Living by the mantra “No filters, no Facetune, no Vsco, no makeup, no BS”, transparency is high on the priority list for New York singer ROSIE. Her breakup ballad, “Never the 1”, took the internet by storm accumulating over 15 million views on TikTok and propelling her career to new heights.

After recently signing to Arista Records, ROSIE now turns her attention to the release of her debut EP. The singer sat down with IndustryMe to discuss her plans for the new project, her creative process, and more.

“Never the 1” was kind of the song that changed everything for you. Talk to me about how that song came together.

Writing “never the 1” was like putting together a 10 piece puzzle. Counting back from 10-1 in a song was never something I intended on trying, but one day I decided to take on the challenge. I wrote the verses 2 months later because I was afraid, I knew any other section I’d write would never be as clever. Sometimes it still feels like a miracle that my little song puzzle pieced together the way it did. 

Did you have any idea at the time of writing it that it was going to be a hit song?

Haha I think “hit” is a strong word but, no, I had no idea that this song would resonate with such a large audience, it still blows my mind.

What about the song do you think connected with people so well?

I think a lot of the song’s success had to do with the timing of the post. “Never the 1” is about loss, sadness, anger, and so many other deep/dark emotions, and we were (and still are) going through a very deep and dark time, given the global pandemic. Everybody has something to be sad about…everyone. 

How did going viral on TikTok change the course of your career?

My manager and I always say that TikTok was the catalyst that increased the speed at which I was able to fully launch my career. Everything that happened because of my video, whether it be the record deal, publishing deal, or anything else, ideally would have happened regardless of TikTok, just maybe a couple of years from now. 

I think something that shines through in your writing is your ability to turn negative experiences into moments you can laugh about later. Would you consider yourself to be an optimist?

I am totally an optimist but I think that is because I process all my negative perspectives/emotions in my songs. Sometimes life throws situations so shitty that you that all you can do is laugh. 

ROSIE in interview with IndustryMe

Where does this sense of resilience come from?

Any type of resilience or grit that I have comes from two sources: 1. My trauma, 2. My friends/family. Without the trials and the way I’ve been supported by my loved ones through those trials, I wouldn’t be who I am today. 

You live by the phrase “DO WHAT SCARES YOU,” first of all what inspired that?

I do what scares me (in moderation) because I think that’s how to gain character as a human.  I write songs about things that scare me, because I want to say what most people are too afraid to say out loud, hoping it makes my listeners feel understood in ways in which they typically feel misunderstood. 

With that being said, what are three new things you want to try by the end of the year?

Musically speaking, I’m excited to try writing more genres of music outside of pop, like country, R&B, and theatre! As for my personal life, I’m excited to explore New York more and watch as many live shows as possible before my own tour starts! 

You’re currently working on a concept based on the five stages of grief. I figure that “Never the 1” is acceptance and your latest single “To Get Over You” is Bargaining. What can we expect for the other 3 stages?

For denial, anger, and depression you can expect heart-wrenching songs, with lots of unique and fresh sounds, lots of rhythm, and soooooo much emotion. 

Finally, why is transparency so important to you as an artist?

Transparency is important to me because as an artist you have to showcase the good days and the bad days. My mental health and success change on a day in and day out basis and I think the more honest you are with yourself and your audience about this the more relatable you are.