Born and raised in East London, Rose Gray presents her anticipated debut EP ‘Blue, lately.’ A body of work that is very personal to Rose and captures her thoughts into a social commentary of what’s around her. A tracklist of five songs will take you on a journey through Rose’s moments in life from coming of age to fighting off the struggles that are the reality we live in.
Apart from living in East London’s Walthamstow, Rose’s creative tendencies have always been heightened by the area she lived in and her working actor parents. Rose speaks up about how it is growing up with arty parents: “I love the spontaneity of my parents’ careers; I don’t know anything different! But my parents really inspire me. I guess I thought it was the norm making art of some kind. There was always music playing or scripts being learned for an audition that my mum or pops were going up for. I think early on my family thought I was going to go into acting, I was a dramatic child and always putting on shows but that soon changed to dramatic singing, which evolved into singing at family parties and so it began. I think it definitely widened my imagination and made me understand the realities but also the beauty of doing what you love as a career”.
This urge of creative expression is deeply embedded in Rose’s system, as she wrote her first full song in year 8: ” I have many weird books from my childhood full of poems and stories, but the first song I remember writing in full was called ‘be who you want to be’ written in the music block at school. It was a bad song, bless me. I played it to the class in like year 8″, she reminisces.
When talking about her sound, Rose gives out a very confident attitude towards knowing what she really wants her music to represent. Rose comments on ever-changing mood with her music: “I think my sound is conversational and soulful, and my influences have those elements. I don’t like to put my sound into a box, because it’s ever-growing and some days I wake up, and I want to write anthemic bop, and some days a bluesy ballad. I like to free flow with my writing and voice, and just go where feels right that day.. I don’t overthink it too much. I love playing with many sounds and pull from my influences all the time. My musical taste is eclectic and, but I think I will always have my main influences”.
Her music influences are the big classic names that changed us all: Amy Winehouse, The Beatles, Aretha Franklin and others that you can have a listen to a playlist put together by Rose herself.
Her parents, her musical influences, all of this left a mark on the sound of Rose Gray. Her roots of Walthamstow, East London, is no different: “I’m a proper city girl.. I love London by day and night; I’m proud to have actually grown up in East London, so I feel a strong connection to my roots. It definitely offers me much inspiration. I’ve seen it change and evolve, so it’s kinda strange for me. But I feel inspired by my environment, and there’s definitely something that connects people from a certain place. When I’m in south London even though I love it…it doesn’t feel like home.”
Today, Rose Gray is releasing her debut EP ‘Blue, lately,’ a very anticipated project after she put out two singles earlier this year – ‘blue’ and ‘good life.’ When asked about their meaning, she answers with lyrics:
‘this concrete city, built our friendship
broke out hearts and left us figuring it out’
“This sums the whole song for me. I could talk in lengths about the meaning of this song, but this tells it in the best way. It’s about coming of age and noticing and loosing that announce. blue… means sad.”
‘in this age of the socials
ego’s flying round
you need a bulletproof vest
out here now
bouts of depression and figuring it out
in all of the darkness you bring the light’
“‘good life’ is a song I wrote about trying to get my head around this age we are living in, I observe my friends and myself and am just noticing it’s getting harder and harder to fight off all the shit. I wanted to try and capture this conversation I had with my friend and translate it into a song of some sort.”
‘blue’ and ‘good life’ are included on the EP, on top of three other songs – ‘bad habits,’ ‘sad of lately – demo’ and ‘why do you have to go away?’. Rose explores ‘the moment in life’ her EP ‘Blue, lately’ represents: “The EP is a moment. I was broken and on reflection, this is what this body of work is. It’s coming through that time and figuring it all out. ‘Sad of lately’ in particular emphasizes my escapism and confusion. I’ve got a lot of questions. I write about loved ones, stories within my life, narratives… it’s all just stuff I wanted to get off my chest. I wrote all these songs very close together. I wrote the poetry/words away from the studio and then brought them in. Frank Colucci (prod) and I had 2 weeks together where I shaped my ideas and worked into the EP. It was an intense time, but it felt really natural. Frank plays the chords and I impro on top of them. I sat with Frank and figured exactly where I wanted every song to go; I had a band of incredible musicians come in and add to the live feel of my tracks. BLUE, LATELY is where my head was at and a moment in time.”
After the release of her debut EP, on March 27th, Rose will get to perform at one of the most legendary venues, The Royal Albert Hall. The concert is for Teenage Cancer Trust, and Rose will be supporting Tom Graham, who is part of the same management company.
The next day, on March 28th, Rose Gray is headlining her first show, where she will perform the whole EP and also some unreleased new music. What you feel before your first ever show is something to remember and here is Rose’s take on it: “I’m feeling really excited to play the EP live, it all comes alive for me when an audience in front of you. Hearing the keys player play the chords I came up with and the drums come in just where I imagined is magic. I’m rehearsing this week and loving it. I’m playing the EP and some other unreleased music, I can’t wait tbh.”
Rose Gray incorporates a very heartfelt ‘of the times’ lyricism into her music that is has been fused into a body of work ‘Blue, lately’ that showcases Rose’s talent for songwriting, storytelling and most importantly singing. Her debut EP ‘Blue, lately’ is out now. Give it a go!
Words: Karolina Kramplova