Indie + Alternative culture appreciates new rising artists that create diversity and new insights within their respective genres.We constantly feature notable indie and alternative artists on the verge of success.
Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: Sleep State.
Silver Lake group Sleep State is fronted by Troy Ritchie, a 2014 competitor on NBC’s The Voice who was on alt-favorite Gwen Stefani’s team. He is joined by his longtime friend Michael Haua, as keyboardist and back up vocalist, Parker Jackson, as drummer, and David Greenwood, as bassist and vocalist.
We recently talked in depth with the guys of Sleep State. Read on to learn more about your next favorite artist.
Comments From The Curating-Editor
Sleep State is a new IndieBeat favorite & we’re glad to invite them to the featured artists family. With warm vocals leading the charge on their cool and charismatic LA indie-pop aesthetic, the group is an amazing display of accessible yet textured exploratory melodies. Reminiscent of Moon Taxi and a hipper and more innovative Dave Matthews Band, Sleep State evokes energy in a calm form, with passionate and refined tracks that blend beach nostalgia, electro-pop meditations and edgy soul-rock into anthemic hits. Their music sounds familiar in the alt climate, yet there is a quaintness that pushes the boundaries and allures listeners to instantly fall in love with their sound. We can’t wait to hear more from the group, knowing they’re bound to have huge success soon.
What are your top 3 favorite albums that inspired you to get into music?
My musical tastes have expanded since, but when I first started getting serious about music, these albums got me moving: Abbey Road-The Beatles; Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band- The Beatles; A Rush Of Blood To The Head- Coldplay
What are your fondest musical memories?
One of my fondest musical memories as an artist is when Sleep State played a late night show in a parking garage that we didn’t get permission to play in. The Facebook event was set up as a secret acoustic show with David’s old band- we managed to get about 50 people to show up and didn’t get rolled by the cops!! The good vibes were aplenty that night.
As a listener, one of my best memories is when I saw Weezer at the U.S. Open. I think this was the concert just before the U.S. Open became overblown and not as enjoyable. Weezer obviously put on an amazing show with beach balls, wigs, dancing, and the crowd was definitely on a good one. I crowd surfed, I moshed, I danced with people I didn’t know-everyone was so friendly and cool. I want our shows to be like that.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
I’m honestly jamming out to newer electronic music right now. From a production aspect, the singles from Zayn, Beiber, Kygo, Jack U, Major Lazer, etc. are really cutting edge and inspiring. They’re making new sounds using the singers voice as a sample or just whipping up interesting textures. In between getting inspired by the newest stuff, I always need a dose of classic rock, Motown, and artists like Tame Impala or Mac Demarco.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process?
I used to only write in the order: chord progression/riff, melody, lyrics, production. Lately, it could be any order of those, but I’ve definitely been putting a lot more focus on my lyrical content.
I’m a firm believer that the cities that artists are based in helps craft their sound. How would you describe the LA music scene? How has it inspired you into crafting your sound?
Silverlake has such a strong musical community and it’s really inspiring. The sound is pretty eclectic. In Silverlake, there are definitely a lot of rockers out there, some psychedelics, some indie poppas. I really like to see artists using some sick synth sounds or trippy guitar effects. Each show is different at any given venue and inspires my writing in a new way. Playing shows and seeing all the bands in the area has really motivated me to up my stage presence.
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
The internet is definitely bringing on some exciting change. As an artist, Streaming services like Spotify and Soundcloud have brought us to a lot of people all over the world- without much effort from us. Social media can definitely take away the mystique from artists but is now bringing artists and fans closer together. I’m not too much of a social media ‘junky’ myself, I probably wouldn’t be on it if I didn’t have music to share. I will say that the internet has the power to bring unknowns to the lime light if leveraged right-we’re still trying to figure out some leverage haha. As a listener, I love that Spotify has pretty much every song I know or want to know- it’s increased my musical arsenal a ton lately.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
The collaboration of my dreams right now would probably be with Mac Demarco. He just seems like one hilarious and talented dude. We’d have a blast making a record and I’d like to get some of his wisdom on making records in home studio by yourself.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
Sleep State is going to release a new single called “Making Up The Rules” in the near future. We’re figuring out the music video details right now. That’s definitely the best track we’ve laid down in a studio so far-So much groovin’ and there’s even a lil guitar solo by yours truly. Other than that, I’m always tinkering with something- Whether it’s producing for songs I’ve already written or writing completely new songs. I occasionally record two of my friends-just simple acoustic tracks with some subtle textures- nothing released yet. I’m really trying to get better at keys right now so the beat-making process is a little quicker.
Finally, a few questions we ask all of artists: which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
I’m currently obsessed with “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank Ocean. It’s nothing new, but I just rediscovered it thanks to Spotify, which oddly enough was right when Frank’s Producer announced that they were trying to finish up his new album. Nifty Coincidence. I usually try to nudge a few artists to people like: Mac Demarco, Tame Impala, Grizzly Bear, Cheers Elephant, BORNS, Fleet Foxes, Gardens & Villa, STRFKR, Local Natives, The Gromble, and others. Best kept secret band…hmmm…probably Cheers Elephant- I played a show with those rad guys and I love their tunes- they deserve some more recognition!