For Boston-based electronic artist, producer, and self-made musical entrepreneur Rilla Force (Joshua Major-Paschal) the essence of creation is the ability to strip down any musical style into what he connects with most, adding in his own lush vocals, and salting the tracks with vicious sampled beats.
Rilla’s kinetic flow and melodic delivery connect with the elastic pulse of bouncing beats on his debut concept album Fiesta, set for release on Nov. 1, 2019 via Gratitude Sound Music. Fiesta merges future bass, EDM, R&B, and hip-hop into Rilla’s own signature sound, a subgenre he’s coined “RNBDM”. Composed, arranged, produced, mixed, and mastered in its entirety by Rilla, the diverse and defining elements of RNBDM are at play throughout the album, from auto-tune inflected blues and R&B choruses to melodic pop, classic breakbeats, South American rhythms, and some free-form production improvisation.
“I like really powerful and energetic music, stuff that makes people get up and dance …or at least, bob their heads really hard,” laughs Rilla. “And those are kind of the core elements of RNBDM, to be able to move people with chord progressions and a little bit of theory, and get them to dance.”
“Amen” features the production chops of the Boston club-scene mainstay at his best. In the opening lines, Rilla sings “I just can’t help feeling, everything is right. I can’t help but think that, it’ll be alright”. The track represents the conquering of one’s fears and overcoming hardships and the track best exemplifies the album’s overall conceptual narrative of the artist traversing a diverse landscape of emotions “ranging from superlative glee to utter disdain.”
“Corre Conmigo,” which translates to “Run With Me”, is a largely instrumental track with a sound that is, at once, experimental and danceable. The song’s minimalist vocals are about taking a leap of faith when it comes to engaging someone you are interested in and chasing the thing you want you regardless of who might be affected in the end. “Atone,” with its exultant chord arrangements and spitfire lyrics, speaks to relationships in which the selfishness of both parties stands front and center, to the point of admitting what the chorus states “I want it all, I want involved”. Atone is all about accepting what you want even if it hurts people,” reflects Rilla. “It speaks to the individual who has their cake, devours it, and also wants a piece of what others have as well.”
Fiesta also features local Massachusetts artist’s such as the mystery-enshrouded Boston rapper Lord Felix on “Fade” and hip hop producer, rapper, and fellow Gratitude Sound artist Latrell James on “6Boom Cycles”. Over the years, Rilla Force has been working hard at developing his production style, collaborating with other like-minded artists, and crafting what would become the new subgenre of R N B D M, which was subsequently the name of his first EP/Mixtape released in 2016.