If you’ve never heard of ROZES, think again… because I guarantee you have. In 2015, an EDM duo called The Chainsmokers released a song that broke down pop barriers and pushed EDM to the forefront of the radio waves. “Roses” became an instant hit and fan favorite, garnering over 6 million plays on Spotify. The song was written by Elizabeth Mencel (ROZES) and The Chainsmokers and continues to amp up fans whenever it’s played live. But do you know who ROZES really is?
This Philadelphia native has made a name for herself since her radio hit with The Chainsmokers and continues to keep her voice and music as personal and real as possible. This year alone, ROZES has released three songs, all incredibly beautiful and meaningful to the singer. As a mental health advocate and woman in the music business, ROZES has a lot to say and she says it well.
I asked some questions about her latest single “Call Me“, her time at Alicia Keys’ writing camp, and what the rest of 2019 looks like for her music career:
Have you always been passionate about social and mental health issues? When did you feel comfortable including those themes into your music? (“Call Me” “Halfway There”)
“I have always had the fight for social and mental health issues inside of me. I grew up bullied and started struggling with mental health from an early age because of it. As I grew older and felt more comfortable in my skin, I started using music to speak out about the things I was feeling and what I believed in. I was never going to fit in, so I decided to stand out.
My music always has a deeper meaning to it than what is shown (or heard) on the surface, a lot of my earlier songs are about my struggles with love. But I think I started getting frustrated with writing about the same thing as everyone else, when the world is struggling with much deeper things beyond that. I started to recognize that my words had weight to them, and the things I believe in, and the people I love, need to be supported, too. I guess I’m trying to be the hero I never had. ‘Halfway There‘ and ‘Call Me’ are just the tip of the iceberg. I’m refusing to write about anything ‘easy,’ now is the time to speak out, so I’m going to.”
Explain being a part of the “She Is The Music” writing camp? How did you get involved? How was the experience?
“I was invited to the join the writing camp by someone who was setting it up, and I’m so thankful. This experience was so empowering and inspiring. We got to sit down with Alicia Keys and discuss music and our favorite artists that have inspired us as music makers. Being a part of this camp made me realize that we have to be the change we want to see. It starts with us. As an artist, it is my responsibility to be inviting females into the studio to create- we have to help each other. I worked with some of the best writers and producers and wrote some of my favorite music, including my latest single ‘Call Me’.”
Do most of your songs start on the piano? What does your writing process look like?
“I think it’s pretty evenly split between piano and guitar. I typically have a concept that I want to write about. I have a running list of words and concepts in my phone that I write down when I feel inspired by something and depending on who I am writing with or if I’m writing by myself, I’ll pick a specific concept. Then I settle on some chords and the melodies and lyrics follow! My process does change, but that is the typical skeleton.”
What’s inspiring you these days?
“I am truly inspired by the world around me and the struggles each human must face in their lives. I am very strong in my beliefs, and that plays a huge factor in my writing. I’m inspired by my fight as a woman be to seen and treated equally, by the LGBTQ+ community and their fight to love freely, by my honest and true struggles with mental health and the determination to channel it into something healthy (music), by the heartbreak and injustice that modern day racism is still causing in our country, and so much more that daily life shows me.”
What does the rest of 2019 look like for ROZES?
“I’ve got lots of music and collaborations I’m really excited about! I hope to be playing shows and getting on a tour for fall!”