ROZES is ready to go back to her musical roots. Her latest song, an emotional and uplifting ballad about mental health, ‘Call Me,’ sets precedent as the first track from ‘She Is The Music,’ Alicia Keys’ all-female writing camp. The resulting song is a culmination of her continued growth and evolution as an artist, and she spoke with us recently about the song’s creation and what she’s got in store for the rest of 2019.
Your song ‘Call Me,’ is a moving and uplifting song about mental health and the power of friendship. What inspired you to pen this track?
I’ve had many people in my life lately who have been struggling with their mental health, myself included. The biggest thing I’ve learned since having a life on the road, is how important and how far a phone call can go. Simply reaching out to someone who is struggling, or reaching out when you are struggling can make such a difference. I wanted to write about the realness of depression, and that there is always someone there for you, even when you feel like you are alone.
With mental health at the core message of the track, you made a decision to release the song after Mental Health Awareness month as a way to show that mental health is something everyone should focus on year round. What are some things you do to keep yourself happy and healthy?
I have many things that I do to help maintain a healthy mind. I do lots of yoga, and workout, I do lots of planting, play with my dogs, hanging out with friends and family, and the obvious: writing music. I also set a lot of limits for myself when it comes to social media, which helps my mental health a lot, too.
What was it like working at Alicia Keys’ She Is The Music camp?
It was amazing! Empowering and so inspiring.
‘Call Me’ is a song made entirely by women — no small feat in an industry that seems dominated by men. Was there a feeling of sisterhood working on this track? Do you have any special memories writing and recording it?
When we were writing this track, I don’t think any of us were really thinking about the fact that we were all women. I think we all took it as any other session, and sat down and talked about the things we were personally going through and things going on around us, and then wrote about it. I remember ordering pizza and calamari and just sitting there with Alex and Sophia and just soaking in the fact that we were there in Alicia’s studio writing such an amazing emotional song.
‘Call Me’ is much more a ballad than your previous songs. How does it feel getting back to your musical roots?
I’m really excited to about the music I’ve been recently releasing. It feels refreshing and I feel like I am maturing with the music I’m making. I’ve always want to be releasing more organic music, so it feels freeing to be doing that.
Do you plan to keep releasing songs that are less dance-inspired?
I’ll still be doing dance collaborations, but as for my solo career, yes, I intend to be releasing more organic pop based songs.
We had the pleasure of seeing you perform with MAX at U Street Music Hall in 2017. You were so full of energy and love in every song. Are you looking forward to performing ‘Call Me’ live? How will you approach performing a ballad differently than your upbeat dance tracks?
Ah, thank you so much! I am looking forward to performing “Call Me” live, and I am, of course, also nervous. My show, like you said, is mainly dance tracks, and coming from the EDM world, I have grown accustomed to the attention spans of the EDM culture. However, I’ve been so excited to branch out and change my show up with my new music. I think we become fearful of “ballads” because we don’t want to lose our listeners, but we forget sometimes that there is power in stillness. Everyone loves a good power ballad, am I right?! So I’ll be working with my drummer to make this show the best it can possibly be!
What is your advice for aspiring female songwriters? What’s some knowledge you’ve learned working in the industry you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself when you were starting out?
The best advice I’ve ever been given is to learn how to do everything yourself. Write, play instruments, produce demos, because the more you know, the less you need to rely on others. I’m not sure that there’s anything I wish I could go back in time for- except maybe to explain that things can work out for the better, and to tell myself to trust the process. The biggest thing I’m working on is trying not to compare myself and my path to others.
What are your plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond?
I just plan to keep hustling, writing, and releasing music and playing shows! So stay tuned!!
Featured Image Photo courtesy Adam Contiello.