Pic by Ashley Joncas

Hi Roniit, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hello! Thanks for having me! Immediately I’m about to type “I’m doing great!” and then realize that’s a default response and the reality is that the last two days I’ve been incredibly homesick as I’m currently living in Bali and missing home in the forest in California.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Fade To Blue”?

Yes – “Fade To Blue” was inspired by my frustrations with an illusive love interest. I had several romantic flings with this person, but they would disappear for months immediately after. It was an emotional roller coaster that I couldn’t seem to get off of.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

The inspiration for this song was a night we spent together in Joshua Tree. I went to Joshua Tree several times by myself while writing my upcoming album. This particular trip was 10 days long and this guy came for one night, but left as soon as the sun came up (which is something he did frequently). A lot of the lyrics were inspired by this feeling I had the entire night knowing that it would all come crashing down as soon as the night “faded to blue”.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes! The video is coming soon. I’m super excited about it as it features flashbacks with a lot of documentary style footage I shot of myself with a tripod when I was going through this heartbreak. I’m constantly filming and recording everything, so the video feels like such a perfect time capsule of this time in my life.

The single comes off your new album XIXI – what’s the story behind the title?

I’m really into numerology ever since a strange experience I had about five years ago. I woke up one night at 3am and for reasons beyond me started doing all these calculations on my chalkboard wall.  It’s kind of hard to explain this, but I realized that my birth date and month added up to 11 – then my birth date month and year also added up to 11. I started drawing this symbol everywhere that I created out of the roman numerals XIXI. Then I started seeing the symbol everywhere – just randomly in public places.  After tons and tons of googling to figure out what it meant I finally learned that this symbol meant “true will” which is defined as “A person’s grand destiny in life or as a moment-to-moment path of action that operates in perfect harmony with nature.”

At the time I was contemplating leaving my job to become a full time artist and this just felt like such a crazy sign. Over the next few years, I continued to see 11:11 everywhere – every time I was working on a song or working towards something that felt like my destiny.

How was the recording and writing process?

The process was so magical for me. After so many years of creating music I’m finally in a place where I can just trust my subconscious to do the work for me. My writing and producing process is mostly “stream of consciousness” based – meaning that I’ve accepted that not all songs will be good, but allow myself to produce whatever comes out without judging it.

When it comes to writing melodies and lyrics – I usually lay down and close my eyes and try to get into a meditative state and just feel whatever emotions are currently present in me. I go super deep into those emotions – usually I cry and just sing into the mic whatever wants to come out of me. This method has made writing music feel like therapy and release. Sometimes I don’t even realize what I’m feeling until the words come out of me and I’m like “oh wow, that’s what’s going on subconsciously.”

What role does Bali play in your music?

I’m so inspired by nature and use a lot of sounds from nature in my music.  For instance my whole album was written in the forest in southern California and I recorded tons of sounds from the forest to use for drum samples – like sticks and rocks and such. There are crickets and other bug sounds on there as well.  A lot of the lyrics were written while I was doing my daily walks through the forest, or while sitting on my back porch stargazing.

Now that I’m in Bali I’m really inspired by the choir of sounds I hear at night – such as frogs, geckos, chickens, honking horns, and scooters going by. I’m excited to play with these sounds more in the music I’m currently creating. Bali is also filled with people who are so open hearted, and wanting to feel things deeply and connect with people. Playing music live here has been unlike any other live experience. I’ve been doing these “sound healing” concerts with my friend Crywolf where we play really slow acoustic versions of our songs for people while they lay on the ground and meditate or cry. This really inspires me to continue creating slow meditative songs.

What aspect of elusive love did you get to explore on this record?

I think I really got to explore my relationship with myself through elusive love. I realized how I view myself through the lens of others so often. I really based my value as a human on how much love I received from others. I had very little love or respect for myself and I didn’t try very hard to make myself happy. Through several heartbreaks and rejections I learned that what I really wanted all along was to have a good relationship with myself. I kept thinking the love of someone else would fill this void inside me, and by the end of the record I realized I’m literally the only person who controls my happiness.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

I was so inspired by the moon and rituals. I held monthly rituals at home either alone or with friends where I would celebrate the full moon by writing down and burning things I wanted to let go of. I’ve always made a point to play music on the full moon. Often times the rituals with friends would turn into these massive jam sessions in my living room that would go until the sun was rising. A lot of my songs came about that way. Jamming with other humans purely for fun enabled me to stop thinking so hard when creating music. Just flow and see what happens… a lot of the lyrics came out of me in those jam sessions and I would develop and refine them later.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes! I really want to this fall. No solid plans yet, but I feel that it’s going to happen. I’m currently playing a ton of gigs in Bali and possibly some others around southeast Asia.

What else is happening next in Roniit’s world?

Editing more music videos and creating some sort of mini documentary series out of the 3 years of footage I shot while creating the album.  I’m already started on another album or EP as well 🙂

Check out the single here.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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