When the three members of RÓSA met at a religious conference in San Diego, they realized they had a lot in common, including their musical tastes. After hanging out a few more times, the idea to start a band sparked, and soon, the indie pop/rock act was up and running with their first EP.
“I hadn’t done anything in music for a long time, but I knew I wanted to,” says vocalist Will Winters. “When I connected with these guys who were really cool and had similar interests, we knew that we should just go for it and try it out. We recorded the first four songs that we’d worked out, and that was our first EP.”
Since then, RÓSA have been busy writing new music and performing as much of their high-energy catalog as possible. On Saturday, the local boys will bring their sound back to one of the first venues that hosted them, the Wayfarer, to debut the tracks off their brand-new EP, Wasteful. Not only will it be a return to their roots, but the show will also serve as the band’s chance to reconnect with old friends.
“We haven’t played a local Orange County show in a long time,” says Winter, “so it’s nice to come back with new material. It’s also been a long time since we’ve had new material, so it’s going to be fun to get in front of all of our friends at a cool local spot like the Wayfarer. We’re excited to share what we’ve been working on for so long.”
The trio’s sophomore EP was actually recorded last summer in Santa Monica, and Winters and his band mates have already put together a third EP that’ll be out later this year. Compared to their rock-oriented debut, Wasteful integrates more soulful R&B elements to help separate RÓSA’s sound from that of dozens of other indie bands. “It came out of the band being more collaborative than the first EP,” Winters says. “It’s an experiment, but we’re excited for it. At the time, we wanted to do something different, and we were influenced by a lot of the dancehall and R&B stuff, as well as the typical bands. We wanted to contextualize dancehall and R&B into an indie rock band with guitars and synths and stuff.”
As for that third EP, Winters says that every RÓSA song ultimately comes down to what the band happens to be feeling at any given moment. Rather than trying to box themselves into one sound or even too specific of a subgenre, the artists are focused on creating the tunes they want to listen to. No matter what direction the band goes in the future, they want the opportunity to change things up and adjust with their growing tastes.
“Oftentimes, it’s as simple as making the stuff you want to hear,” Winters says. “You do exactly what comes to you and that you want to do. It wasn’t conscious in the sense that we wanted to do something popular or that the market hasn’t seen—not that we are doing anything that incredibly original. We just wanted to do what came natural, and we wanted to push ourselves. I wanted to push myself vocally, and we all wanted to do something outside of our comfort zone.”
RÓSA perform with Scott Ruth and Royaljag at the Wayfarer, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 764-0039. Sat., 8 p.m. $7. 21+.