- Words Notion Staff
Multi-platinum selling Rowlene connects to her subconscious in new EP, ‘Frequency’, telling us about her process, a collaboration with WurlD and career rollercoaster so far.
Rowlene wants to cure your retrograde blues, offering a new EP ‘Frequency’ in a quest for love, life, alignment, and synchronicity. Featuring a melting pot of multi-genre contemporaries like WurlD, Blaqbonez, and Oxlade, the project comes ahead of Rowlene’s highly anticipated sophomore album.
The South African singer-songwriter was born and raised in Cape Town, finding a love for performance in various singing and dancing competitions as a child. Breaking a musical hiatus with singles “Only (feat. WurlD)” and “Would You Like That”, and now heading to LA and Europe, she’s proving an artist to get on your radar. We caught up with Rowlene to discuss her process, a collaboration with WurlD and career rollercoaster so far. Dive in!
Hey, how are you? You have lots of exciting plans coming up, let’s start with your upcoming EP – you’ve spent most of the year in LA, is this where you recorded the project?
I’m really good, everything’s being pretty amazing including LA. I’ve actually only been here for three weeks, I’ve recorded some ideas since I’ve been here but ‘Frequency’ was recorded in London in March this year.
Can you talk me through the process of putting together the EP?
It was such a majestic process, I found everything I wasn’t looking for and now I’m in a space where I feel understood and respected more than ever before.
You’ve just recently collaborated with Nigerian artist WurlD for your latest single “Only” – what was it like to collaborate with this artist?
It’s was amazing, he is such an angel! WurlD has been supportive of my journey since we met. We’ve known each other for a while now and this collaboration happened so organically as well. We had only officially met in January when he came to SA and we locked in our first session, and linked up in London again two months later.
You have previously described your recent single “Would You Like That” about “confidently living in the moment” – can you tell me a time you really felt like you were living in the moment?
Literally me, just packing my bags and booking a flight and leaving to a place I’ve always wanted to without really thinking about it too much – is me living in the moment.
Your two recent songs “Only” and “Would You Like That” are set to feature on your forthcoming EP ‘Frequency’ – can you give us a bit of insight on what themes to expect on this upcoming project?
‘Frequency’ has so many definitions, from science to math it is a significant observation that always hints to ‘more’. This project follows exactly that notion. Each song represents a twist or turn in the journey we call finding love and sometimes ourselves. One’s cycle can never be compared to another’s, yet when you’ve matched the energies, when you’ve synchronised with someone, magic happens. This body of work along with its title lets its listeners explore just how frequent and infrequent the quest for love and life can be.
Storytelling accompanied by music is the simplest way to describe this project. Being a young woman, we go through love ever so frequently. It isn’t always pretty, it isn’t always wanted or desired, but sometimes it’s absolutely needed . The journey of life and love is so non-linear, and I wanted to produce a project where I could share it all – my fears, distractions, desires and insecurities. True form only births during a time of testing, testing my own capabilities and my own heart.
Growing up in Cape Town and later moving to Johannesburg – do you think these have contributed as influences to your music?
Not really, I think it may have inspired me more than influenced. Everyone who I was surrounded by, their grind and hustles has been so inspiring to watch and learn from. Seeing people push the boundaries and showing up as the best versions of themselves and still staying true through the creation process it just gave me hope for my future.
You’ve been creating music since 2015, how would you in your own words describe your music journey throughout this time period?
It’s been a rollercoaster and a such a big learning experience holistically.
With six platinum records and having performed multiple stages across the continent, do you have a particular venue you love or a favourable memory from a past live show?
Rocking the Daisies was definitely a crazy experience. Something I want to still do is perform at Afro Nation, Coachella, The O2 Arena London and Madison Square Garden.
Whilst already having played a range of cities, and festivals, is there any city on your bucket list?
Greece and Tokyo definitely.
I’ve read you’re looking to embark on doing some more international collaborations, which artists would you love to work with right now and why?
I would love to work or be in the presence of Brandy cause she’s just always been one of inspirations. Then Drake, Justin Bieber, Burna Boy just to name a few. I think all of them are superb creatives.
Lastly, I know you’re prepping for the release of your sophomore album. What does this next chapter entail?
New beginnings and absolute global domination!