You know that feeling when you’re listening along to a random song, unbeknown to you who the singer is but you are just vibing with what they’re singing? This happened to me as I was listening to “Uphill Battle” by singer-songwriter Rozzi. Before you keep reading on, you may be a bit familiar with her name. When she was 21, she was signed on to a major label and touring with Maroon 5. But things took a halt when Rozzi realized it was time to take a break. Why would she do that? Well, all for good reason. Keep reading below to learn more about Rozzi, why she took that break, and where she’s at now when it comes to music.
The Young Folks: You’ve had a super impressive track record of performances and working alongside amazing artists but you recently also took a break from it all. I’m all about self-care and listening to what YOU want. When did things just click for you when you knew you had to take a step back and reevaluate what’s going on?
Rozzi: I knew I needed to make a change when I parted ways with my first record label. I was nineteen when Adam Levine started a label to sign me and took me on tour across the country. It was a fairytale in so many ways – I mean I was singing the Christina part on “Moves Like Jagger” with one of the biggest bands in the world it was crazy. But there was always a part of me that knew something wasn’t quite right. I could feel that there was an artist in me that I wasn’t fully in touch with. So when that all ended I decided to listen to that little voice in my head and get connected with myself as an artist.
The Young Folks: When did you know it was time to go back to singing and songwriting after your mini-break?
Rozzi: I really didn’t take a break from making music – what I took a break from was my desire to control everything. I knew what I wanted to be at six years old and I was so ambitious from such a young age that I kind of had blinders on – all I could do was focus on my goal and work towards it. I’m down with the work ethic I developed but with that kind of intense focus I wasn’t really living my life – I wasn’t letting myself really feel things. So the past two years were about letting go of control – living, experiencing, making mistakes, and then writing about it all in excruciating detail.
The Young Folks: A lot of your songs and even your upcoming album has a lot to do with your growth, heartbreak, love, etc. How long after each pivotal moment in your life did it take you to head to the studio and be like, “I’m ready. Let’s write about this”?
Rozzi: It totally depends on the song. Sometimes an idea comes pretty immediately, sometimes it takes a second for things to settle so I can even know what I’m feeling. “Never Over You” was pretty immediate – I was frustrated that day and the words I wrote were things I was feeling right in that moment. “Uphill Battle” was a concept I had been turning over in my head for a really long time – I don’t know why I finally wrote it the day I did.
The Young Folks: When you’re writing, do you ever think about like, “Yeah, yeah. Someone else will relate to this” or do you even think twice about the audience perception and let things go as it is?
Rozzi: In my experience, the more honest I am, the more people will relate to the song. It’s a weird counterintuitive thing but I swear if I get super specific about my personal life, it’s more likely the lyrics will connect with total strangers. So I don’t try and write something relatable, I just try and be as honest as possible. It’s so cool to hear people I’ve never met say they relate to my songs because it means we have felt the same feelings – that’s always a lovely reminder that we’re all more similar than we think.
The Young Folks: I’m so excited to hear the rest of your new music. What can our readers expect in the forthcoming months since I know it hasn’t been announced when an album or EP will drop just yet?
Rozzi: More music is coming! We haven’t decided on exact dates yet but it won’t be too long until you hear some more.
The Young Folks: What was it like for you to re-sign with a new label? What do you think you’ll be doing differently this time around?
Rozzi: I was pretty scared to sign with a label again. It kind of felt like falling back in love after a break up – I was so aware of what can go wrong. But in my gut I knew it would be an entirely different relationship so I chose to go for it. This time around there is a greater emphasis on making music that is not only great, but that also really showcases who I am. I know myself in a way I didn’t a few years ago and my label really knows me too, that changes everything.
The Young Folks: You were living that fairytale lifestyle that so many rising artists dream of. What is a secret that you can share which up-and-coming artists should know before they dive head first into an overwhelming industry?
Rozzi: I don’t know if this is a secret but something I’ve learned along the way is that nothing matters if you don’t have great music. I would tell any artist to focus on making great songs and worry later about getting people involved. It’s so hard to say no to stuff but sometimes it’s not the right time or it’s not the right opportunity and saying no is the wise thing to do. In this business, all you can control is what you make, so just make stuff you love.
The Young Folks: What’s the best advice you took away after working alongside Adam Levine or anyone for that matter that helped you to get to where you are today?
Rozzi: Adam taught me so much – I am so grateful for the time we spent working together. He taught me how to entertain an audience – partially by example and partially by being the opening act that nobody knows. You’re in front of 20,000 people who are all like, “Who is this random ass girl?” and you have to entertain them – I learned so much from that. Adam also taught me about loyalty and friendship – he surrounds himself with people he’s known forever and that always inspired me. And those guys went through a lot to get where they are now and that taught me about perseverance. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
The Young Folks: Just because I’m from the Bay Area myself… Had to ask – what’s your favorite to stop by when you’re back in the Bay Area/San Francisco?
Rozzi: My first thought was ‘my parents house’? I honestly I don’t know what’s cool in San Francisco anymore! I haven’t lived there in so long. But I always love to walk in Crissy Field and get a hot chocolate at the warming hut. It has the best view in the world – I still haven’t seen something prettier than the Golden Gate Bridge.