Rococo Disco Is the Sound You’ve Been Missing

It’s time to face the funking music

Courtesy of Rococo Disco

Austin’s funkiest duo almost didn’t happen. In its infancy, Rococo Disco comprised only Paul Chu, who, after a taste of high school choir, decided on a whim that he could do this music thing better on his own.

While Chu was writing songs and playing them with his friends, David Soto had his heart set on becoming a U.S. senator. His priorities were to build his résumé, and every day was another rung climbed on the ol’ ladder.

Years later, Chu and Soto met while attending Texas A&M University. Soto’s girlfriend at the time happened to hear Chu was looking for a bass guitar player, so she informed Soto, who happened to play bass. After listening to Soto’s playing, Chu knew there was no need for more auditions. He’d found his Cinderella.

“It wasn’t until I experienced the chemistry [Chu] and I have musically that I realized I could make a living from music,” Soto says. “I spent some time in D.C. before I officially joined the band, and it was very helpful for my mental clarity. Politics are too divisive. Music, it’s a universal language.”

Now, Chu and Soto claim they work their day jobs solely to be able to fund and propel their band forward so that one day, they can be musicians full-time. Creatively, they’re a funkadelic yin and yang. Though they confessed to facing their share of challenges when making music, they insisted that even during the most divisive moments of the creative process, they trust each other to make the best choices. They’re the Bee to each other’s Gee.

“There are times we’ve gotten into arguments over something and realized we’re saying the exact same thing,” Chu says. “We’re always trying to impress the other. We share all of our thoughts while we’re writing our songs. Open communication is the only way to do it.”

All of the band’s influences were there with “Tan Lines,” a single released in 2022 and the pair’s first collaboration. It dips its toes into the neo-soul genre while staying grounded in the styles of R&B and pop that are signature to Chu and Rococo Disco’s producer, Colton Dewberry. Since then, the band has slid into unabashed funk with their latest release, “Green Man,” which is a colorful, vaporwave-esque echo of their song “Lial.” Chu decided to reimagine “Lial” in honor of his late friend who helped write it.

The band will release their second EP on June 30, something Soto describes as the first utterance of their “brass era.” Though they consistently use brass instruments in their live shows, most of their recordings do not include them. This EP, titled {Rococo Disco (Live)}, will feature four of their already-existing songs, revamped to match what they regularly bring to the stage. It will also be the first time saxophonist/flutist Javier Vasquez and trombonist/trumpet player David Warrener, two regular additions to Rococo Disco’s live performances, are credited. An artistic visual recording called “Rococo Disco: live sessions with friends” will accompany the release of the EP. It’s intended to be a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the humor, song origins, and people involved in the making of the EP.

David Soto (left) and Paul Chu (Courtesy of Rococo Disco)

The duo also reports there are plans to release a full album in three or four months’ time, with songs they believe embody where they are both creatively and in life. Chu typically carries Rococo Disco’s vocals, but the album will spotlight Soto’s voice in a couple of tracks, namely “Corrido,” a number sung entirely in Spanish. Actually, Chu says they have about 60 songs on the back burner and enough solid material to release a third EP and a second full-length album, but all good things come to those who wait.

“We’re creative individuals, and you know how that can be,” Soto says. “We spread our attention horizontally instead of vertically.”

The feeling of hearing Rococo Disco live is akin to that of walking into a cool building in this scorching heat, or being told you look like a really hot celebrity.

“Our standards for ourselves are the highest of the high,” Chu says. “I don’t want anyone to feel disappointed after coming to one of our shows or listening to one of our songs.”

Catch them at their next show on June 22, where they’ll be opening for Sol Y Motion alongside Hot///Cakes at Empire Control Room & Garage.

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Rococo Disco, Paul Chu, David Soto

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