Words by: Matthew Griffiths
KUNZITE is the shared musical project between multi-instrumentalists/producers Mike Stroud (RATATAT) and Agustin White (WHITE FLIGHT).
In May 2021, KUNZITE dropped a skate and surf-themed music video for their track, “FROSTY”, featuring a broad selection of female skaters and surfers. It’s a stunning video that took fans aback with its remarkable cinematography.
The video opens with a shot of female skate collective GRLSWIRL skating together down a wide open road. Throughout the video, we see many aesthetically pleasing shots of the girls riding the waves/concrete, and having fun. We see skateboarder Erin Wolfkiel airing out of a bowl, surfers Alanna Parra and Alana Rene Blanchard on crystal waters, as well as roller skater Kelsey Guy busting out some jubilant dance moves on the asphalt.
The lyrics to “FROSTY” are definitely related to skating and surfing, as you can see from the first couple of lines –
“RIDE ON THE RAYS OF THE FARTHEST SUN/
OH FLY ON THE WAVE OF THE SOLAR HUM/
OH CLIMB ON THE LACE OF THE HEAVENS HUNG/
YOU GOT TO RIDE ON/
THE WAVE WHEN THE SWELL HAS COME”
Skateboarding as we know it today originated from surfers in California who wanted something to do when the waves were flat. This is seen in the movie Lords of Dogtown – a movie about the origins of skateboarding set in the Dogtown area of Santa Monica in the mid–1970s. Scenes in “FROSTY” were filmed in Venice, whose notorious Venice Beach is just 3 miles from Santa Monica and is also a hugely popular skating destination.
One of KUNZITE’s members, Mike Stroud, is one half of the band Ratatat. They have an extremely distinguishable sound which also comes through on KUNZITE tracks. The other half of the band, E.VAX, produced on Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness”.
Ratatat, like KUNZITE, has been linked to skating culture with their music being used in the 2015 video game Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5.
Music is tied to an endless amount of cultures. Even when we don’t mean it to, it follows us around. It doesn’t matter whether we change country, our method of transport, or favourite hobby – we can tie music to something that we love. Ratatat and KUNZITE have done just that.