Rosemarie sets the summer tone with her latest R&B track “Henny Talk”
Story by JaJuan M. Morris-Guity & Shirley Reynozo
Rosemarie is R&B’s newest addition and she is already making an impression with her new single “Henny Talk”. Born in Los Angeles, CA, Rosemarie calls many States her “home” having lived in New York, Florida and California. She grew up in a musically inclined family, splitting her time between being a natural-born creative — writing poems, songs, painting as well as playing sports and climbing trees. After a few years on the East Coast and experiencing the loss of her mother, she settled back into California where she attended culinary school to become a pastry chef. Long days working part time jobs were peppered with Rosemarie’s continuing exploration of her naturally gifted singing talents. She began uploading covers and music challenges to social media and reconnected with a long-time friend and studio engineer, Jon Rousseau, who encouraged her to create original music again. Our Galore Team sat with Rosemarie and talked about her new project, “Henny Talk”, now available on all streaming platforms. To watch the official music video you can do so here: https://rosemarie.lnk.to/HennyTalkVid
JaJuan: To kick things off, I just wanted to say congratulations to you, Roddy Ricch and the Bird Vision Entertainment team for the recent Grammys performance. I saw that and was like “wow, this is phenomenal.”
Rosemarie: Aw, thank you so much! I appreciate that. Honestly like, that’s my family. I feel like whenever I speak about it with other people, it might come off biased but I really feel like Roddy is a really important, special piece to kind whatever music has going on today and for a very long time. I can go on and on about how much I admire him and by how inspired I am by him. His work ethic is something I’ve never seen before. I always call him Midas because he’s such a star. He puts his all into everything that he does. I was very proud of that and thank for taking the time out to say that.
JaJuan: Of course! You guys are prolific and I’m just really excited for the future. But I won’t delay this interview any longer, let’s get to it. So for those who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing your music just yet, tell us about who you are and what first got you into music?
Rosemarie: My name is Rosemarie. I’m Afro-Latina (Dominican & Puerto Rican), I was born in L.A. and I’ve pretty much been surrounded by, inspired by and involved with music and art and creativity my entire life. My mom sang. My dad was a DJ. I probably was singing or dancing before I could walk or talk, so obviously that has played a huge role in who I am today. I’ve been very lucky to be tri-coastal. I consider my three homes to be Orlando, Florida (I spent a lot of time there), California and Washington Heights in New York. So, I’m sure you can imagine the difference in cultures, music, art and things that I have been exposed to growing up, just even within my own family, having a very rich and wide range of people in my space.
JaJuan: What is your creative process like? Does that entail you going outside and spending some time with nature or would you say like just meditating in the studio a little bit before you start jotting down a new song? What exactly does that look like for you?
Rosemarie: So my creative process is probably a lot different than most. I write a lot of my music in my home, at home. Whether I finish up a song at the studio or tweak it at the studio, 95% of the music that I have to date has either been written in a bedroom, on a front porch or something of that nature because it tends to just come to me. That’s honestly something I would love to work on is just building more in the studio but most of me and starting in my music journey and I’m sure a lot of up-and-coming and newer artists can relate to is that I didn’t always have access to big studios or a lot of the resources that I have now. I’m kind of getting used to taking advantage of those resources. So basically yeah, I would kind of get myself in the zone and maybe have a glass of wine here and there, you know what I mean and for whatever reason be inspired at that moment to create music. I would like to have everything ready going into the studio, so I know exactly what I was recording, so I wasn’t anybody’s time. So, I wasn’t wasting any time that I had. Kind of trying to have as much of it together beforehand. That’s kind of my creative process man. Kind of building and polishing and doing that after I’m there. I kind of have a bedroom set-up. I have a mixtape if you will, on streaming platforms called To Be Determined (2019), that was recorded mostly in my bedroom in my old home. I kind of went back and forth with one of my really good friends. I would write and record the vocals at home and then send it to him and he would mix it in his home studio. So yeah, that’s pretty much that. At home. In the comfort of myself and my space. Around things that make me feel comfortable. So yeah, that’s pretty much that.
JaJuan: That’s super dope. I think that, you know, just being home provides an unparalleled sense of comfort that evokes the vibe your music has for sure.
Rosemarie: Thank you! Yes, and I have like a core of people whose opinions matter so much to me. Like I have my go-tos for whenever I first make music. It’s easier for me that way to not have too much input as I’m creating what I’m trying to create and just trying to be as true to whatever I’m feeling as I possibly can be. And that’s not to say that I’m not open and I haven’t worked with writers or collaborating in that sense. That’s definitely a muscle that I’d like to grow and work on and work out. But up until this point, it has been easier and most productive for me to not get caught up in everything that can present itself whenever you’re around a group of people.
JaJuan: So you like to stick around those loved ones that help to keep your sound in check a little bit?
Rosemarie: Yes, my sister is a huge one. She’s one, if not, my best friend. She’s so creative and so awesome. Aside from here, I have a couple people that when I make something and I’m super excited to share, I go to them for their take because if this core of people rock with it, then I’m like it’s a go because I respect their opinion as far as creativity goes and they’ll know if I’m being true to myself or not. I know a lot of people who may be put in positions that may not always get to have that luxury of, you know, being as true to themselves as they can. They help me make sure everything is together.
JaJuan: So If it hits with your people, you feel confident in it for the most part?
Rosemarie: I mean, I hope so. That’s what makes me fully proud and what gives me what I need to fully believe in it, you know what I mean? I think every artist is sensitive about their shit and we’re always our own worst critic, so they help to get me out of my head and to look at it from a different perspective and help pull me back down. Like anybody else, we strive to the best that we can be and sometimes, that means being in your head a little longer than you should and then things start moving and sounding in a way that might be different from how you first heard it, so that’s what I mean by those core people and the feedback that they give me helps me tremendously.
JaJuan: Well, that’s amazing that your creative process is rooted in groundedness. After listening to your latest singles “Vision” and “Henny Talk,” it is evident that you have a strong passion for R&B and Soul music. Who would you say are some of your biggest influences? And if you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?
Rosemarie: Oh My God! Ok, so first of all, I’d like to say that that is the music that is truest to me and what I can create and what comes out of me, I listen to a wide range of music and I’m inspired by such a wide range of music. Obviously, I listen to spanish music. I listen to pretty much anything except for maybe super hardcore death rock. I like Punk Rock, you know what I mean. I had my little punk rock phase. But needless to say, obviously the greats, my mom’s favorite was Mariah Carey.
JaJuan: Oh, you can’t go wrong with a little Mariah Carey.
Rosemarie: You know, that’s a staple! My mother put me on to Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Aaliyah, etc. I was actually going to wear an Aaliyah shirt as well. I went with Spice Girls but we’re right here with it.
JaJuan: Haha, but yeah. I decided to wear this shirt as well because your music sort of channels Aaliyah a little bit. So, that’s why I was like, “yo let me through this on, it’s alright.”
Rosemarie: Wow! Anytime anyone places my music with anything of the 90s, that’s like, probably one of the best compliments I could possibly receive. You don’t know how much that means to me. I feel like that was such a rich and true and just unmatched time in music. One that I so badly wish I could have been a part of but I think a lot of R&B music artists that are making music today are doing a great job at bringing that back in a sense. That’s one of the best compliments I could possibly receive, so thank you for that.
So to finish answering your question, Aaliyah, Beyonce, Rihanna, Rihanna is a huge one. She is one of my idols. Just because of how multifaceted and beautiful and successful that she is. One of her songs was actually the inspiration behind Henny Talk – I’m not sure if you’re familiar with this song “Higher.”
JaJuan: Oh word, Higher off of ANTI right?
Rosemarie: Right, yes!
JaJuan: Right, right! Yes, I’m familiar. That is like a bit of a deep cut. You’ve gotta be a true fan for that song to even resonate with you deeply.
Rosemarie: *laughs* and yes, that is one of my all-time favorite records and when I was making Henny Talk, it was kind of like “how can I bring this sort of feeling that I feel when I listen to that record to this record?” That’s something not a lot of people know.
JaJuan: There was a ton of conviction and passion in Higher. I can definitely see those parallels for sure.
Rosemarie: Yes, thank you! That was my interpretation of it. That was that s**t. So yeah, Rihanna is huge. Just those core legends. Those legends my mom was all about it.
JaJuan: That was an amazing array of artists. So, if you could open up a show for any of those artists, who would it be?
Rosemarie: Wow, that is so hard. Anytime any tries to narrow it down who my favorite artist is or what my favorite song is I get stressed out. But off the top of my head, it would be Rihanna. That would be mind blowing. That’s where I’m at with it right now. I would obviously jump at the chance at any of those but I’m gonna go with Rihanna.
JaJuan: We can rock with that fasho. So, since starting your career, what’s the best advice you’ve been given so far?
Rosemarie: Being as true to myself as I possibly can be and am. I’m told constantly how genuine I come across and humble I’m perceived. These are things. Not that it is weird for me to hear because I do consider myself genuine. I’m real and I’m definitely humble. It’s just a noted thing and it’s a reoccurring thing that I hear, so it makes me feel like I’m keeping that theme. To answer the core of your question, to keep being myself because it’s what’s gotten me here and anywhere that I would like to go would be because of me continuing down that path. That’s very important for me.
JaJuan: That was a phenomenal response. This will take you far.
Rosemarie: Thank you again for taking the time to speak with me! I’m just so happy it translates. I was really nervous about this but you made it a breeze and I couldn’t have asked for things to go any better, so thank you guys for that.
JaJuan: So my final question before you have to go, I’m going to ask the question that everyone wants to know.I have one more question. What’s next for you?
Rosemarie: What’s next! Well hopefully, the world opens back up a little bit more. Hopefully everyone is home, safe and healthy and dealing with everything as best as they possibly can but I guess what’s next for me is to continue to grow and to try and strengthen those muscles I mentioned before, just with trying different things and pushing the envelope a little bit more and out of my comfort zones, maybe creating more in the studio and collaborating a little more with other people. Or just trying to just build more from scratch or just trying a bunch of things to make me feel like I’m leveling up and as long as there is progress and people can hear that progress, that’s what I’m striving for. Just continuing to make more music and hopefully that will continue to resonate with people, you know.
Rosemarie: Also, I have an EP coming soon. I’m so excited to present this. I’m just elated and the amount of thought and everything. I put my blood, sweat and tears into this project. Another cliche but it couldn’t be anymore true. I’m so excited for everybody to get to hear that and kind of get to know me and digest that. And you know, hopefully we level up from there and continue to make even greater music.
JaJuan: Thank you so much Rosemarie for sharing your time and your story. I’m looking forward to the progress, I’m looking forward to the development and I’m also looking forward to the new EP.
Rosemarie: Of course! Please, I would love to hear your opinion when it is finally out in the world. Everyone is gonna be doing whatever and I’m going to remember.
Interview transcribed by JaJuan M. Morris-Guity