma’s location as Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia- we’re slobbering like a Pavlovian Pitbull for more from the brand new project. You can be sure we’ll stay on top of Soma as everything develops, but in the mean time, we’ll be grooving to “Uncertain”.

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