June 15, 2017 / 12:28 pm

Local Spotlight: Planet Natives

Planet Natives – Planet Natives EP

Album artwork: Juliet Johnson


Local Bloomington artists Planet Natives released their first EP titled the Planet Natives EP, at the beginning of this June. The EP includes elements of cosmic jazz, psych, atomospheric, and hip-hop. It is quite different than most Bloomington music projects in that it offers a fresh take on electronic jazz music, which, to my knowledge, has not been properly represented in the Bloomington music community.

Many of the titles of the tracks are directly reflective of the songs mood. Track 4, Tribe Vibe, pays homage to the laid back rhymes and feel of the celebrated hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Track 5, Flying Lo, pulls influence from the experimental electronic artist Flying Lotus.


I got a hold of Quinton Rief, co-founder of Planet Natives, to ask him a few questions about the EP and the music project:


MIKE HIGGINS: Who are the members of Planet Natives? Who did the production work?

QUINTON RIEF: Planet Natives is the brainchild of Kaila and I. It originally started as a guitar and violin duo, then changed to synth and guitar, then to a full jazz/soul band, and now it is an electronicy jazzy psychedelic project. I did production on all of the tracks. Kaila helped produce on Planetarium and Will Chen mastered all of the tracks.


MH: What influences did you draw on for this record?

QR: A huge influence on my production is Flying Lotus and Thundercat. I have been listening to a lot of Thundercat’s new album Drunk recently and I find myself going back to it for inspiration. That’s actually what lead me to sampling my housemate’s cat on the track Flying Lo and also the reason I titled the track the way I did.


MH: How does Bloomington assist with your creative abilities for your music project? Are you influenced by the local music scene? How would you describe the community of music in Bloomington?

QR: As far as the Bloomington music scene I feel that I am not necessarily influenced by it or even really a part of it. Most of the music that is coming out of Bloomington is SoundCloud rock type stuff, which is cool, but not really what I am into. The features that are on this project are not people I have met through the Bloomington “scene” but friends of mine that I have met on terms other than music. Honestly I was pretty discouraged by how many Bloomington music people iced me out when I asked to collaborate with them, but it’s whatever.


MH: Where would you like to take this project in the future: I.e. Shows? Future music releases? Experimenting with new sounds?

QR: A common thing I hear from people who listen to my music is that they could picture it being in a movie, so I think collaborating with film makers would be a really fun challenge to take on in the future. The music I have been making since I dropped the project has been heavily sample based and really influenced by 9th wonder. It’s an interesting way to make music and I am excited to experiment more with it.


MH: Anything else you want people to know about this record and Planet Natives?

QR: I worked really hard on this project and while there may be a few kinda weak tracks, I am really proud of the final product.


The Planet Natives EP can be streamed for free on SoundCloud:


Spin this EP to calm the mind and experience the wonders of electronic jazz. This EP serves as something new and exciting coming out of the Bloomington music scene, so be sure to keep an eye out for future releases from Planet Natives.

Be on the lookout for live performances from Planet Natives around Bloomington this upcoming year.



Track List:

01: Hello

02: June

03: Planetarium

04: Tribe VIbe

05: Flying Lo

06: The Way Out


Mike Higgins