Rosie is a solo musician making waves in the Twin Cities, having released her EP “lilac season”
and most recently the song “under the weather”, using a variety of influences to bring forward
her signature blend of fun jam oriented performance and bittersweet romance. In an interview
with WMCN’s Ethan Johnson, she discusses playing guitar, heartbreak, Dijon, and Bullet Train.
Ethan: The red button didn’t press. Okay, now it’s on. Hi, Rosie. Welcome to the interview. I
don’t know what the series is going to be called yet, so we’ll know after what it is, but until then,
thank you for joining us.
Rosie: Thanks for the interview.
Ethan: Ya know, we’re excited for this. So I guess first I wanted to know, DJ, of course, did a
solo show to open us up and he has a band with him and then you did both a solo and a group
show. So what changes for you when you’re doing a solo show versus with your band?
Rosie: I think recently I’m not used to playing the guitar as much because my guitarist Kellen is
playing the guitar for me now. And it’s a lot different because when I’m just singing and the band
is there, I can be a lot more into the music and use like hand motions and interact with the
crowd more. But when I’m playing with the guitar, it’s kind of like, as my teacher would say, it’s
like a little shield. But it also makes me more nervous because I’m good at playing the guitar
and singing together. But I’m not the best at guitar, so it’s like tricky because I can mess chords
up because I’m trying to pay attention to my singing, some of the more distracting.
Ethan: So this might be on me for my attention span. I didn’t catch the name of the band. What
is the name of your band?
Rosie: Okay, so the thing is like a solo thing. So I am Rosie and I’m an individual artist, but I
have my band, they are all playing my music, which is really, really cool.
Ethan: Is it like an eponymous thing, like Sade, for example. Is your band named Rosie or do
you guys not have a name?
Rosie: It is like, I’m the solo artist and then they are playing for me. So we’re not a band called
Rosie. I’m Rosie and they’re the band.
Ethan: Rosie and they’re the band. Do you think your band would ever want to add on a name?
Any cool band names that you could think of?
Rosie: I don’t think I could ever…
An unnamed kitchen guest enters.
Unnamed Kitchen Guest: You were amazing.
Rosie: Thank you so much.
Unnamed Kitchen Guest: I was flashing back to when you had like, such nerves before the
show.I understand why you had them, but you were fucking amazing.
Rosie: Thank you so much.
Ethan: And I think we can all agree with that.
Rosie: Okay. No, because I don’t think I could ever be in a band. I love songwriting by myself
and making the music that I make and bringing it to people and they can turn it into something
completely different and change the genres and stuff. But I could never be in a band just
because of songwriting. Yeah. And I don’t know, I feel like I like having creative control, kind of.
And I really like working with- like, I got so lucky with the band members that I’m with because
they’re just, like, very easy to work with. But if it was ever like, oh, we’re in a band and this is like
our group thing, I don’t think I could do that.
Ethan: Interesting. So that means, I assume for you as a songwriter, you get more of an
opportunity to touch upon your personal experiences. Is there like, a moment that you touch
upon in your lyrics? Is there something or someone that you really draw from?
Rosie: I feel like a lot of my old songs were about my ex, Lilac Season is about my ex. And then
one of the songs, like, the EP is based on an accumulation of people. It’s based on, like, four
different people. And one of the songs I sang tonight, the last of my solo set, was about
someone who was there, and it was his first time hearing the song, but they’re just drawn from,
like, I don’t know, heartbreak. It’s really nice when someone hurts my feelings because then I
can write a good song about it. I really need someone to do that right now because I haven’t
written a good song in like, a few weeks and I really need that to happen. So it’s basically just
from either, like, friends. I write about my dad a lot and then boys, basically.
Ethan: Definitely a forte for you because I was feeling those emotions while I was in the, the pit.
So I would describe your music with, like, definitely a deep red, pinkish aura. How would you
describe your music?
Rosie: I would describe it I don’t know. I really like forests. Like whenever I think of my music, I
think of… okay, so now that you said that, now that’s what I think of. But I used to think of like, a
light blue, violet or light blue lilac type color.
Ethan: Okay. So that’s what Lilac Season comes from.
Rosie: “Lilac Season” is actually a song about repeated cycles, like destructive behaviors. And
because it was actually my ex who gave me the title name because he was going to use it for
something else, and his favorite flower was lilacs. So that’s that also but it’s about like, lilacs
come back every single season and it’s like a never ending cycle. Like, you don’t have to cut
them down.They always come back. So the song is about destructive behaviors and me
completing the cycle, like constantly repeating bad behaviors. But yeah, the colors I think of like,
lilac-ish blue, muted colors, I guess, or like dark blue.
Ethan: I have a similar relationship with tulips because of an ex. That’s a totally different story.
There’s a question that I’ve been asking everybody for the TikTok that releases on WMCN’s
TikTok later tonight or tomorrow. I don’t know when I’m going to finish it. What is your favorite
Rosie: That’s a hard question. Like a happy love song or a sad love song?
Ethan: Happy, sad, whatever comes to mind first.
Ethan: There’s no judgment.I don’t know, because now I’m blanking on everything, Okay. Do
you listen to Dijon?
Rosie: Okay. Fucking love Dijon. I think his song, either “Big Mike” or maybe “The Dress”, but
probably not “The Dress”.
Ethan: The funny thing is that when I interviewed DJ and his band earlier, one of them said The
Dress for the same exact question. So you guys are on a similar wavelength here,
Rosie: But okay, that song. Or his whole EP, How Do You Feel About Getting Married?
Ethan: That’s a great ep.
Rosie: It is. Like, it’s for his wife. I’m pretty sure they got married. And that’s what “Big Mike’s” is
about, too. It’s his wife and his whole proposal. So I feel like that ep specifically, like “Rock and
Roll” or “Honey” or “Do You Light Up?” Because that talks about lilacs. But I don’t know. One of
Ethan: He’s got some very sweet music. Definitely. I don’t know. It’s like a honey bun, honestly.
Like sonic honey bun. So dijon. Great artist. Is there an artist that you take inspiration from?
Rosie: Yeah. Okay, so do you listen to Grady?
Ethan: I do not listen to Grady.
Rosie: You should listen to Grady. So Grady, Remi Wolf, Dijon, Benny, if you know, not Benny
as much anymore, but I used to kind of those are, like, the three that I usually list just because
they’re, like, my favorite artists. I feel like Underscores. Do you know Underscores?
Ethan: I don’t know Underscores.
Rosie: Okay. Do you listen to Peach Pit?
Ethan: I do listen to Peach Pit.
Rosie: Peach Pit and Underscores are the two, like the band and the artist that I look up to like,
most lyrically. Yeah. I feel like those are the five.
Ethan: That’s a good set of influences. Definitely. Well, you know, we’re coming up a little bit on
interview time. I’ve been trying to end with a more casual question. That being said, if you could
put your music into a movie of your choice, what movie would you like to put your music into?
Rosie: Can it be a show?
Ethan: It can be a show.
Rosie: Okay. Just because I just finished season two, I think I say Ginny and Georgia because
they have some, they have some questionable, they have a questionable soundtrack. And I feel
like one of my songs could work there. Or maybe like my favorite movie, Bullet Train.
Ethan: Oh. OH!
Rosie: Do you not like Bullet Train?
Ethan: I love Bullet Train. We’ll talk about this after.
I feel like that could be super cool with the flashes that they do and stuff like that, but I don’t
know if it would work. But that’d be really cool to have my song in.
Ethan: Well, thank you for joining us, Rosie. Your live sessions, both solo and with the band,
were unbelievable, and clearly everybody was feeling it, so definitely expect big things from you.
Rosie: Thank you. Thank you.