Exclusive Interview: Everything’s Coming Up ROZES
From huge hits with The Chainsmokers and Galantis to her own mega bops, everything’s coming up ROZES.
See what the EDM darling had to say about her single “Canyons,” the value of album artwork plus some sound advice for women everywhere.
Explain the background behind your single “Canyons.”
ROZES: When I wrote “Canyons”, I was in a disagreement with someone who I love dearly. “Canyons” is the realization that you can disagree with the people you love most, yet still be compatible. It was a learning process for me, and I wanted to be able to share how I felt about the “rift” between me and this person.
Will “Canyons” be appearing on an album anytime soon?
ROZES: “Canyons” will be part of a larger piece of work, whether it be an EP or an album is still yet to be decided.
On “Roses”, your 2015 hit with The Chainsmokers, you sang “Deep in my bones, I can feel you.” Now in 2017 on “Canyons” we hear you singing “I swear I can’t feel you anymore.” Was this intentional? Are these lyrics about the same relationship?
ROZES: Wow, I actually never even thought about this connection! Though I’m still in the relationship, the song is not about him, but rather one of my best friends.
The Chainsmokers have received a lot of criticism for their music, with many saying it isn’t very original. Why do you think The Chainsmokers are facing these criticisms?
ROZES: I think it’s easy to criticize someone at the top. Other artists and fans will always have their particular favorite songs and even some jealousy, that’s the way of the industry. Regardless of how you’re being talked about, you’re still being talked about, which means you’re making an impact. No matter the criticism and opinions, The Chainsmokers have built an amazing and unique name for themselves, and have, in turn, created a genre that a lot of artists are trying to fit into. I applaud Drew and Alex for staying true to themselves and their musical style despite any criticism.
What’s your creative process like?
ROZES: My creative process changes day to day. Usually I start on the piano with an idea or concept in mind. I like to write about the things I’m going through or a friend is going through, because I want to be as “real” as possible.
How did you carve out your own sound?
ROZES: I don’t think my sound was ever a planned thing. I’m made up of pieces of each artist I grew up listening to. Pieces of my lyrics are honest like Adele, and pieces of my sound are drawn from No Doubt; however, I still like putting out what I think is honest and “cool,” whatever that may sound like!
What magnetized you to EDM music in particular?
ROZES: I actually never planned to be an EDM artist, I just kind of fell into it. When The Chainsmokers found me, I was just an indie artist releasing melodramatic songs on SoundCloud. Once I wrote “Roses” it was almost like the path into the EDM world just opened up to me.
Speaking to Billboard last year, you said “dance music is definitely not where I want to stay for my career” – where do you want to go instead?
ROZES: Ideally I want to blur genre lines. I don’t know exactly where I’d like to end up, as I’m not the type to want to be boxed in, but right now I’m enjoying writing in the electronic-pop genre.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your lyrics, your look and your sound?
ROZES: Everything is derived from my real life or my friends’ lives. I want to tell my listeners the truth… I basically want them to feel like they’re reading my diary. As far as my look, I mostly love wearing black rompers to perform, because I’m always jumping around, and my gold crown. I don’t know that I have a specific look… I just like what I like! My sound is basically whatever I come up with, it’s usually an emotional lyric with some added electronic and summery vibes.
The artwork for your music is really cute. How important is album artwork to you, and what do you hope to represent through the artwork for your music?
ROZES: Thank you! I think artwork is a super important piece to releasing a new song. It sets the stage for what the listeners should anticipate. My hope with my artwork is that it portrays an emotion that correlates with the vibe of the song. I like everything to make sense.
As a woman in the music industry, what’s your experience been like?
ROZES: I think any industry right now is tough for a woman. The music industry is no different. It would be easier if I could just be “bros” with someone, and not have to look a certain way or sound a certain way to get recognition. As a woman I find it imperative that I am a positive role model for younger listeners. It is so important as a woman to have opinions and to stand for something, and I want my fans to know that too.
Which issues are female singers facing, if any?
ROZES: I think female singers face a number of standards that a lot of men aren’t held to: “is her outfit “glam” enough, are her roots died, does she get her nails done, is she fit and skinny,” they’re all things that viewers and fans scrutinize. I think part of the problem is how hard women are on other women, and sometimes are pushed to compete with one another. I see fans who will turn to their boyfriends with a face of disgust as I’m singing, and I know this isn’t personal, and it is their way of proving status, but it’s also hard not to take personally. Female singers have to learn how to survive around other females, and I think that’s the toughest part.
Your 2016 song “Under the Grave” is quite Sia-esque, especially the powerful vocal delivery. Which female musicians inspire you the most?
ROZES: I’ve always been inspired by Adele, No Doubt, Amy Winehouse, Fleetwood Mac. Currently, I’ve been inspired a lot by Twenty One Pilots.
Which female musicians would you love to work with? Who are you into at the moment?
ROZES: I would love to work with Marren Morris, Bishop Briggs, and Miley Cyrus. These females also happen to be the ones I’m musically obsessing over lately.
What tips do you have, especially for women, for music industry success?
ROZES: My best advice is to learn how to do everything yourself: writing, producing, playing instruments… Learn as much as you can because it will teach you who you are. I also would say to learn how to not take things personally – develop thick skin. Rejection happens daily, people will always judge you, and you cannot be everyone’s perfect.
What’s next for ROZES in 2017?
ROZES: A lot! In September, I have my collaboration with Galantis called “Girls on Boys” and then my solo single “Famous” on 9/29. Then I’ll be touring with MAX in the Fall, and a lot more of my solo stuff to be released! I’m super excited!
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She certainly sounds very grounded, with a strong and positive sense of herself, as well as a realistic view of being a female artist in a male-dominated industry.