Check out our interview with talented indie artist Karolina Rose.
Rosemary is the independent US-Polish artist’s tale of love, loss and healing. Setting the scene with the idealistic, lush dance-pop mood “Greytopia”, Karolina then launches into her sultry spin on Shakira’s classic “Objection”. Written in support of sexual assault survivors, power-pop anthem “Runaway Angels” channels vulnerable yet empowering energy, while closing track “White Lies” is an alluring blend of moody grunge-pop guitars, gliding synth chords and emotive, atmospheric harmonizing.
Working with celebrated producer Elliot Jacobson (Allie X / VÉRITÉ) for the EP, the ambitious artist has seen the likes of The Line of Best Fit champion her ‘noir rose pop’ and an engaged fanbase continues to grow with each release.
Follow Karolina @karolinarosemusic
Hi Karolina, please describe yourself in 3 words?
Spiritual, kind and wild
We’re sure you have been asked this a million times but how did you get in the industry?
It’s crazy to ask myself that question, too. It just feels like such a transformation from what I used to be working in finance. It starts with fulfilling desires and listening to intuition no matter how nascent or perhaps veiled in fear. I wanted to sing so I took vocal lessons. I wanted to play guitar so I taught myself before and after work everyday. I wanted to write songs so I started to turn my poetry into lyrics and melodies. I wanted to perform so I went to open mics. I wanted a band so I started networking with musicians. I wanted to record my music so I contacted producers. And so on. I pretty much do the thing that scares me most everyday because that’s what seems to feed my soul and keep me growing as an artist and a person.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Lush, haunting, vulnerable
Who influences you and why did you choose to make music?
Many, many artists and everyday people influence me. I hate answering this question because I don’t know how to give justice to everyone who inspires me. I am influenced by authenticity of expression. I am influenced by free expression of sensuality. Being fully true to your core and just saying it like it is, good & bad. Harnessing this energy within yourself fuels creativity.
I didn’t choose to make music. It was like a burning hole in me that needed to come out and be filled through expression. I’ll keep going as long as I have stuff to say. I’m hoping it’ll be a lifelong pursuit.
Tell us about your new EP “Rosemary,” and what’s the story behind it?
Rosemary is my middle name. It’s my second project with the world getting to know me a little more as an artist. I worked on all the music with Elliot Jacobson in NYC. The EP cover is a collage of all the single artwork. Each song has its own theme and a color to fit the vibe. Rosemary is a visual EP album of four different aspects of myself. The overall theme of the album is Love & Healing. What else is more important in life? Rosemary is an embodiment of who I am—my thoughts, inspirations and life experiences. It was all once a part of me, but what parts did I let go of and what do I hold on to? Each song has its own story and thus I made it into a visual album, with each song connecting in that we filmed all four storylines on a 10-day trip to Croatia with two dear friends, Laura Escalante (art director) and David Millington (cinematographer). Here’s a link to the visual album: https://smarturl.it/rosemaryvisualalbum.
And what about your songs “Greytopia” and “Runaway Angels?”
“Greytopia” was written in both hope and sarcasm about a rosy utopian planet where there is no judgment, smooth sailing across all the bad things that come up in life and no hindrances to reaching and living from your highest self. We all can achieve and live our dreams on Greytopia.
“Runaway Angels” was written in response to the #metoo movement. In the thick of all these amazing, accomplished women coming forward about their sick experiences with sick men, I wanted to make a chant or a prayer for victims in the name of supporting all of us womxn, the Angels, who have experienced some nonconsensual sexual touch or harassment. The aftermath of that can be very psychologically challenging especially in a world where victims of sexual assault don’t receive the support they deserve and need, i.e. if they do speak up, no one believes them. It’s my song of hope to get the support victims need in the aftermath—the PTSD, heal yourself, remove these experiences from your being that don’t define you, and find that love in yourself again. The “hollow hearts” lyric is referring to women holding onto other women when they feel hollow, into a safe space to fall apart, and in falling apart we usually begin the process of rebuilding ourselves strong again. We find the strength in ourselves and it makes it easier to have the support of others. No one does it alone in this world. We’re here together. I dream of a world where men & women support themselves in this way.
I fault myself for being so idealistic because it makes me feel naïve, but I’m realizing there’s a desire of purity in me that’ll never go away so I might as well make art about it.
What is fun and rewarding about what you do? And what’s not?
I love connecting with other humans. That’s why I’m doing this. That’s what I get out of it. I want to inspire others to grow and feel inspired to grow myself.
Marketing and selling your art is overall not rewarding for me so far. I just want to present what is. What’s not fun is how long it can take to prepare everything for public consumption where by the time it’s ready I am already in a different place artistically. For instance, I already have two more projects in the works since Rosemary and I hope to turn it over faster so by the time that’s ready I don’t feel totally in a different place again. We are change. We are constantly changing and there’s been a lag period between creation and release that I want to close the gap on.
What are the five things you can’t live without?
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
Probably where to be during this quarantine to feel most creatively free to explore (such a Sag thing to say, lol)
Where can we follow you?
What’s next for Karolina Rose in the last months of 2020?
I have an acoustic song called Kissed Mouth coming out in the fall that’s a collab with my dear friend Blak Emoji. I’ll also be working on finishing up a few other songs I worked on during a writing tour in Europe last summer.
Quote: I don’t break easily but I shatter daily. There’s a difference between breaking down and breaking open your heart so that you can feel every thing every day. – @i_am_eyb
Movie: Ex Machina
Travel Destination: Hel, Poland