Rooted is an Asian-American band that most would need to do a double-take when seeing live. The band consists of five members, all of whom are middle school students. The indie pop-rock band came together after performing covers by Guns' N' Roses, Journey and Echosmith.
Just as they were getting started, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but that didn't stop Rooted from diving headfirst into uncharted waters. They created their upcoming debut single, "Waiting," along with a music video to accompany it.
Mixed and recorded at Moosecat Recording Studio and mastered by four-time Grammy award-winning engineer Will Borza, the new song is a mix of '80s and '90s sounds, reminiscent of the pop scene of the time. The band even classifies the new track as "older music with more depth and meaning." "Waiting" is an ode to a crush that seems out of reach, with Lim wondering if they'll be able to realize what's in front of them.
The idea behind "Waiting" is about wanting something or someone in life, but being so afraid of not getting it that you don't even dare to try," Lim says, according to a TREND press release. "Sometimes, the expectations and goals that people have of themselves can overwhelm them to the point of a mental and emotional shutdown."
The music video shows singer-songwriters Shalom Lim and Genevieve Thai, bassist Valen Shieh, guitarist Karissa Lee and Selina Ye on keyboards and synth. They occupy a classroom, passing along a handwritten note asking, "Wanna start a band?" This scene directly parallels how the group of five first met in elementary school.
Throughout the music video, viewers are shown an array of images of the band on an art-directed soundstage, symbolizing their future musical careers and aspirations. Even though they are young, you can tell that Rooted is just as ambitious and serious as any other band.
After years of waiting to perform, the band graced the Los Angeles County Fair stage this year to put their talent on display, gaining a steady following thereafter. Rooted also took part in the Los Angeles College of Music's annual program, "Summer Xperience," where they received mentoring from faculty members.
As Rooted continues to bring a young and vibrant sound into the alternative-pop genre, their new single is gaining traction. Recently, "Waiting" was added to Spotify's "Best New Music" and "Indie" playlists. With these new accomplishments on their belts, the band is starting to be heard, even after just one single.
With no clear signs of any other releases, Rooted will keep young fans anxiously waiting with one single on streaming platforms. Still, their musical formation is unique and diverse compared to many other alternative bands.
If you're looking for a new song to listen to this summer, "Waiting" is worth the listen, but Rooted as a whole is worth your time too.