Ginger Root is the project of 24-year-old Orange Countian Cameron Lew, who calls his music “aggressive elevator soul.” He started his ascent with a couple of releases in 2017, one a collection of lo-fi covers (He continues to churn them out), and hit his stride with the 2018 album “Mahjong Room,” where laid-back funk and R&B is delivered in a woolly blanket of synths. Ginger Root opened a European tour for Khruangbin that year.
For his next act, Lew will release his new album “Rikki” this fall (it originally was scheduled for June). He’s teased it with two singles and two madcap videos that show his film-school education at Chapman University did not go to waste.
“Out of State,” released last week with Bandcamp proceeds going to the Elijah McClain GoFundMe campaign, is at once groovy and trippy. And the video mixes martial arts and table tennis in hilariously dramatic fashion. “Having trained in martial arts for most of my childhood, and having a grandfather that competed in local table tennis tournaments, I wanted to combine the two in the form of a music video that also paid homage to the many Kung Fu movies I watched growing up,” Lew says. “It’s no ‘Drunken Master’ or ‘Shaolin Soccer,’ but I had a lot of fun making it.”
Released in March, “Karaoke” pays homage to something that Lew doesn’t like very much. “Karaoke the activity has never been appealing to me,” he explains. “And I have this friend who comes and goes in and out of my life. They never seem to have an interest in what I’ve been up to, so one day talking with them, I thought about bringing up a bunch of fake new things and hobbies I’ve been trying out (because it’d just go in one ear and out the other). One of them being that I do karaoke now.”
||| Watch: The videos for “Out of State” and “Karaoke”
||| Live: Ginger Root will perform online July 4 as part of the 4th of July Block Party thrown by Grand Park and the Music Center.