Interview/Music: Rosie Frater-Taylor

Interview/Music: Rosie Frater-Taylor.

One of the great things about doing this site is receiving so much great music every week, and another great thing is discovering an artist that is on the verge of something big. 

Step forward Rosie Frater-Taylor, who, after gaining massive support from Gilles Peterson, Jordan Rakei, Rosie Lowe, and Gretchen Parlato, is set to unveil her second self-produced album ‘Bloom’ on June 4th.

If you thought her previous tracks were super infectious, then wait till you hear the whimsical pop flavours of ‘Just My Type’.

Showcasing her versatility, as we all know, she can effortlessly churn out deliciously jazzy grooves, but ‘Just My Type’ is a pop sprinkled track with widespread appeal that still keeps Rosie’s trademark love for rich and intricate harmonies intact.

Moving from some clever and endearing verses to a catchy chorus that’ll stick in your head for days if you didn’t think so already, this song proves she is destined for stardom. You’ve been warned; this is some highly addictive stuff.

As Rosie gears up for the release of ‘Bloom’, we spoke over email about her songwriting process, musical influences, dream collaboration and much more.

Hey Rosie! Thank you for chatting with us. First off, how did you begin singing, playing the guitar and making music? Also, what’s your earliest musical memory?

I started out in music playing drums actually, my dad’s a drummer and he gave me lessons when I was a kid; that was really my route in! I picked up one of my mum’s dormant guitars a little while later. I was super into heavy rock / Avril Lavigne at the time if you can believe it. Jazz came a bit later when I was 13 or so I took advantage of all the awesome youth jazz organisations in London: Tomorrow’s Warriors, Junior Royal Academy and so on. 

My earliest musical memory is probably dancing around the kitchen as a very small child to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, a classic 

When did making music become your job?

I guess I’ve pretty much always known I wanted to dedicate my life to making music, so in that sense, I’ve never truly wanted to do anything else. I’m also technically still studying ! However, this past year with the upcoming release of my album & meeting my awesome manager Eric, things have take a way more organised turn I suppose.

What’s your songwriting process, how do your songs come together – do they start on guitar or with lyrics? 

Songs for me always start by sitting at the guitar working on a riff, line or sequence of chords I’m digging & then building the melody and lyrics on top of that. I always find harmony is the best way to set the tone of the track so lyrics normally come quite easily after that. I consider the production an important part of the writing process too. I love layering instruments, guitars and vocals to achieve unexpected harmonies. 

Tell us about your setup. Where and how do you record your music?

So far, I’ve recorded my last album ‘On My Mind’ & the forthcoming album ‘Bloom’ mostly in my room. I’ve got a great condenser mic that works for vocals, percussion, acoustic instruments and even my guitar amp. Maybe some would describe that set up as limited but the simplicity of using one mic works for my process.

If you had to choose one artist who’s influenced your music, who would it be and why? 

Becca Stevens is a big one for me. I think she sort of paved the way for intelligent, adventurous songwriting in a folk-jazz-pop realm in the last two decades. I’m very inspired by her harmonies, instrumentation and writing in general, especially when I was starting to realise my own love of writing songs at the age of 16. 

The new music is definitely more me, but I feel her sound/principles as a writer are still there for me. 

Having said that, who would be your dream collaborator? 

Dream collaboration would be on one of the Snarky Puppy’ Family Dinner’ albums, having Michael League arrange one of my songs for that incredible band would be so cool.

What else have you got in store for the rest of 2021?

‘Bloom’ is coming out on the 4th June! Very exciting. I’ve got some shows playing the new music, very thankful to have sold out the jazz cafe & then on 9th September I’ll be at Ronnie’s. 

Over the next year, I’m looking forward to writing and collaborating more and playing live as much as possible really. 

CF Smith

Write for Music Is My Sanctuary & Stereofox.

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