Traditionally, roses signify passion. However, this beautiful flower denotes a lot more than that for a 25-year-old American musician Elizabeth Mencel. The artist, better known as ROZES, embodies adventurousness, dedication and empowerment.
Since her emergence in 2014, ROZES has proved it many times. Inching towards her dream since the age of six, she already has a billion cumulative streams to her credit, acclaim from the most influential websites, such as Huffington Post or Entertainment Weekly, and collaborations with The Chainsmokers, Louis Tomlinson, Galantis and many more. And ROZES does not feel like stopping!
She opened up 2019 with a powerful, fight song ‘Halfway There’. Inspired by the #MeeToo movement, it pays homage to the hard work and dedication of the women that have come before us and offers encouragement to women of the future. What is more, the single has just been added to the Radio 2 playlist and became the official single for this years’ Women’s March in NY.
Recently, CelebMix had a chance to speak to ROZES about her passion for music, new single and being a woman in the male-dominated industry. Check out the interview below!
‘I had a rough time with bullying throughout my schooling and music was my only friend a lot of the time.’
To start with, how did you first get into music? Do you think you were born with a passion for music or did particular events in your life brought you closer to it?
I have been surrounded by music my whole life. My dad was always playing his guitar and I’d always request my favourite songs so I could sing along. My parents started me in piano and violin lessons when I was six. I still remember my feet not being able to touch the floor as I sat on the piano stool.
I do think I was born with a passion for music. It always intrigued me. I grew up idolizing Alicia Keys, KT Tunstall, Ingrid Michealson, and Sara Bareilles. I loved the things they wrote about and the way they seemed to twist melodies in ways I thought were unique.
I had a rough time with bullying throughout my schooling and music was my only friend a lot of the time. I started writing songs in eighth grade and haven’t stopped since. It has been my favorite form of therapy throughout every hardship.
How would you describe your sound?
I would say my sound is emotional organic pop. I write about the real life things that I encounter, whether it be about relationships, mental health, hardship, etc., I try to say the things that sometimes others can’t find the word to say.
You have recently released your new single ‘Halfway There’. Congratulations. To the people who have not heard it yet, what do you think are a few words that describe it best?
‘Halfway There’ is a fight song. The “we can make it if we try” song.
Can you tell us anything about the track or the inspiration behind it?
This song was written for my sister in law as she battles her way through breast cancer. I was feeling overcome with emotion on the day I wrote it, and it started to inspire the fight in myself as a woman. The song has been there for a lot of listeners who have been facing a fight of their own, and it’s been so inspiring to watch its impact.
The music video for the song includes your fans. What was the experience like?
When creating the idea for the video, we put out a flyer asking women to join and stand together with me for this song. I wasn’t expecting anyone to show up, but they did. It was a mix of fans, and women who just happened to see the flyer and wanted to join. My best friends and their mothers came, which was so amazing to me. My own family attended as well, and I am forever thankful because I will be able to watch the video and remember that day forever.
I was emotional while filming this because I really hadn’t expected many to show. I was feeling such a sense of belonging and acceptance while being surrounded by these incredible women. Being a girl who grew up as the outcast and bullied has constantly put a fear in my head that I don’t belong and that I’m not accepted, but this day proved me wrong.
‘It feels like I have to prove my talents and worthiness far more than my male counterparts do. ‘
‘Halfway There’ is the official single for the Women’s March in NY. It also pays homage to #MeToo as well as the hard work of women. What is it like being a strong female in a male-dominated industry?
Being in an industry that is male-dominated, which is nearly every industry, is a constant uphill climb. It feels like I have to prove my talents and worthiness far more than my male counterparts do. It’s hard to make friends with other women because we have been put on such a narrow path and are forced to compete with each other until a certain level of success. I like to think of myself as a strong female within this battle but my confidence is constantly being tested. Nonetheless, I still strive to empower every fighting female because I know how hard it is to even empower myself sometimes on this journey. ‘The more you know how to do, the less you’ll need to rely on others to do it for you.’
What’s one piece of advice would you give to young women who are just starting their career in the entertainment industry and have to face such problems daily?
If I had to pick only one piece of advice to give to females who are aspiring musicians, it would be to learn how to do it all yourself. Learn to play the instruments, learn to write the music, learn to record the music. The more you know how to do, the less you’ll need to rely on others to do it for you.
Your most known collaborations include The Chainsmokers, Galantis, Louis Tomlinson and many more. Are there any artists, in particular, you would like to collaborate with in the future?
I would love to do an all-female collaboration. I’d love to work with Bebe Rexha. I think she is such an amazingly empowered woman in this industry and she stands strong in her beliefs. She has fought her way up and it gives me hope in my journey as a female artist and writer.
‘I would love to do an all-female collaboration. I’d love to work with Bebe Rexha. ‘
What is one thing that you have learned during your career or from the people you have collaborated with so far?
I’ve learned that each person’s journey is different. There is no specific formula to success, so a comparison is pointless, although I’ll admit I’m not immune to it.
Finally, what can your fans expect from you in the future? What are your goals/plans?
I am so excited for what is to come. I have a lot of amazing music ready for everyone to hear. I’m speaking my truths and really allowing myself to show my inner struggles. I can’t wait to set this music free!
Thank you, ROZES, for taking the time out for the interview. We are looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings to you!