Indie pop singer-songwriter Rosanna recently released her debut EP, Restless, a celebration of Rosanna’s shapeshifting songwriting, blending elements of shimmering synth-pop, folk, and indie, exploring themes of love, heartbreak, and resurrection.
Talking about the EP, Rosanna shares, “I’ve always felt restless, not knowing if I’m doing things right. This EP is a collection of songs I’m really proud of, and with it, I wanted to celebrate the eclectic nature of my songwriting, which is itself restless, constantly in flux.”
Restless introduces brand new tracks, including the anthemic ‘80s-inspired “Pennies” and the stunningly ethereal folk-pop piece, “June Rain”, written during the lockdown. Exploring the courage to leave a bad situation, “What it takes to leave” is an iridescent synth-pop hit, whilst “Need You To Stay” is a sultry ‘make-up’ banger with an infectious beat and epic production, influenced by ‘90s RnB.
Produced by Alexander Comana (Miedototal) and mastered at the iconic Abbey Road Studios, hints of Rosanna’s influences, including Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush, imbue the EP with captivating rhythms and beguiling melodies.
Guitar Girl Magazine spoke with Rosanna to find out more about the person behind the music, her creative process, and her guitars.
What three things can’t you live without?
Music – of all kinds.
Earplugs – protect your ears girls!
Tea – I need it to function.
What inspired your debut EP, Restless?
The EP charts a really formative time in my life, the ups and downs of relationships in my 20s, break-ups, make-ups, figuring out who I am, and what I want in life. Each of the songs is quite different, but as a collection for me, they are emblematic of a kind of realization, coming of age. I’ve always had this yearning, restless energy, my mind running at 100 miles an hour, trying to be all the different versions of myself. I used to think it was a bad thing like it would stop me achieving my goals, but now I embrace it. For me, to be restless is to be hungry, curious, and open-minded. So that’s why the EP is called ‘Restless,’ to celebrate that mindset, as well as the nature of my songwriting, which is always in flux.
Sonically, I am really inspired by the music of the ‘80s, it has this shimmery darkness to it; I stan anything by Bruce Springsteen, Kate Bush, The Cure, and The Smiths, as well as more contemporary electro-pop like Robyn, Carly Rae Jepsen, and MUNA.
What’s your songwriting process? Melody first, or lyrics?
Kind of both…I often get a hook with both melody and lyrics, when I’m in the shower, walking, or when I have the house to myself. If I get something good, I record it into my voice notes to come back to. And then I go through it periodically and see what’s sticking, and what has legs. Then I’ll start working on it properly creating a demo in logic myself, before taking it to a producer to collaborate with.
What do you hope your listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?
A sense of freedom, release, and empowerment. A fan recently said she had a visceral reaction listening to ‘What it takes to leave’ where she simultaneously wanted to dance and bawl her eyes out. So, I guess that’s catharsis? That’s all I can ask for, that my music moves the listener.
What kind of guitar, pedals, and amp are you presently using?
I have a Fender Telecaster and a couple of acoustic guitars. For pedals, I love anything shoegazey. I use the Memory Boy for vibrato and chorus vibes, and I have my eye on the Walrus Audio Slö Reverb too – but mostly I use Logic’s inbuilt pedals for songwriting, as I don’t play guitar live that much. It’s the wonderful Alexander Comana (my producer) playing on the EP, and I have a great band that accompanies me live.
There are a few different styles in your EP, covering synthpop right through to indie folk. Do you have a favorite genre to write in?
Oooo, pass! Haha. No – not really. I would say my music lives firmly in the pop world, but it’s imbued with a lot of eclectic influences. I grew up in love with Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Nina Simone, and Fleetwood Mac, so there’s definitely that flowing through my veins. The beauty of writing songs is that you get to explore it all – right? And make it your own.
Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?
I mean, who isn’t partial to a bit of trash TV? Right now, I can’t get enough of ‘The Traitors’ (I’m team Jaz). I’m not guilty about that though! Also, how is Claudia’s hair so shiny? It’s magical.
Any advice for young female artists just getting started?
Make sure you do some self-inquiry and think about what makes you – you. Know who you are and what you want to say. Lots of people will have opinions of you, your work, what you wear, what you say. And that’s scary, but if you trust your gut, and you make music for yourself, it will always be authentic, and you can always be proud of that. And – importantly – be kind to yourself. We are often our worst critics.
What can your fans look forward to over the next six months? New music? Videos?
There’s lots coming up in 2024, I’m so excited! I’m in the Isle of Wight Festival’s New Blood competition which is super fun – so you can come and see me in London on 15 March at the Tooting Tram and Social for that, and more gigs to be announced soon. I’m working on some concepts for music videos, including me sploshing about it a fountain for ‘Pennies’ so watch out for that ha-ha. And I’m working on some new music at the moment, planning to release it in spring.