- Words Darcy Culverhouse
Unafraid to confront life's pressing matters, Rosier reflects on technology and peace, and his latest single, ‘Machine Friends'.
In the hustle and bustle of St Matthews, Leicester, a cluster of college students find serenity as they huddle amidst the abundant greenery of a local park. Holding their phone’s microphones to their mouths, they take turns freestyling, all to the rhythm of an alternative beat. These gatherings are no more than impromptu cyphers led by a posse of burgeoning artists trying to do things differently. They turn their local park into their creative arena, providing a safe space for them to offload their distinct musical yearnings.
“It was the 2015-2016 SoundCloud era”, says unorthodox alternative artist, Rosier, whilst narrating his involvement in the sessions. “I think that’s what got me interested in making music. After that I started making my own beats and really exploring”. It is true Rosier has explored the paths of his artistry since his stints in his local park. He joins the cadre of artists unafraid to genre-blur, fusing electronic elements with R&B and alternative flavourings to tune a soundscape that perfectly echoes our generation, whilst maintaining a swagger and groove.
Though his willingness to experiment with his sound is refreshing to see, it’s perhaps his approach to his artistry that is most refreshing, creating music from a place of wonder and vulnerability in a bid to make people find comfort. It’s this openness that makes his tracks feel like melodic internal monologues, as he crafts sonic experiences imbued with relatable feelings, whilst he writes from the deepest depths of his heart.
His latest single, ‘Machine Friends’, takes his versatility and boundless artistic prowess to greater heights. Narrating the parallels in the relations we have with other humans and our relationships with technology, Rosier crafts an electronic instrumental to find the perfect intersection between analogue and digital. Unexpected melodies twist and turn among Rosier’s unique flow, with subtle hints of abrasive bass notes and high-octane jazz keys.
Whether you’re a fan of genre-defying sounds, or looking for lyrics to find comfort in, Rosier’s soundscapes are undoubtedly a good place to start. As he continues to excel at his craft and entice listeners into his rich landscapes, we sit down with him to talk about his creative process, future plans and everything ‘Machine Friends.’
Congrats on your single, ‘Machine Friends’. How does it feel to have it out in the world?
Thank you. It feels good!
In the track, we hear you delving into themes of technology and peace, how do those two themes coincide with the meaning behind the track?
I remember finding parallels in the relationships we have with each other, as humans, and our relationships with our daily technology. I just tried to explore this dynamic in the song, from the writing through to the production.
We hear chopped-up synths amidst the electronic instrumental, tell us about the sounds you tried to incorporate in the single.
The aim was to find the right space between the analogue and digital, human and robot, jazz keys and abrasive bass notes. We even recorded parts of the song in different ways to play on that balance.
How important are visuals to you as an artist, especially when trying to tell a story?
I love shooting videos, but it always starts with the music. I think the goal is always to tell a story. The video is just one visual interpretation of the song.
Tell us about some of your earliest music memories. Do you remember the moment when you knew you wanted to become an artist?
I remember that 2006 FIFA soundtrack…
What artists inspire you? Is there any in particular that have helped shape your sound?
Over the last year working on this project, I have been listening to a lot of The Postal Service, Jai Paul and RealYungPhil.
You recently signed with Tiffany Calver’s label, No Requests, partnered with Polydor Records, what did that experience mean to you?
A few months back, we were listening back to some of the music we were making seven years ago and it really hit me how much we have developed the sound. I think the most exciting part of all this is that it’s really just the beginning.
Talk us through your creative process when writing and making a track, what does it look like?
It’s sometimes easier when I already have a specific story to tell. Songs like ‘Akhi’ (unreleased) were produced and written in under an hour. Other times, I like to start with a feeling that I want to explore and understand better. This tends to take a bit more time, especially writing it. Close your eyes and take yourself back to that gut retching moment, what thoughts were going through your head? What did it smell like? How was she looking at you? Going back and reliving moments, that might have only lasted a few seconds, naturally takes a bit more time to fully articulate.
Describe your sound in three words.
Sidii hogasha roobka
Can you elaborate?
It means ‘Like torrential rain’. Where I am from is a semi desert. The rain makes the dead land alive again.
What’s your message as an artist? How do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
That’s it. I just want people to feel. There was always a level of vulnerability and openness that I loved with some of my favourite artists when I was younger. It’s the relatability of when artists voice some of your own feelings, the things you might have been too scared to admit to yourself.
If you had to pick a past or present artist to spend a day with, who would you choose?
Babyxsosa. She’s lit.
What advice would you give to your younger self? Or to someone trying to make it in the music industry?
Understand that everything starts and ends with you. I think especially with art, once you decide it’s for you, you are in it forever. So never stop! When it gets hard, usually the best things are around the corner.
Aside from your music aspirations, what are some other goals in life you’re striving to achieve?
I would love to visit where I was born. I haven’t been back since my birth.
What’s next for Rosier? Where do you see your music journey going next?
I use songwriting and production to process and understand what I might be going through at a particular time, it’s like a melodic internal monologue. Hopefully, the music grows, develops and changes, the way I naturally would as I grow older and experience new things. Equally, I hope people stick around and grow with me. We are going to get into some serious subjects and the intention is to understand each other a little better. I hope to reach a level of excellence with my craft. I’m trying to learn how to play the keys more confidently. I think it would be cool to play every instrument on an album someday, like Prince.