Rozzi Crane Should Be Your Best Friend, But She’s Busy Being A Rockstar
“I love to know about everything about my schedule and be involved in every decision. I’m a control freak, and that’s not like your typical artist,” Rozzi Crane told me, when we sat down after her Galore photoshoot. Rozzi is a 23-year-old singer from San Francisco, who also happens to be the first artist to sign to Adam Levine’s label, 222 Records.
Aside from inciting headlines such as, “You Don’t Have To Be On ‘The Voice’ For Adam To Turn His Chair,” Rozzi is set to release a new album and set into fame in her own right.
A genuinely adorable person, we were lucky to have her stop into the office (before she actually guest stars on The Voice next week!) to talk tour beauty, playing dorm parties, and male groupies.
So has social media been something you’ve been conscious of curating?
I try to be just as authentic and natural, because it’s an amazing way for me to be in touch with people that I don’t know. Especially because I was touring for like, 3 years without any music out, so people couldn’t really take anything home.
Like it was just my Twitter and a t-shirt. So I feel really lucky that I could connect with my fans that way. I also try not to be too calculated about it though, because I know people can feel that.
Do you have a certain kind of fan?
A lot of strong cool, ambitious ladies. Which is awesome. After every show, I go out and I meet people. And somebody will say to me like, “I just got divorced and you singing makes me feel like that’s all okay,” or people will write me letters and say, “I feel like all of this high school bullshit doesn’t matter!”
I love feeling like I’m making a contribution to people feeling good about themselves
So if you’re from San Francisco, did you grow up listening to Grateful Dead?
[Laughing] I definitely was aware of the Grateful Dead. Let’s see. My mom introduced me to all the big singers. Like Bjork, I’d always sing Bjork in my living room. Then my dad would always drive me and my brother to school, and we’d listen to a lot of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Who.
You might not hear it in my music, but hearing that music feels like home to me. But my mom got me on the soulful, bluesier tip.
What songs make you want to write music?
Any Fleetwood Mac. I love Rumours, I just love Stevie Nicks so much. Lauryn Hill, and the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I’m actually inspired by a lot of hip-hop, because I love how many words those kinds of artists are able to think of and use. My favorite way of writing music though, is when it just kind of happens.
Like I have this one song on the upcoming EP, called, “The Thought of You” and I wrote it actually when I was driving—I just pulled over on the side of the road and came up with it.
Do you usually write music or lyrics first?
I will usually write a full melody and lyrics, and my instrumentalist friends will be like, you’re crazy. If I feel like writing a harmony to it, I will, but I’ll just usually send it to one of my friends and they’ll write some chords to go along with it.
Is there a person that’s your go-to for sending music?
Sam Wilkes, my friend that I met at USC. He’s an encyclopedia of references. He’s an avid vinyl and CD collector. If I explain a feeling I want to invoke, he’s like, “Great, let’s listen to this 1970’s drum sample,”—and we have opposite skills, so we’re good together. We started playing together at ridiculous dorm parties when we were in school.
You played dorm parties?
Oh my God, I literally played anywhere. Someone would be like, “Come play like, our Christmas move-out dorm party,” and I’d be like “Yes, I’m there.”
Then we’d go on weird tours and just play in the most random places, like laundromats, and closed cafes. So basically, I’ve been doing the live thing a lot, which I think is a great way to learn, because artists are usually starting off their careers in the studio.
So is collaborating a big part of your process?
Totally. This album was made in two ways. The first, was very DIY and hands on, with Sam, and my friend Brian Green, who also went to USC. That’s one half of the album.
The other half is me working with these crazy connections that Adam has given me, like Ester Dean, Linda Perry, Kendrick Lamar. There are just all these people that I could never have connected with on my own, and I love those two sides. It has made the album super diverse.
What’s your favorite Maroon 5 song?
“Makes Me Wonder”, and then on the new album, “It’s Always You”.
The thing about Maroon 5 is that you don’t realize how many Maroon 5 songs you know—
Totally! I’ll bring my friends to these Maroon 5 shows, and they’ll be singing along to every song, and be like, wait a minute, I know all of these songs!
How has Adam influenced your songwriting?
He’s a really great songwriter, and is very much of a persona now, and this sexy frontman, but he started out as an amazing writer. I’ll send him something, and he’ll be like, “this one line isn’t working,” and I’ll go back and check, and I’m like, whoa, he’s totally right. He just has a great instinct for that.
So what’s your beauty routine like on tour?
Well, you kind of just have to accept that everything is gross. This time around, I’ve been really lucky, because I’ve had someone there to do my hair and make up. I’m helpless on my own. It’s amazing how incapable I am with hair and makeup. But having a person there, to give me a blowout and eyelashes, is amazing.
Does a blowout help with feeling better when you perform?
Yes, because on this tour, I put on these wind machines to give me some Beyonce hair, and so I needed to make sure my hair looked super good.
I guess you can understand why Beyonce would become Sasha Fierce when there are wind machines involved.
Yeah! Oh, also, I’m experimenting with the red lip a lot. I love individual eyelashes. But I’ve been leaving a trail of eyelashes everywhere. I’m big on Moroccan oil, for my hair. I gave up nail polish like a year ago, and it’s kind of changed my life. I love it.
Lastly, I’ve got to know—do you have any male groupies?
[Laughing] There’s a handful. They’re mostly harmless though.
Well, do you have any cute male groupies?
You know what’s so weird? I know this sounds like a lie, but I can’t tell if somebody is cute until I think they’re smart. Like when I’m at a bar, I have to ask my roommate, “Who is cute here?”
That’s the kind of stuff I can’t figure out on my own.