Rosie Lowe has finally released her highly anticipated debut album, Control. It’s a beautiful embodiment of heartfelt lyrics and smooth, soulful melodies. The English singer flawlessly weaves multiple genres together and in turn, creates something entirely fresh. Discussing the creative process of Control, Rosie is an artist who is strong-willed and passionate about making music, regardless of circumstance.
With the excitement of Control’s release just around the corner, what inspired the sound behind your debut?
Control is inspired by everything that’s been going on in my life the last few years – I wanted to be as honest as I could for my debut and this felt like a really key time for me to be open and vulnerable. Before starting the album I had a very clear idea of where I wanted it to sit sonically, in terms of space; I wanted the songwriting to sit at the very heart of the record and for there to be enough space to let the songs breathe.
Has music been a creative outlet you’ve always been drawn to?
Yes, always. It’s always been where I express myself and it’s totally necessary to my existence. Whether I was doing music professionally or not I’d be doing exactly the same for my own sanity; It’s my escape.
What is your earliest memory of listening to music?
My dad used to take us to so many live gigs- from James Brown and Whitney Houston to Courtney Pine and Soweto Kinch. I’m so thankful for that – it was such an amazing education. I’ve got a huge bag of gig tickets at home from my childhood. My first memory is being at an Annie Lennox gig (I must have been three or four) and everyone was standing up, dancing, and I curled up on my chair and fell asleep.
When writing for Control, was their certain mental space you had to slip into when producing each track?
I went back to my dad’s house in the middle of the countryside to write the majority of the album. It felt really important for me to have the mental and physical space that being there gave me. It allowed me to really explore what was going on for me in a deep way without the noise of the city filling my head.
‘Woman’ is a powerful single that showcases an acute, matter-of-fact attitude that celebrates all aspects of being a girl. Has music always been a source of empowerment for you?
Yes, totally. It’s always been my thing; my escapism. It’s what I’ve always been known for being good at through my childhood and education which was empowering in itself. Female artists like Erykah Badu made me believe I could be anything I wanted- that I could have a vision and see it through, from beginning to end.
Was there a moment in your life where music became more than bands and CDs, but rather a point of expression?
I think I’ve always expressed myself through music so I don’t feel like it was ever just bands and CD’s. My parents really encouraged us all to express ourselves through music or art so it feels like a very natural form of expression, for me.
“…There are a lot of women behind mixing desks, engineering or playing bass and these jobs aren’t gender exclusive. A note is neither female nor male – it’s just played good or bad.”
Being a strong and emerging female musician, do you believe in the importance of equality in the music industry?
Yes! I believe I the importance of equality in every industry. In the music industry, like most, women are still really outnumbered and a lot of creative jobs are seen as ‘mans work’ still. I think it comes down to education and showing young women and men that there are a lot of women behind mixing desks, engineering or playing bass and these jobs aren’t gender exclusive. A note is neither female nor male – it’s just played good or bad.
Do you have a role model or someone that you turn to for inspiration?
My best friend Nicole and my sister Laura inspire my daily. My producer and close friend Dave Okumu also inspires me so much- he’s the most open person I know.
Is there a track on Control that you’re particularly proud of and excited to share?
I really love ‘Nicole’ from the album- it’s about my best friend and it means a lot to me. It was the first song I wrote for the album and I feel like it embodied everything I wanted the album to be.
Which artists are you listening to at the moment?
I love Abrahamblue, ItsRoutine and always, Nick Hakim.
And finally, where’s 2016 heading for you?
I’ve got my European tour starting on Friday (19th) this week, the same day my album is released and then summer festivals and lots more writing. I’m really excited to see what 2016 brings!
Control is due for release today, the 19th of February via Dew Process.