Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Maitreya & Aquatic Cat Dolphin “Roses” (Singled Out)

Published in Blog, villin. Tags: , , , .

Out a random night freestyling off each other came the foundation for what became the song “Roses,” with Maitreya and Aquatic Cat Dolphin ultimately bringing the song from conception to recording within the span of a day. On the surface, the song’s themes appear simple, with gratitude at its core, but a more complex and trying journey is behind its concept, covering several years and a trying times. In this edition of Singled Out, the two artists discuss “Roses,” also explaining what first brought them together, what they’re planning next, and how this particular track feels like the beginning of a journey for them both.


villin: One of the lyrics relied upon heavily throughout the song is the line about beating the odds. The song took on a new life for me once I read the comment on ACD’s Instagram post about the real life obstacles and difficulties that came up over the past few years. Catharsis is a word that’s overused sometimes, but given that background, is this song an act of catharsis in a way?

Maitreya: Man, I would say yes, entirely. This song was created in such a beautiful and organic way, and turned into a major expression of human emotion; like you mentioned, [it] was a mantra for us and for anyone listening that they got that shit and can get through anything. Every day is a new opportunity for growth and that’s one relation to the hook as well, hence “smelling” the roses. “Wake up in the morning smell the roses, wake up in the morning thank god.”

The song sprouted from an improv (freestyle) at one of my shows after I finished doing all of my songs I started playing beats and me and Jonah (Aquatic Cat Dolphin) just started vibing and “Roses” came from it. Right after I stopped singing, Jonah said “Bro we are recording that tomorrow just so you know.” And we did.

Aquatic Cat Dolphin: For me yes, 100%. That line in particular, “I beat the odds,” I think is why this song means so much to me personally, because I really just feel that shit. And you can feel it in Maitreya’s vocal, that he does too, which makes it just connect and feels so uplifting with everything I went through.

A lot of my music is just that though, it’s really just letting emotions flow out by letting something higher than me kinda just open the flood gates for it all. Sometimes it’s stuff that I haven’t even really thought about, it had just been suppressed, so when it comes out in the flow state of writing it kinda sheds light on it for me and helps me understand myself more. It’s pretty wild exploring the mind in that way.

villin: Out of that dark period, you two met. What brought you together and what has the collaborative experience been like to this point?

Aquatic Cat Dolphin & Maitreya: The universe, man. Soul brothers. As far as the experience working together has been, divine bliss. We are both able to go along with what we hear and turn it into reality and it’s truly so dope. And ever since the universe introduced us to each other it’s just been consistent growth and expressing what we feel with music and we are exited to keep doing it. Stars aligned.

villin: On the production and structure side of the track, where did the beat come from and how did you find a stylistic balance allowing for you to each flex your strengths on the track?

Maitreya: So the track is produced by a talented producer by the name of Bvtman. And I’d say it was just a natural flow, like, I came up with the hook from that improv I mentioned earlier and as soon as I recorded the rough draft of the hook I sent it to my brotha and he did his thing and it all flowed together organically! Us first recording our individual parts in our own studios solo, then recording the rest together, like, both in his studio was a great balance. I think that has a lot to do with the way the track is. Being able to be fully present in a room with only you and your brain and letting what wants to come out be released is so key, then conjoining forces after you gave that time. Then mixing, doing doubles, brainstorming ideas, and every part of the rest of the process doing it together made “Roses” what it is today!

villin: My favorite line from the song relates to the idea of ascension being just one of the steps on a broader journey. Not to get too deep with it, but the line stuck out to me because of the practical nature of its message. Ascension isn’t some far off in the distant concept, but almost a daily practice, moving incrementally further away from the lower self to a higher self, whatever that means to an individual. How close am I coming to touching on the theme of this song and does that idea relate at all to your lives?

Aquatic Cat Dolphin: Nailed it right on the head, my friend. It’s truly about taking those daily steps; becoming aware of that I feel is a powerful knowing. The line that comes after it “what will be next though? Unknown. Every moment I’m holding so close, stoppin’ and smellin’ roses,” kinda ties into that in a way because we don’t know what’s next; all we have is now and these moments and what we choose to do with them are all apart of that ascension. So looking at it as far off in the distant concept, like you said, doesn’t do much for us in this moment, but if looked at as an in the moment daily practice it’s more obtainable in the mind to grasp, I feel like. For me personally anyways.

Maitreya: You’re awesome man, seriously. Everyday is a new opportunity, like we said, and that is a reoccurring message/mantra throughout this track: that every morning is a reminder of a new day to come. We getting deep with it, bro! I feel like with art and creation it’s only right to get deep with it to fully understand ! So much love for your thought and time you put into these questions, man. Exited to create more with my brotha and put our more music!

villin: What’s next to come – when we first touched base there was a comment about a potential broader release between you two?

Aquatic Cat Dolphin & Maitreya: Sooooooooo much – so so much more to come. We locked and loaded with singles for the year leading to an album named Hammocks and Type Beats and ultimately that’s just the beginning. We both really feel we’re just scratching the surface and are stoked to watch it evolve for years to come.

For more from Maitreya, follow his work on Instagram, Threads, or TikTok. For more from Aquatic Cat Dolphin, follow his work on Facebook, Instagram, Threads, or TikTok. “Roses” can be streamed across Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.

[This article was first published on villin.]