ROZES Talks Mental Health, Writing Music, And Her Passion For Women’s Rights

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!”

 

FOLLOW ROZES:

 


 

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BANKS Releases New Single, “Look What You’re Doing To Me”

In BANKS’ second single off her upcoming album, we hear a different vibe from the singer than we’re used to. A strong electro hook leads “Look What You’re Doing To Me” to be one of her most upbeat songs to date. While Banks continues to keep her moody and poetic lyrics, fellow singer/songwriter Francis and the Lights lends a hand (and voice) to this new spunky single.

“Look What You’re Doing To Me” seems to stray from BANKS‘ usual stream of conscious lyrical format (listen to The Altar start to finish) and shifts to a more call & response lyrical structure. Her voice is as powerful as ever, almost sounding strained in some verses as she explains her feelings towards a lover she can’t seem to resist. “Then you give me one more, heavenly eyes, I’m dying for, why you just looking me over?” she sings in a painful yet electric tone.

Listen for yourself below:

 


 

Learn more about me!

-Abbey

Katy Perry’s “Never Really Over”, Dissected

After the massive flop of her experimental 2017 album Witness, Katy Perry is back in a big way, with a big song, ready for a BIG summer. At first listen, “Never Really Over” reminded me of 2010 Teenage Dream-esque Perry – AKA – the PRIME of her career, musically and artistically (“Teenage Dream”, “Wide Awake, “The One That Got Away”). “Over” feels like the song that will bring Perry back to all the fans she so abruptly lost back in 2017.

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Image via pitchfork.com

Why does “Never Really Over” work so well?

Well, it goes back to the production and songwriting credits. Here are the eight songwriters credited for being a part of “Never Really Over”:

Dagny: Norwegian singer/songwriter. Her hit song “Love You Like That” follows the same musical production as “Never Really Over”. Dagny’s “Like That” is actually credited as the sample for Perry’s new tune. Not to mention, Dagny’s incredible ear for pop melodies.

Michelle Buzz: Buzz comes from the EDM songwriting world, credited on songs like “All Night” by Steve Aoki and “Burn Slow” by Jaira Burns

Jason Gill: Straight from the pop world, Gill is responsible for hits like Zara Larsson’s “Funeral”, “(Not) The One” by Bebe Rexha, Dagny’s “Used To You”, and so many more.

Farrago: After discovering singer Daya, Gino Barletta used his platform to become a successful producer and label exec. He’s also a co-writer of “Sit Still, Look Pretty” and “Hide Away” also by Daya.

Hayley Warner: Another EDM alum. Warner is featured on songs like “Go Back” and “Need You Right Now” by Hedegaard.

Zedd: A master of mixing pop and EDM for radio ready hits, Zedd is all over this track. From the ticking clock sounds mimicking his 2018 hit “The Middle” to the slight “drop” during the chorus, this Germany native has mastered songwriting and production. Perry remembers bringing the new song to Zedd, saying, “I brought him the song and he said, ‘Wow it sounds amazing.’ Specifically, the lyrics in the second verse that I really love is: ‘I guess I should try to go to therapy to try to get you out of my brain, I can’t even go on the internet, without even checking your name.'”

Leah Haywood: This singer/songwriter can be credited for songs by Aly & Aj, The Cheetah Girls, Ryan Cabrera, and more. She is 1/2 of the songwriting/production duo Dreamlab with Daniel James.

Daniel James: As the other 1/2 of Dreamlab, James has also exclusively worked with Judah the Lion (“Over my head”, “pictures”, “Don’t Mess With My Mama”) and Jeremy Zucker (“Bout It”, “Upside Down”, “Pick It Up”).

Maybe Katy Perry finally found the perfect team to help assemble her return to dominate pop music, just like she used to. I have high hopes her upcoming album will bring back what was once lost.

Perry released a euphoric music video to accompany the start of this new era. The California native can be seen dancing around in a sunshine filled field at some sort of healing heartbreak camp. A genius idea to tag along with a genius song. The video already has over 30 million views.

 

Cheers to the return of Katy Perry!!

 


 

Who You Need: Elohim

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Image via elohimxelohim.com

WHO: Elohim

WHERE: Iowa

GENRE: Electronic/Alternative

TOP SONGS: “Sleepy Eyes” and “Love Is Alive”

Elohim by definition is “a name for God used frequently in the Hebrew bible”. Does this make Elohim a God? A lyricist God? A music God?

The singer/songwriter/producer split her album in half and decided to release them separately. The first part, BRAINDEAD was released this May in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Elohim exposed her battle with anxiety and how she copes on these seven songs. She describes the album as “a journey into the depths of my mind. The things I do to cope, medicate, and escape. My fears and my dreams while living in a distant reality.”

All money made from BRAINDEAD in the month of May will go towards various charities that support mental health.

Every song on this half album feels like another diary entry from Elohim’s journal. She’s incredibly honest with her internal feelings and struggles. “Pills” details her dependency on medication to help her live and make it through the day. With a somewhat sad undertone she lightly sings, “Take pills for the shakes, For the aches, for the chill of it, I take pills for my health, for myself, so I can live with it.” The song swiftly dives into a hypnotic interlude titled “meditation medication” giving listeners a peek into the voice inside someone’s head.

“running” and “tv” follow in her EDM footsteps. Both have electronic drops while choppy curated vocals hug every sound. “tv” details Elohim’s need for the television to help her cope with her mental state; something so many people can relate to. If you’re a fan of Elohim, you’ve heard her on the hypnotic “Love Is Alive” by Louis the Child or even the gorgeous “Sleepy Eyes” by newcomer, Whethan.

Elohim’s sweet voice offsets the harsh beats and sounds in a way we haven’t heard before in electronic/pop/alternative music. Not to mention, her message is honest and so important for people everywhere.

 


 

Learn more about me!

-Abbey 🙂

Q&A With Hayden Scott!

Hayden Scott“Chapped lips and your timid heart” are the poetic lyrics on Hayden Scott’s 2018 release, “Summer Heat“. A song that popped up on one of my Discover playlists, which I immediately added to my library and continued to play on repeat for the rest of the day. There’s something unique about Scott’s voice; it’s deep yet gentle in such a unique way. He hugs the line between talking and singing as he tells stories you can’t help but feel passionate about.

His latest single, “White Sedan” feels like an extension of “Heat” in a way. The singer explained the new song on his Instagram, saying, “I had this deep desire to create something that could serve as a time capsule for my friends and I before we leave this town to claim our places in this world.”

I caught up with Hayden to discuss his plans for this year and musical inspirations:

At what age did you start working on music? How old are you now?

“I’m 21 now, and if my memory serves me correctly I started really writing in seventh grade. I was always a drawer, doodling all over my notebooks and schoolwork. I fell in love with words and painting pictures in that way, a few well thought-out words can spur loads of imagery in your mind. It wasn’t until high school that I really found my way into some form of production. I mostly just plinked around until I found my way around the programs.”

Do you have any fun hobbies?

“I like to drink wine and watch trashy British television with my friends, and when I’m not at school or working on career-related activities I’m either playing Bejeweled or thinking about how inconceivably small our galaxy is in comparison to the actual vastness of the universe.”

The lyrics on “Summer Heat” are so poetic. How did the writing process go for that song?

“In the full-scope narrative of the EP (coming this summer) Summer Heat sort of delves into more flippant and vapid feelings I experienced in finding my more grown-up self. It’s all very hit or miss, those first six months on your own. There’s a lot of ups and down in navigating emergent parts of life, and I think I found a way to speak eloquently about a truly awkward phase in my life. Puberty 2.0.”

Who has musically inspired you the most?

“Sonically speaking, Bon Iver and Peter Gabriel. Lyrically, Peter Gabriel, Solange, David Bowie, and Lorde.”

“White Sedan” feels euphoric. What inspired that track?

“It’s really just an ode to my friends and the city of Florence (Alabama). I wanted to immortalize us all in our current states, and now, my friends and I, we can all look back and hear this song and think of all our years here.”

Any plans for an EP or full-length album?

“DREAMDOGS EP, Summer 2019!!!! I think an album will follow soon after. The EP is virtually done at this point, so I’ve been trying to let myself write for freely and create new projects with less structure. A lot of my creative attention has been hyper focused on the EP and really fine- tuning everything there, so I’m moving into other songs now that feel linear with what’s on the EP.”

 


 

Learn more about me!

-Abbey 🙂