Photo Credit: Aamir Khuller

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The X Factor US Star Carly Rose Talks About Debut Single “Birds & Bees”

Last week saw Carly Rose drop her debut single, “Birds & Bees“. The track is one of our favourite new releases from this week and we’ve had it on repeat more than a few times. It’s a brilliant first single from this rising singer-songwriter who became a household name in 2012 when she auditioned for The X Factor US, finishing in second place.

During her time on the show, she impressed us all as well as the judges. She was mentored by Britney Spears and became the runner-up to Tate Stevens. The second series of the US talent show has led to many successes such as Fifth Harmony, Diamond White, Emblem3, and Bea Miller. Now’s the time for Carly Rose to make it in the music industry and this incredible debut single just proves her vocal talent and capability to be a star. Prior to releasing her debut single, she has featured on tracks by Boyce Avenue and Timeflies.

We were honoured to have the chance to interview Carly Rose prior to her debut single release “Birds & Bees” on June 19. We spoke about the song, her experience on The X Factor, as well as her upcoming music plans.

Hi Carly Rose, we hope you are well today. What have you been up to recently?

Hey there, thanks! I’ve been doing well! Just adding final touches to everything before releasing my first single! Been a long time coming so I’m happy to be in this stage finally. Other than that always just writing and listening to music. Always that.

It’s been a long wait for new music for the fans that have followed you from your audition on The X Factor US. How have you changed over the years from then to now?

Well, I went to high school! Started college too. I stopped being a teenager. Haha. basically just grew up. We all go through it, but I decided to do it on my own time before fully diving into this world. Musically, it gave me real life experiences to draw from, in my writing. Gave me some perspective to see what I didn’t want to become, in the music industry. Gave me time to really hone my writing skills so I no longer rely on others to write my songs for me, which I used to.

How would you describe your new music?

I would describe it as alternative pop/rock. I don’t know. Hard to put music into words. I think most of my music has a kinda sultry, guitar-driven vibe with a pop sensibility. I’m all for being as organic as possible with production and as free as possible in terms of arrangement, lyrics, etc. I spent a lot of time writing what I thought people wanted to hear, more specifically what I thought people wanted to hear from a female artist my age. But it wasn’t until I kinda realized that was dumb and stopped doing that, that I made music I felt good about.

How does it differ to the songs you covered on The X Factor US?

It differs. A good bit haha. I was a 13-year-old kid who had the ability to sing these big power ballads, so that kind of became my “thing” you know? Regardless of whether or not that was the music I liked or wanted to be known for. I grew up listening to alternative and classic rock bands. That’s the music that most excites me. I also love a lot of the great classic female soul singers. Etta James, Nina Simone. Amy Winehouse, obviously. But my music is most inspired by the music I have listened to as I have developed, not the stuff I sang on the show.

Your debut single is “Birds & Bees”, can you tell us more about the song?

It’s a fun one! It’s a party song. Or, rather, an outside-the-party song? It’s just like setting the scene for a night out with a bunch of people you don’t necessarily want to interact with, and one person you do. Giving into temptation and forgetting about social graces/expectations or what not.

How did the song come about? Who wrote it? And what does the song mean to you?

This song is my somewhat lighthearted take on meeting someone who you have an instant connection/attraction to and want to kind of cut all the niceties with. The lyrics are very free and honest and bold. I think it’s an idea that a lot of us wish we could say sometimes but ultimately stop ourselves. The song is very idealistic and blissful. I wrote it with a writer named Teemu.

Who produced the track and what were they like to work with?

The track was produced by Hank Solo and Zach Nicita. Zach has specifically been instrumental in shaping my sound.

Do you have a favourite lyric from the song? If so, what is it and why is it your favourite?

“Let’s go outside like animals!” I think it’s fun and bold and direct.

Photo Credit: Aamir Khuller

How have your friends and family reacted to the song?

Everyone has been really supportive of it. Then again, they are my friends and family. But I share my music with a lot of my close friends and family and they are generally pretty honest with me and will tell me if something sucks. They don’t think this sucks!

Now, on to your previous work. Prior to The X Factor US, you were on Broadway, in 2011, playing a character named Chloe in the musical Wonderland. What was that experience like?

Broadway is a good time. It’s pretty exhilarating since it is live every night. You learn quickly how to recover from mishaps and think on your feet. Everyone is so hardworking and talented. I made a lot of lifelong friends from my Broadway days. I have so much respect for that community.

Would you be open to doing another Broadway musical in the future?

If it were the right time and the right musical, I definitely would be open!

You also appeared in a couple of films, including “The Nanny Diaries”, and plenty of TV appearances. Is acting another passion of yours?

Ha! I was basically a statue in “The Nanny Diaries”. Hard to believe that ever happened. I got to meet Scarlet Johanson though so that was a plus! But yes, I do love acting. It has been put on hold for the time being to focus on music, but ultimately I’d love to find a balance in my career to allow me to act.

Do you have any fond memories of being a child actress?

How many pages can this interview be? Haha. I have tons. It was a big part of my life at the time. I remember being starstruck the entire time when I played a small role in “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” because I was a huge fan of the first one. I also had to say the word “boobs” and my like 10-year-old self was petrified. The scene ended up getting cut anyway. Oh well.

Now on to The X Factor US. What was it like being a part of the show?

It was a whirlwind. I was so young. Everything was constantly shocking and exciting. It definitely had its up’s and down’s, but ultimately it was a masterclass in how to be a professional in this industry and was a really good first glance into what this crazy world is really like.

The judges were constantly amazed by your voice, how did it feel to have amazing feedback from them?

It was shocking every time. I grew up watching American Idol so I was just constantly amazed I was even on one of those types of stages, let alone getting positive feedback.

You were mentored by none other than Britney Spears. What was she like as a mentor?

Britney was always super sweet to me. She is such a legend and was always very humble.

How does it feel to see your fellow competitors do so well in the music industry, from Fifth Harmony to Bea Miller, from Emblem3 to Diamond White, from Tate Stevens to CeCe Frey?

I love watching everyone go on and develop in their careers. There’s an inherent bond we all have since we all went through that experience together. Like fight club or something haha. It was a crazy experience and we were all experiencing so many things together for the first time.

Are there any collaborations on their way?

I’ve written a couple of songs with some friends who are killing it right now so maybe you’ll hear one of those soon.

Who would you love to collaborate with and why?

Alex Turner. Cause no one writes a love song like Alex Turner.

What can we expect from you for the rest of the year?

More music!

What do you hope to achieve in the future?

I just want to make music I am excited about. I wanna play shows and have people come excited to hear specific songs. I am such a fan of music and live shows so the idea of people feeling the way I feel – when they come to see me – that I feel when I go see some of my favorite artists, is a cool thought. I also love writing so much I’d love to continue to write for other people and keep honing that skill.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from anything really. I am an extremely dramatic person. I watch a ton of movies and therefore kind of think about my own life in terms of movies. I like writing about people around me and their flaws. I like writing about my own flaws. I am obsessed with the idea of nostalgia and the power it holds.

Finally, your fans have been waiting years for music from you, and we have to admit it was certainly worth the wait as we adore “Birds & Bees.” Do you have a message for your fans?

I am forever grateful for people being patient with me while I have figured out the path I want to take in this world. All I can say is that I think I’m doing anyone, who plans to listen to my music, a favor. 20-year-old me has a lot more to say than 14-year-old me could have.

Thank you, Carly Rose, for taking the time out to answer our questions. We are loving “Birds & Bees” and cannot wait to see what you release next and to continue to following your career in the music industry.

Birds & Bees“, by Carly Rose, is available to download and stream right now via RVG. She promised that more new music is on its way and we seriously cannot wait.

What do you make of our interview with Carly Rose? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.

Written by Jonathan Currinn

26-year-old writer, blogger, author, and journalist. Graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015. I write under the name Critic Jonni, on my blog. I also write for Channillo, Outlet Magazine, SPECTRUMM, Fuzzable, Modern Magazine, and Electric Mode. In the past, I have written for Fox & Squirrel Photography and the Daily Star. Follow me on Twitter @CriticJonni