5 Questions: Jess Roveda

On Nov. 25, multi-instrumentalist and Ontario rocker Jess Roveda will be dropping her solo album Moonlight Arcade Delight. Roveda is also the bassist Kings of Our Kin, but Moonlight Arcade Delight marks an exploration into her own sound and creativity. Check out what she had to say about her music, influences, and what it was like writing while in isolation.

For those who have never heard your music before, how would you describe it?

I like to describe my music as “gritty, poppy, and a whole lot of fun”. I use the typical rock instruments (guitar bass and drums), but I also like to throw synth and other electronic sounds in as well. My music typically follows your average pop structure and is generally energetic and upbeat. 

I understand that your new album Moonlight Arcade Delight is inspired by 90s sounds. What artists in particular from the 90s influenced you?

One of my biggest 90s influences on this album was Garbage, who also happen to be my most favourite band of all time. Some other artists of the decade that inspired me to different degrees on this album were Oasis, Veruca Salt, Hole, Our Lady Peace, TLC, Smashing Pumpkins, and some production styles of Max Martin and Denniz Pop.

You produced and recorded the album in your bedroom really at the height of when everything was closed down because of the pandemic and beyond. How did that influence your process?

It was an interesting process because the recording took places at all different stages of the pandemic from the height to post-lockdowns. January-February 2021 was a highly experimental time for me in terms of figuring out what I wanted the project to sound like. I had just enough time on my hands and the right physical and mental spaces to lay the foundation of what I wanted. Not being able to really go anywhere helped me make the most of music creation in my free time.

I actually went through a long period of writers’ block not long after which lasted to October 2021. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as frustrated with that as I thought I would be. I really wanted to avoid forcing something I didn’t like just for the sake of creating. Once I got my creative spark back, it was a smooth process to bring it all to the finish line. 

What is something that you really hope listeners will get from Moonlight Arcade Delight?

I hope listeners have fun with this album and I hope they enjoy the different sounds and styles. I’m not the first artist during this time to utilize a lot of retro sounds, but I feel like 90s sounds have yet to see a comeback the way a lot of 80s ones have in recent years. With that in mind, I hope it feels refreshing to a degree that some sounds on this album might be ones that some listeners haven’t heard in a while. 

So Moonlight Arcade Delight releases on Nov. 25. What are your plans after that?

Despite it being a few months later, I’ll be having a proper release show in my hometown at the end of March, so I’m very excited for that. Between the release date and the show, I’ll be focused on different promotion tactics. Keeping an eye on how people are receiving the album will be a big part of any decisions I make. I’d like to explore merch as well, depending on what any potential demand looks like. As the weather warms up, booking more shows both locally and elsewhere in Ontario will be a big focus as well.

Check back next week for our review of Moonlight Arcade Delight!

Keep up with Jess Roveda on all her socials:

Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube