Sparkling songcraft, impressive musicality, and captivating enthusiasm: Rooted is a five-member indie pop-rock band from the Los Angeles suburbs of the San Gabriel Valley whose shining artistry far surpasses the members’ chronological ages.
The Asian-American quintet of middle school students has built a substantial following with performances at carnivals, street fairs, school events, battles of the bands, and in 2022, onstage at the massive Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, California to commemorate AAPI weekend.
Their debut single “Waiting,” a retro-modern track with echoes of Eighties and Nineties pop, pairs Rooted’s onstage exuberance with sophisticated studio polish. Built around an irresistible melodic hook, the song presents a vibrant band, rooted – as their name signifies – in the unwavering support of family, friends, and community.
Vocalist and guitarist Shalom Lim, who wrote “Waiting,” and singer-songwriter Genevieve Thai, are Rooted co-founders. Joined by bassist Valen Shieh, guitarist Karissa Lee, and Selina Ye on keyboards and synths, the five evolved as a band while performing covers by Guns ‘N’ Roses, Journey, and Echosmith — what they classify as “older music with more depth and meaning.”
The pandemic changed everything. For Rooted, it might have halted their hard won momentum. Instead, it gave them time to dedicate to their music as they moved forward through the adversity. The band also participated in the Los Angeles College of Music’s annual program, “Summer Xperience.” Mentored by faculty members with platinum credits, their performances and musicality were both lauded and uplifted.
In the corresponding “Waiting” video, the band members occupy a classroom, passing a handwritten note that asks, “Wanna start a band?” It’s a fitting locale, as the five met as elementary students in San Gabriel Valley. With shots of Rooted illuminated on an art-directed soundstage, the narrative expands on the song’s endearing theme of a romantic crush, framed within the context of a dream.
On camera, as they stroll down a local street, the members of Rooted appear as a group of kids you might see at the mall, in a comic store, or at an anime convention. Herein lies their appeal — unassumingly natural, the five friends project an optimistic positivity that is undeniable.
It might be observed that the rise of Rooted signifies the edge of an increasingly multicultural narrative, with inclusion and representation to inspire the new generations of creators. Charismatic, authentic, and exhilarating, Rooted presents fresh music with the power to open doors — a vibrant soundtrack for a welcome future.