nxtime is a band based out of New York City. Comprised of Ray Rubio, a singer/songwriter and producer from Harlem who previously played in the indie band All Types of Kinds, and Nate Thompson, a guitarist/producer from Northern Colorado who played in several projects in his local music scene while studying at CU Boulder. The two are backed by Imhotep Williams, a drummer from the Bronx, and a rotating lineup of other local musicians. This duo met through the New York City rock climbing community, then started writing together during recording sessions in Ray’s bedroom studio. They deliver upbeat, danceable rhythms and modern yet nostalgic melodies; inspired by classic RnB with the synth-soaked tones of 80’s pop.
“Bob Ross” is the band’s latest single, and the first of this year. The band was inspired by the cultural icon, known for his ability to teach the masses how to paint picturesque scenes with joy and ease, and his popular “happy little trees” saying. This song exemplifies the band’s signature sound – an upbeat bop with searching lyrics and a splash of wit. The songwriters, Ray and Nate, wish they could be as chill and well-spoken as Bob Ross, so they express their mental blocks through their music.
They are quick to point out that the blocks are a result of a scattered brain, perhaps connected to ADHD, and it’s a feeling that many can relate to – knowing in your mind what you want to say, but not being able to be eloquent in the way that Bob Ross is when he would paint. The production is cheerful and complements the chipper vocals. Even though the band is expressing their frustrations in the lyrics, there is nothing frustrating about the song. It’s elegantly simple, backed by drums, guitars, and shimmery synths, which perfectly encapsulates the joyful calm that Bob Ross has become known for. And even though the band wishes they were more eloquent, I think any listener can pick up the straightforward explanations in the lyrics. Ending with a few sample lines from the cultural icon himself, the band closes out the happy song on a happy note.
In honor of Mr. Ross, the band is donating the proceeds from our Spotify streams to a charity that he was passionate about, St. Jude Children’s Hospital. If you love the song please consider heading to stjude.org and making a donation to end childhood cancer.