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Home / Rooted

Rooted Band making dreams come true with upcoming performances at Whiskey a Go Go, LA County Fair

Rooted, a local band among the San Gabriel Valley created by young musicians Shalom Maddox Lim and Genevieve Thai, will be performing at one of their dream venues this upcoming Saturday, May 13.

The group will perform at the legendary SoCal music site Whiskey a Go Go; a historic nightclub located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Over the years, it has hosted many famous musicians and bands, including The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin and The Who, among others. The club played a significant role in the development of the rock music scene in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s, and it continues to attract both established and up-and-coming artists from various genres.

As major fans of classic rock artists from the 60s through the 80s, playing at this venue will be a major honor for Rooted and is expected to be a great setting to have more sets of new eyes on them. For this young band, however, that upcoming performance is just the beginning. 

Rooted is reminded of the origin of their name and why it is so important: to be rooted in family. The motto especially hits home in May during Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.

It is an emotional month for the band, as they themselves are part of the AAPI community. Despite having different personal experiences, each member of the band can share similarities in their culture, and music is used as an art form that acknowledges and represents their pride in their upbringing.

The weekend following Whiskey a Go Go, the LA County Fair will be celebrating AAPI Heritage Month with its annual Asian American Pacific Islander Weekend. They’ll be celebrating the weekend from May 20 through 21, with live cultural music, dance performances and of course all the classic fair foods and rides.

Rooted was invited to perform at the LA County Fair on Saturday, May 20, and the band will be playing their set at 6 p.m. That event will be followed by a performance at the Alhambra Civic Center Library for their “Summer Reading Challenge” and an appearance at the Orange County Fair before they head off for their summer break.

A busy month indeed, but this is nothing new for Rooted.

Lim and Thai built the group while in elementary school when they brought several musically gifted classmates together to sing a multitude of old-school rock covers. Eventually, they desired to write and compose original music. They released their first single “Waiting,” written by Lim, in June 2022.

The group followed that first song, with help from music producer Bernard Yagee, by making another pop-rock single the following month called “Dime a Dozen.” Since then, Lim and Yagee have continued recording solo projects featuring the band, with singles “Hollow Dreams” and “Pick You Up” both being released by the end of 2022.

“With an ear for soaring melodics and equipped with the kind of earnest vocals that make an anthem of any song they’re on, Lim manages in defiance of his years to create songs imbued with surprising emotional depth,” LA-based music blog Grimmy Goods wrote about Lim following the release of “Hollow Dreams.”

They have performed at several local venues these last couple of years, including one of their most significant performances to date when they were invited to play for the Asian American Expo at the Pomona Fairplex in 2022, where the event’s program manager, Candice Xu, described them as “a great role model for other kids.”

These past and present opportunities come rarely for bands like Rooted, and it is a good reminder for the group to fully enjoy moments like this whenever they come. However, there is also a desire to look forward to their journey as an up-incoming band who are continuing to pursue their dreams.

Through all of this success, however, change is inevitable. Lim, who is a vocalist and guitarist, and Thai, who is a singer, along with bassist Naomi Lo, drummer Aramis Hernandez and Selina Ye and Eula Johnson on keyboards and synths are all preparing to leave middle school and are soon-to-be high school students, meaning they will no longer be classmates.

We all can relate to that period of development — interests change, personalities form, schedules become more convoluted. And, of course, kids become motivated by their classmates around them. 

When considering music taste, that could be a huge transition for the members of Rooted, as the way young teenagers listen to music nowadays is certainly different than it used to be, and the rock genre has become somewhat irrelevant when compared to major categories such as pop and hip-hop.

Not to mention, when it comes to actually playing music, it is seemingly a dying art among the youth. There is far more interest in digital media today rather than in using creativity away from a computer screen.

As I sat down with the band, they clearly understood the potential of that type of transition. However, that possibility is expected to be used as another reason to focus on the now and the opportunities they currently have.

It is clear that each member possesses an undying passion to continue maturing as a musician, and when looking back to when they created the band, they all have undeniably grown as artists and songwriters. The even more exciting news? They believe they have more room for growth, and that is their ultimate goal throughout the remainder of this month before they take their break for summer.

That alone is enough to motivate them to keep their eyes on the road ahead. For Rooted, they know there is no reason to look back at their past or to even consider their future plans — instead, they want to live in the present. They want to appreciate the opportunities ahead. They want to continue focusing on ways to further develop their skillset as artists.

After all, it is their passion, and at this very moment, there is no bigger reason to continue doing their favorite thing: making music and performing.

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