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The yin and yang of Tim Rose

Living and looping from his van

Tim Rose, living in a van for his art.
Tim Rose, living in a van for his art.

“I have lived full-time in my van since 2015,” says singer/songwriter Tim Rose, who frequently plays Mission Bay Resort and Estancia La Jolla. “I first lived in a little Nissan NV200 on Oahu for about three and a half years. I named that van Vanessa. When I upgraded to a larger white van in 2019, I named her Vanna White. No particular reason, just a van pun. What started van life for me was a desire to be an artist full-time. I decided that I would move into the van, because rent in Hawaii was so expensive.”

His sound is distinguished by use of the electronic looper, a device he picked up in Hawaii. Asked about what made him want to write songs, Rose recalls “The music that inspired me the most was classic rock, specifically acts that were obsessed with southern blues and its heritage; Clapton, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, and the like. At the same time, I grew up in an area that was diverse, and I was exposed to hip-hop early. I didn’t know it then, but the R&B and soul catalogue that was sampled to make ‘90s hip-hop was laying bricks deep in my subconscious.”

Continues Rose, “I’d say my strongest influences are Bill Withers and Prince. One writes spiritual hymns and gut-punching, plain-spoken blues, the other is a florid songwriter of the highest caliber. Bill plays one instrument terribly, and doesn’t much care. He writes what he feels. Prince is a virtuoso at every instrument and would record his albums entirely by himself. They really are the yin and yang of my approach to music. On the one hand, write from the gut, what my spirit drives me to say.  [But Prince is] intent on building a skyscraper of sound, with the kick drum as the foundation and funky floors intricately constructed around it.”

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Tim Rose, living in a van for his art.
Tim Rose, living in a van for his art.

“I have lived full-time in my van since 2015,” says singer/songwriter Tim Rose, who frequently plays Mission Bay Resort and Estancia La Jolla. “I first lived in a little Nissan NV200 on Oahu for about three and a half years. I named that van Vanessa. When I upgraded to a larger white van in 2019, I named her Vanna White. No particular reason, just a van pun. What started van life for me was a desire to be an artist full-time. I decided that I would move into the van, because rent in Hawaii was so expensive.”

His sound is distinguished by use of the electronic looper, a device he picked up in Hawaii. Asked about what made him want to write songs, Rose recalls “The music that inspired me the most was classic rock, specifically acts that were obsessed with southern blues and its heritage; Clapton, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, and the like. At the same time, I grew up in an area that was diverse, and I was exposed to hip-hop early. I didn’t know it then, but the R&B and soul catalogue that was sampled to make ‘90s hip-hop was laying bricks deep in my subconscious.”

Continues Rose, “I’d say my strongest influences are Bill Withers and Prince. One writes spiritual hymns and gut-punching, plain-spoken blues, the other is a florid songwriter of the highest caliber. Bill plays one instrument terribly, and doesn’t much care. He writes what he feels. Prince is a virtuoso at every instrument and would record his albums entirely by himself. They really are the yin and yang of my approach to music. On the one hand, write from the gut, what my spirit drives me to say.  [But Prince is] intent on building a skyscraper of sound, with the kick drum as the foundation and funky floors intricately constructed around it.”

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