Sola Rosa is back home in New Zealand and playing Oceania after a brief tour of the West Coast.
The electronica act’s North American summer tour started July 12 in Victoria, Canada, and ended July 22 with at the Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena, Calif. The tour supported the act’s album of remixed songs from the group’s Get It Together LP, which was released in the U.S. last year.
Sola Rosa, which blends jazz, hip hop and Latin, was founded by Andrew Spraggon, who handles keys and percussion.
Speaking by phone from his tour bus traveling to Pasadena, Calif., for the group’s last gig of the tour, Spraggon’s tired voice betrays his three hours’ sleep and general fatigue after a six-week tour of Europe and two weeks in North America.
By his side is Spikey T, a Sola Rosa vocalist and soul performer in his own right who’s featured on three Rosa albums and is a staple of the group’s tours.
Spraggon, 41, says the shows have had their highs and lows. The band played to a few hundred listeners in San Francisco the night before and sold out one show. The smallest crowd was about 15.
His second tour of the U.S. with Solar Rosa, Spraggon says he sees the difference between New Zealand and the States, from their venues to the food offered at gas stations.
He says compared to the quieter, more reserved crowds of old English nations such as New Zealand and Canada, Americans are louder, which he likes. Though he describes his music as “more lounge-y,” that doesn’t mean his shows are the stuff of smarmy cocktail bar singers.
“We’re not polite live,” Spraggon says. “We try to bring a party if we can.”
The musical change comes because Spraggon hasn’t been able to follow the Jamaican music scene and keep up with the latest trends in the genre.
He says the album was influenced by the work of The Roots’ How I Got Over and rapper Q-Tip.
Throughout August and September, Sola Rosa will tour New Zealand then head to Australia. Tour dates can be found on the band’s website, solarosa.com.