Tim Rose and producer D Did That (Darien Newton) and have been on a Lofi Hip Hop road trip— making beats in Tim’s van recording studio “Vanna White.” 

The final destination is unknown — pit stops along the way include Paisley Park, Dilla’s Basement, the Hard Hitting Drum Factory, John Mayer’s ranch in Wyoming, and possibly some pit stops for pizza from Delicious Vinyl. Good beats for the road — wherever it may lead.

Their new tune “Night Drive” details the journey of two friends, Darien and Tim, on a drive through the night discussing the importance of counting blessings and staying grounded. The realization they come to in the end is that life is special and meant to be enjoyed with people you care about.

Whereas their other track “Loyalty” is about staying loyal in a relationship, particularly with the widespread use of social media. “As Tim and I journey in the van, we spark up a conversation about what it means to stay loyal. The saxophone is usually an instrument of love. It adds to the theme of love in the track.”

“Loyalty” features romantic, hypnotic soundscapes over a chilled RnB beat and gorgeous jazz-dipped sax – combining the old school and the new school with delight and spontaneity

Tell us about the genesis of your project. How did you get to where you are now?

D: Well Tim called me Christmas 2020 saying that he wanted to release a joint beat tape. I obliged, of course. We didn’t really know what we wanted it to sound like, but we knew we wanted to pull from our influences. Me, I’m a huge Pharrell fan and T can speak for this too– J Dilla is your guy?

T: Yeah. Dilla.

D: So we started with that and developed this concept of Tim and I making music in his van talking about life.

What is the favorite song you wrote and why? 

T: The inner marketer in me wants to say that my favorite song is the one coming out on July 15th. We haven’t decided on a name yet, but the reason it’s my favorite is because it speaks to my soul and it makes me feel things. Point blank period.

Who are your all-time musical heroes?

D: For me, it’s always Pharrell, man. He’s the source of so much of my inspiration. That guy continues to push the envelope and be fearless. He’s been doing this for over two decades, but his music always sounds fresh and true to who he is. That inspires me. 

T: Prince. His ability to put an entire city on his back– nobody knew anything about Minneapolis, nor did they consider it funky. But the fact that he wrote and produced over 40 albums of his own and produced half a dozen other bands and made them famous, AND supported his community in ways he did anonymously. For instance, he paid Clyde Stubblefield’s medical bills for 10 years and didn’t tell anyone and nobody knew until after he died. I mean, Prince is my musical north star. I loved his ability to disregard what other people thought. If he wanted to wear a bikini on TV, he wore a bikini on TV. Who else was doing that?

What are some things to do to keep away creative blocks?

D: I love watching other creatives create. I watch a lot of other producers on twitch– most notably Kenny Beats. But watching other people create always inspires me to get back in the studio and keep working.

T: Manual Labor. I wanna be as far away from that as I can. I’m not joking. It may not look like it, but I have had a lot of manual labor in my life. I’ve worked menial jobs in my life, but I still find time to take side work for crappy pay so that I never forget that THIS work is better. Is it longer hours? Yes. Does it go unnoticed? Yes. Am I lonely? Yes. But I do manual labor to realize I don’t like doing manual labor.

Who are you binge listening to these days?

D: I’m working out a lot more, so I’m listening to a lot of toxic trap. Like future, Baby Keem, like those guys. I feel like when I’m working out I need that energy to finish my sets. So as much toxic trap as I can consume, unfortunately. 

T: I’ve been listening to Christian Kuria’s project produced by Jack Dine. In a world dominated by mid-tempo neo-soul, that project is so good. And late romance solo piano pieces. I have a whole playlist of romantic-era piano pieces. On a busy day, that keeps me calm.

Are you guys big TV guys or no?

T: My favorite show is Attack on Titan. My girlfriend converted me. I’ve been asleep for many years. But Attack on Titan is unbelievable.

D: I just watch sports. I’m not a huge show watcher. Lots of basketball.

Tell us about your latest release

D: So this latest release Night Drive. I called Tim in the middle of the night, and he was thankful I called him because I woke him up from a nightmare he was having about plastic cups and unicycles. It was getting weird. He was stoked. I woke him up and told him I needed someone to talk to. So we got on zoom and we made a beat. 

What are your plans for the future?

D: Releasing a song a month. You can bank on it. After we get a catalog of songs, we’re gonna release an entire project about our adventures. We hope these songs reach people that want to collaborate with us.

Who inspires your style and aesthetics?

D: Skateboard P. The goat. I’m a huge chords guy, but going further, Stevie. I love to make music that makes you feel something, and those guys are the best at that.

T: Bill Withers fundamentally shifted the way I think about songwriting. Music doesn’t need to be complicated to be good. You can say what you need to say without a lot of words. As far as arranging goes, the list is 100 bands. But you can start at James Brown, and go all the way to D’Angelo; and everyone that follows that lineage. Those guys know how to arrange music. 

What is the moment in your career you cherish the most so far?

T: I think when I opened for Allen Stone. I opened for him in Hawai’i with a 10-piece band. And to have the respect of that band really was humbling and taught me that although it may feel like nobody notices what you’re doing, people do. It’s never gonna be about play counts for me. It’s always about getting the nod from musicians I respect.

What do you think is the best way to make it as an artist nowadays?

D: Consistency, and not being afraid to put yourself out there. If you have the willingness to be fearless and be creative you can do so much. Also, just being good to people. I can’t tell you how many opportunities I’ve gotten just from being genuine with people and having regular conversations with people. I had someone say one time If you wanna be successful, you gotta follow the three A’s, be Available, Affable, and Able. I live by that.

T: I think there are three things that make a successful career. Talent, Social Skills, and having a mind for business. You need to have all three. I can’t tell you how many talented musicians I know that lack these things. You must have all three.

What would you change in the music and entertainment industry especially after this past year?

D: We’re very much outside of the industry. We’re working, making music we love, and working to get our music heard. What I would change overall is the artist’s mindset. I want artists to realize that they don’t need a label to get them hot. They can do it themselves.