The beauty of the modern music industry is that so many individuals and collectives can produce songs that listeners can enjoy and relate to at different rhythms and within so many genres. However, with the spotlight seemingly dominated by computer-generated pop and hip-hop, perhaps some “real” musicians can be overlooked in 2021. After listening to their latest release, titled Amuse De Q, Little King is clearly one of those bands whose time should be now.
Little King was formed in 1996 by Ryan Rosoff in El Paso, Texas. The guitarist, singer, and songwriter’s early ventures started with another rock group called Tweed Quickly. There he played guitar and sang backing vocals while playing incredibly challenging, Zappa-esque songs composed by Scott Marestein. Rosoff’s stint with the band lasted about a year, eventually leaving the group to strike out on his own. Rosoff would later form a three-person band called Little King in November of 1996.
Taking the name from a Gaelic translation of the name “Ryan,” Little King would prepare for the studio by playing local and regional shows. Their first demo CD, Transmountain, was sold and promoted around the southwest. After a year, Rosoff would move back to Seattle with his family. He would compose twelve new tracks and sign a one-record deal with independent label Shade Records. Eventually, Rosoff returned to Texas in 1998 to produce a new album called Time Extension with new members.
Time Extension would be the first album to showcase Rosoff’s conceptual writing as the tracks told the story of a protagonist on his deathbed in the emergency looking back on his life. Each song reflected his thoughts on the choices he made throughout the years. The album was well-received, launching the band to new heights.
Throughout their 25-year run, Little King would perform with different members and take occasional breaks after extensive tours. In 2000, the band would make its first hiatus after the label they were signed with dissolved. Rosoff, who had boundless energy and passion for the music industry, launched Little King Productions, helping other musicians from different genres thrive. Despite being busy running the company, Rosoff would get the band together to produce Virus Divine, another conceptual album that puts listeners into the perspective of a man watching news coverage of the Columbine High School tragedy.
After another tour, the band would go on hiatus, and founder Rosoff decided to try his hand as a high school English teacher, providing him with a renewed lyrical focus. Little King would later make a return with the album Legacy of Fools. After the album release, Rosoff and his family relocated to California to pursue an entrepreneurial career that took most of his time, prompting him to break yet again from the music industry. However, Rosoff would make his return after a few years, releasing Little King’s OD1. Despite the album’s success, the band would not go on tour, putting the band on another hiatus. However, songs partially written for OD1 kept the door open for their return.
In 2019, Little King regrouped, releasing the 5-song EP Occam’s Foil. The album was incredibly well-received by music press and college radio, propelling the band to charts and features on numerous global media outlets. In a short time, Little King’s social media presence grew. However, the onset of the pandemic pushed back any plans for live performances. Despite the setback, Little King was able to spend the time to produce their new record Amuse De Q, a collection of Rosoff’s thoughts and reflections on the many crises happening around the world during the Q (Quarantine).
With Amuse De Q set for a release on September 3rd, Little King continues Rosoff’s tradition of intricate musicianship, creative and prescient lyrical content, and high-end production values. The album was expertly mixed by Daniel Salcido (Sevendust, Plain White T’s, Disturbed) and mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More, Yes, Halford) in Los Angeles.