Athlete turned recording artist and singer-songwriter Rob Roth makes it clear he's here to stay with his new 5-track EP, 'Sink or Swim.'
With no prior experience in singing or songwriting, Rob Roth saw a handful of injuries from decades of being an athlete, which led him to his final ACL surgery. He saw this as an opportunity to obtain a more positive outlook on life, resulting in his newfound music career, which Roth attests saved his life.
Now releasing his personal and diary-esque new EP, 'Sink or Swim,' the project opens with the vibrant introductory track "Torn" that floats its way through our speakers with the utmost anticipation through subtle and mysterious synths alongside Rob Roth's bright vocals. As he begins to vocalize on someone's tainted love that leaves a scar or two on each lover they pass, Roth continues belting his heart out alongside the high-energy synth-pop production and distorted, crunchy effects. We love the power and intimidating feel this song offers, perfectly kicking off the project with a bang.
Jumping into a more personal venture with track number two, "Breathe Into My Heart," Rob Roth opens the track with the smoothest synths that flutter through our speakers with a soft and tranquil energy. Roth takes this song to open his heart and devote himself to someone special while allowing us to groove away with the production's lighthearted and smooth-sailing vibe, giving us an early dose of the upcoming summer season. We appreciate Roth's tenderness and passion in this performance, and we'll definitely have to repeat the track this summer.
Onto the EP's halfway point and title track, "Sink or Swim," this song starts on a softer note through warm acoustic guitar melodies that shift into a modern pop drum/synth arrangement. Listening to Rob Roth's charismatic and animated vocal delivery, he explains those confusing and uneasy emotions of falling into someone's love once again, ensuring himself that nothing lasts forever. Although Roth sings a rather emotional message, we're sure this summer banger will make your days or nights all the more exciting and groovy, especially as he keeps the energy alive each time he meets the anthemic hook.
Making "Headlines" is Rob Roth's fourth track on the EP, which warmly opens with a delicate acoustic guitar alongside cinematic piano melodies and Roth's passionate vocals that sing of how someone illuminates his every being when they enter a room. What's all the more heartwarming is how Roth explains that he's sure this person will make headlines, especially in his mind. He continues to describe them as "a work of art" while the ethereal and shimmering production ramps up the energy and passion, lifting us towards the song's serene and chilling outro.
Onto the EP's final track, "29," we get to know the person behind the microphone even further as Rob Roth opens the song singing about reaching the age of 29 and feeling like he had more time to figure things out. The song's instrumental offers this light and bright pop atmosphere while Roth's lyrics begin to get it together and reflect on his past mistakes to make for a more stable future. This song is incredibly easy to listen to; from the soothing instrumentals to Roth's vulnerable words, he closes off the EP on a sweet and relatable note of optimism.
Keep your head held high with Rob Roth's new 5-track EP, 'Sink or Swim,' now available on all digital streaming platforms.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, Rob Roth. Congratulations on releasing such a dynamic and engaging new EP, 'Sink or Swim.' What was the core inspiration behind the new project? What led you to create it?
Thank you for having me and for the kind words on my EP! The core inspiration behind this EP is the journey I went on towards bettering myself following years of unknowing depression and battling through consecutive major injuries. I did a lot of introspective thinking and worked on myself, and these songs really encapsulate where my head was from the moment I decided to get better to now being 29 years old and chasing after my dreams. I only started making music last year, and after a few collaborations that garnered success, I really wanted to release a body of work that was fully and 100% me, from the writing to the production and everything in between.
Which song from 'Sink or Swim' do you feel is the most personal to you and why?
It's an interesting question because they are all very personal to me. What I feel is most relevant at the moment and will continue to stay relevant is probably 29. The idea that you are falling behind or not successful yet when you hit 30 is something I don't agree with. It's not only hitting 30 but also hitting 35, 40, 50, 70. Everyone lives their life at their own pace and achieves their own success when it happens. Just because society norms say you should be a certain way or be at a certain point in your life doesn't mean it holds true for you. I really want people to know that you can chase after whatever you want at whatever stage of your life.
In your new EP, 'Sink or Swim,' was there a certain concept or theme you wanted to get across to the listener?
I touch upon emotions that a lot of people feel. A lot of people go through depression or periods where they feel like they're behind or stuck, or they don't know what they're doing with their life. I just want people to relate to it to listen to the EP and listen to it in full because it's meant to be a full story. I really hope it can really get people on the right track or if they're on the right track to kind of remember what they had to fight through and that they're on the other side and that things are gonna be better. One of the lyrics in "Sink Or Swim," which is the title track of the EP, is "nothing lasts forever." "Sink Or Swim" is about depression and how you only have one choice, which is to sink or swim. Those feelings that everybody shares, even though the triggers and experiences are different, won't last forever. Even if it lasts for five years, ten years, or 20 years, you're going to grow and learn and become a better person. It's just a natural progression. I want people to really relate to it and feel something.
What sort of genres and sounds did you want to capture in 'Sink or Swim'? Did you have anyone help produce the sonics you were looking for?
Absolutely, this EP would not have been possible if not for my co-producer Adam Clark, my co-writers Robbie Rosen and Jake Eckhaus, Grammy-winning mastering engineer Hans Dekline, and mixing engineer Jerome Renard. They all played such a pivotal role in getting it to sound the way it is. I wanted to touch upon all of the different musical influences that make me who I am. Every track has an element of electronic sounds which is what I feel is most modern about my musical taste. With Torn, I wanted to capture the emotion and uniqueness of Linkin Park. Breathe Into My Heart touches upon my influences from artists like Avicii and Chainsmokers, which is very much driven by electronic sounds and dance style. Sink or Swim encapsulates my original influences from the '90s like DMB, Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls, etc. Headlines are very much driven by all of the pop music I have been influenced by my entire life. Finally, 29 is heavily influenced by Ed Sheeran and John Mayer, with a little more of that singer-songwriter vibe.
That's what I try to do in the process of writing. I try to make sure the lyrics connect to the verses and the choruses and make sure that if you really wanna capture the emotion of a phrase, you have to make sure it sings well. When it came to the production of the EP, I really wanted to have that electronic bass. I didn't necessarily want to have the rawness of live drums other than the acoustic guitar that I play. I kind of decided to take the bass of the song and produce them with electronic sounds and then each individual song on the EP draws inspiration from a different artist or genre.
You'll hear "Torn," which is the first song off the EP, has a little bit of that Linkin Park vibe. It has raw emotion with emo, punk, and electronic sounds. "Breathe Into My Heart" was a little bit like The Chainsmokers where it has that EDM structure, but it's not as hard-hitting; it's a little more chill type of EDM. "Sink Or Swim" pulls off a little more of that 90s like Dave Matthews, Matchbox 20, Goo Goo Dolls that pop/rock vibe. "Headlines" is more of a pop feel, and "29" is more influenced by Ed Sheeran. You'll hear that different style of sound across the board on the EP, but it all glues together. The way I set the EP up, the storylines express the moment I started to better myself and do a lot more introspective thinking. Especially in "Torn," it's the realization of the lack of self-awareness I had had and who I'd hurt even though I didn't realize I was hurting, and from there it brings you to this point of I'm 29 now cause "29" is the last song of EP.
Shifting gears a bit, what inspired you to focus on music after suffering so many fitness-related injuries? What has your experience as an artist been like so far?
In November of 2018, I underwent what was my third and last knee surgery and decided to make some mindset and lifestyle changes. I wanted to become a more positive person and really get back to being who I am supposed to be as a person. It was the next summer (2019) that I reconnected with the guitar. That summer kind of manifested itself from my roommate hearing me play in my room and barging in to tell me I sounded amazing (I didn't believe him because I had never learned to sing and hadn't played guitar in a while) all the way to getting vocal lessons for the first time in Nov of 2019. Then through the pandemic, I practiced and practiced and practiced, and I have reached a point where I knew that I was truly meant to do this, and I had this innate need to pursue it. It is interesting to think about what it has been like to be an artist thus far because I have achieved so much in such a short period of time but also have extremely high expectations and goals to achieve. Not many people could go from never singing in their life to writing their first song and releasing their first EP within a two-year span, so I am extremely proud of the progress I have made. I know there is a lot more for me to work on, and I will continue to grow as an artist and a singer.