Words by Erin Ashley Simon
Although New York is notorious for never sleeping, Oakland artist ymtk says it best on “No Rest (West Coast)”: even outside the Big Apple, there’s simply no time to rest for go-getters. Whether you’re “up late in LA,” “sleepless in Seattle,” or “wide awake in San Diego,” a steady grind will forever leave you in a fast-paced, induced state.
With the help of bounce-happy synths and melodic notes, ymtk’s vocals danced around the track’s island-tempo, serving as a physical manifestation of the saying “pep in your step” with each increasing chord progression. This was personally noted considering I couldn’t stop bobbing my head. And according to Young Murph The Kidd, it was a similar experience for him too.
“I had recently gotten back from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and was still on a bouncy island vibe,” he said via email. “Throughout the year I was doing a lot of traveling, a few tropical spots like Rio, Maui like three times, and Waikiki. I was also hitting the Bay Area a lot, which is home, as well as Seattle and San Diego to do shows and hang out. All this bouncing around was fresh on my brain… Ekzakt let me throw a baseline on the beat, which I’m hella proud of obviously for implementing into the story and from there we just mobbed!!”
Indeed, they mobbed alongside fellow Bay Area native Iamsu!, who dropped eight-bars on ymtk’s single to compliment the “Cali-chill” production work. Suzy provides an additional ounce of laid-back style to the overall piece, which in itself is a bit ironic considering the song touches on being proactive. But, it’s clear to see that ymtk has a spot in the independent space, and as long as he continues to grind with “no rest on the West Coast,” he will have a solid career moving forth.
Stream the track below and watch for ymtk’s upcoming project, All the Right Places.
Erin Ashley Simon is a digital content creator, strategist and producer by day, ice cream enthusiast by night. You can find Erin sharing work moments and talking about music and sports on Snapchat erinasimon, Twitter @erinasimon and Instagram @erinasimon.