Forest Sessions - tbc
“Nobody was born cool,” proclaims ROE KAPARA. “Where’s the fun in that?” After relocating from Nashville to Los Angeles just before the pandemic, the St. Louis-born singer/songwriter did what any reasonable 20-something would: find solace online and build a community. Soon, his burgeoning digital fanbase hit six digits, enthralled by his endearingly unpretentious personality but also by his irresistible music, a modern swirl of indie, psych, pop punk, and alternative.
His debut single for legendary Epitaph Records, “BETTER OFF,” elevates both qualities equally, spinning a hyper-relatable tale of toxic romance with razor-sharp lyricism (“I’m better off getting high than being naked with you” he sings in the song’s hook) over staccato guitar stabs, jazzy rhythms and spurting synths.
“I had a long-distance relationship in college that … it was bad,” Kapara says with a laugh. “It was completely codependent. Looking back on it now, I realize that I’m better off because I experienced and learned from it.”
Dwelling on the death of his own past is a common theme through Kapara’s music, throughout a catalog of DIY singles like “Everyone’s Dying” and “Past Grow” that helped boost his Spotify listeners into the 300,000s and TikTok audience over 250,000. But just as he’s willing to expose vulnerable parts of himself in his songs, he’s quick to shine the mirror outward to address the creeping dread of modern life: consumerism, corporate greed, climate change – the general feelings of the younger generation in 21st-century America.
Combining these two sides of his musical personality – deeply relatable yet unafraid to stand up and ask life’s big questions – into pop songs makes for a musical journey that’s a little off-kilter, sure, but all the better and more interesting in the end. Now, with “Better Off” leading the way and a slate of live shows ready bringing his high-energy persona to audiences in the flesh, this next era of Roe Kapara is poised to keep fans, and he himself, guessing as to where his quirky sensibilities will wind up next. He prefers it that way.
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