Electronic music producer Ross Mintzer’s journey in music has been about finding his voice. He’s a former prodigious saxophonist who went through a profound transformation where he reclaimed his life and his dreams, and—among other seismic changes—shifted his focus from playing the saxophone to producing electronic music. Today, he embraces newfound autonomous artistry with the emotionally evocative and lushly textured EP, Imagine.
“I started producing electronic music on my computer three years ago and fell in love with it. I knew it was how I wanted to spend my time, and I put a lot of energy and emotion into the music,” says the Brooklyn, New York-based producer. “Now, I want to connect with people and make them feel good.”
Signatures of Ross’s aesthetic are dreamy vocals, lyrics of longing, sensual ambient textures, dynamic drops, musically imaginative samples, and impactful arrangements. He brings his prismatic artistry to life onstage with an experience that’s both intimate and immersive with a visual spectacle that includes video and light design. “I want to foster a connection when I perform like I am inviting the audience into my room to listen to my music, but also taking them on a transformative experience,” he says.
Purely from an aural perspective, Ross’s debut EP, Imagine, is also an absorbing experience. It offers a portal into a dimension of warm nostalgia. “This music is about escaping into your mind,” Ross affirms of his artistic intent. “I like to write things that trigger and take you places into your mind and imagination. I want these sounds to be like thoughts that take you back.”
His aptly-titled first single, “Remember,” is sleekly sentimental, sensually sweeping you away with airy harmony vocals, seductive female vocals, playful twists of sound frequencies, hypnotic touches of melodic atmospherics, and durable beats that slide in and out of the track. The soundscapes here are impressionistic with lyrics bittersweetly touching on youthful relationships. The standout “Days,” built around an infectious guitar sample, boasts breezy soulful, almost pop-R&B, touches updated with sleek club grooves. The song is a carefree feel-good track that’s the perfect compliment to Ross’s more emotive-driven artistry.
Tracks like “Feels The Same” and “Home” showcase Ross’s sharp compositional touch. On “Feels The Same,” piano, flute, and rugged beats swirl together into a woozy EDM pop jam. With “Home,” Ross melds glitchy electro touches and invigorating drops with stately balladry. The chillwave gem “See You Again” is a stunner due to well-crafted lovelorn lyrics and heavy synth work.
Ross’s journey in music began at the age of 8 when he showed promise as a saxophonist. The sparks of his talent were quickly stoked as Ross was thrown into the fire to be a jazz musician—perhaps, destined to follow in his uncle Bob Mintzer’s footsteps, a Grammy award-winning jazz saxophonist and composer. But deep down he felt disconnected from his talents, and it was a surreal blur as the accolades came rolling in. Ross’s talent and creativity was praised in an NPR Music article after he performed on the NPR radio show, “From The Top,”, he was part of a youth Jazz Band that performed at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards and he even performed the National Anthem on saxophone to an audience of 8,000 people before a Colorado Sky Sox game.
In his 20s, Ross went on an adventure and traveled to Pakistan where he worked as a volunteer teacher and started a girls’ choir. At the time, Ross realized a path as a saxophonist wasn’t meant for him. His a-ha moment for his future came when he encountered electronic music.
“When I heard electronic music, I was shocked by the sounds and the feelings it conveyed. I started to study its roots, and study sound engineering,” he reveals. “Music became exciting again.”
Quickly, Ross realized that his gifts on sax didn’t translate to the electronic artistic medium. “It’s like learning a new language as an adult—you have this desire to express yourself but you don’t have the skillset to communicate your feelings,” he shares. “Being a good sax player doesn’t mean you’re going to be a good engineer.”
Letting his tastes dictate his music, Ross has become a promising new electronic artist with a distinct aesthetic. He made his debut performance in Brooklyn last May at Kinfolk 94 in support of non-profit, Code to Inspire, which teaches girls coding in Afghanistan. In the future, Ross hopes to continue to support meaningful causes with select performances.
Being an artist on his own terms, away from well-trodden music career paths, has been empowering for Ross. “This music has taught me to believe in myself. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. This is who I am, and I am excited to share this music,” he says.