Cali Rodi is LA's latest newcomer who gathers from the musical touchstones of Pop and Alternative and amalgamates them with nostalgia from the early 2000s and the feeling you'd get from fist-gesturing and moshing at Warped Tour, for her latest single, "blink 182 + u."
A Native of Cave Creek, Arizona, this alt-pop artist found herself interjected within the sonics of punk and pop—a typical musical itinerary for a millennial.
Naturally, when her music caught the attention of Keith Urban, landing her a publishing deal and instigating her to move to LA., it was no shock that her heart would return to the tune of her teenage years amidst her newest musical endeavor.
With a punchy arrangement of oscillating pads, prismatic harmonies, suggestive electro-inspired hip-hop beats, and droning guitars that almost sound like a synth with how saturated they present, "blink 182 + u" feels like Cali Rodi's strongest song to date.
It's a jaunty and fresh-skinned number with roots bolstered by the skate-punk band's 2004 hit "I Miss You," but, with heart-throbbing lyrics that would make you want to hug the love-sick artist in an attempt to comfort her aching heart: "cuz you said you were sorry but you were unapologetic, so even though I don't hear from you anymore, my heart still hits the floorboards."
When Cali sings, her execution never falls short of immaculate, floating with a cadence that renders-up the descriptive lyrics with an innovative style that comes around once in a blue moon or every other decade. As you transition through the pre-chorus where Cali decries about the way things ended up ("when it's 1 am and you haven't called, why am I waiting? I'm waiting for nothing at all"), she lands you into the magnetic hook of her chorus: "I miss the old blink-182, and you, I miss you, I miss you."
As she resounds and the guitars chug fervently into the last half of the track, an aura of keys and synths swirl up into the atmosphere of the mix, generating a pulling bridge-section that denotes the final crescendo of "blink 182 + u."
If there's one thing to be said about the budding young artist, Cali Rodi, it's that in the time since of moshing at Warped Tour and crying over boys, shes become a pop musical doyen, entering new territories with her latest single, and sounding more potent than ever.
Can you tell us how the recording and production process for "Blink 182 + U" went? What came first in terms of instrumentals, and how did you come up with such a catchy top-line melody?
“blink-182 + u” had such an organic recording process! It started out just the bare bones-an acoustic guitar and me singing into an iPhone voice memo. My co-writer Emily Haber and I had written the entire song this way, and we knew the song was special when we finished it, but we weren’t quite sure how to bring it to life. For a while, the song was a crowd favorite during my live shows and the most requested song after I posted a snippet of it on Instagram. Fast forward a couple of years, I was knee-deep into working on my artist project, and “blink-182 + u” just kept coming up. It’s such a great representation of who I am, so I knew it had to be one of the first songs that were released. My friends Aaron Z and Luke Arens put their magical producer touch on it and added punchy guitars, hip-hop drum sounds, and other dynamic musical moments. I’m usually a “lyric-first” type of songwriter, so as far as the melody goes, we just mumbled different ideas to help the lyric shine as much as possible until it felt right!
What was your anecdotal message to fans behind "Blink 182 + U," and do you feel like this song will resound with your fan-base?
I feel this wave of nostalgia comes over me every time I sing this song, and I hope listeners will get carried away remembering all their own crazy-stupid, carefree moments too before we had bigger things to worry about. I think my fan-base will find pieces of their own (not so) wasted youth in this song.
Have there been any lessons you've learned about yourself behind the artistic process in "blink 182 + u"? If so, do you think this is a lesson you'll carry with you on to your next musical endeavors?
Up until “blink-182 + u,” my releases have been primarily empowering anthems, but I have a LOT of stories to tell, and I’m not afraid to tell them. Being a 20-something gives me a lot to work with; whether it’s heartbreak, loving yourself, growing up, or even social commentary - I have a song for that. I carry all these experiences with me on my musical journey.
If you could give your fans a few words that would act as the prologue to the experience you've created within "Blink 182 + U" and the rest of the music you have coming down the line, what would you say?
These songs are freeze-frames of feelings I want to feel out loud. Let’s sing at the top of our lungs together.
What has been keeping you inspired in 2020? What can we anticipate to see next from you as we enter a new year?
2020 has definitely been a rollercoaster and it honestly takes a lot to stay inspired. I do feel like the more I put the pen to paper, the more inventive I am in my everyday life. Other than that, neighborhood walks, re-watching “How I Met Your Mother,” baking pumpkin everything, getting teary-eyed listening to “Folklore,” and reading “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle are keeping the creative juices flowing right now! In the new year, there’s going to be a lot of new singles, some collabs, and an EP full of all my favorite songs and some surprises!