ROZES on performing, growing up shy, and her dream collaboration with Twenty One Pilots
"My favorite thing has been gaining confidence on stage, and it’s something that each artist needs to develop on their own and in their own time."
Elizabeth Mencel, better known as ROZES, is an American singer-songwriter who was launched into the spotlight when she featured on the Chainsmokers’ chart-topping hit ‘Roses’. With her own new track ‘Famous’ now surpassing one million streams, ROZES opened up to us about her life on tour, passion for music, and what fans can look forward to in the future.
You’re on tour with MAX right now. Can you tell me a little bit about that experience?
It’s going really well. Our fans seem to be very similar. It’s a good mesh for the both of us. Our sounds are also similar, but different enough that you can distinguish them if that makes sense. It’s been so fun and it’s been a long time, but I’m still enjoying it.
How has it been singing your songs for different crowds every night?
It’s amazing honestly. Our show is pretty high energy, so it’s good to see the crowd is really into it and singing along. It’s been a good confidence boost for the both of us and that plays on stage.
What’s your favorite song to perform live?
I think it’s my new song ‘Famous’. A lot of people are catching on to the lyrics and are singing along.
What was the inspiration behind your song ‘Fragile’?
I think I had just gone through a breakup and I was in that moment. I was in the phase where I thought ‘love isn’t real’ and ‘it’s stupid’. I was young and I was naive. I didn’t think promises could be broken, so to me I felt so fragile.
Have boys and problems along those lines been a big inspiration for your music?
You studied one year at Temple University and decided it wasn’t for you. You wanted to pursue music instead. How difficult was making that decision?
I always had in my head that I wanted to be a musician and I was going to college as the “Plan B.” I knew that once I made myself busy enough that I couldn’t go to class, it wasn’t a realistic dream of mine. I could prove it to my parents that it was the right decision and I need the affirmation of people telling me that it’s ok. For me, it was easy once I had finally left because I felt like I had already done that.
What were you planning to major in?
At the time, I was first a nursing major. When I transferred to Temple, I wanted to do journalism. I wanted to do writing regardless if I didn’t end up being a songwriter.
You’re well-known for your song ‘Roses’, a track with the Chainsmokers that was a giant hit in 2015. It peaked at Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. What was your experience working with them?
When I had worked with them they were just these normal guys. It wasn’t anything legendary. We just hungout and ate Chinese food. It’s crazy to see where they have gone since then.
I’m also building a street team right now, but it’s not to do radio promotion. It’s for fans to join my movement that’s about anti-bullying, LGBTQ+, Black Lives Matter… those sorts of things.
Did you ever expect that song to blow up in that way?
We had no idea and literally not even our team thought it was going to blow up. They thought it was a cool jam.
You tweet a lot and you’re very funny! If you could tweet while you were on stage about something you see a lot or an emotion, what would you say?
It would probably be, “Why do you guys have so many resting b*tch faces?” Some people show emotion differently and I get that.
Fuck coffee, where’s the whiskey at
— ROZES (@ROZESsounds) November 9, 2017
If you could only listen to three artists or bands, who would they be and why?
Right now, in this moment, it would probably be Twenty One Pilots, LÉON, and a classic Amy Winehouse.
What’s your favorite song by Amy Winehouse?
I love ‘Back to Black’.
What has been the highlight of performing on this tour?
My favorite thing has been gaining confidence on stage, and it’s something that each artist needs to develop on their own and in their own time. It’s something I’ve finally kind of grasped.
What do you think about this tour in comparison to others?
This is definitely my favorite. I love MAX. He’s great.
Is there anything fans can look forward to? Are you working on any new music?
I’m working on my music video for ‘Famous’, and there’s new music coming out in the next year. I’m also building a street team right now, but it’s not to do radio promotion. It’s for fans to join my movement that’s about anti-bullying, LGBTQ+, Black Lives Matter… those sorts of things.
— ROZES (@ROZESsounds) September 29, 2017
Your fans are awesome. Is it ever surreal to think about all of those people supporting you?
I guess I don’t think about it like that, but it is an honor. It’s humbling.
What’s something fans may not know about you?
I’m pretty much an open book, but I guess a fun fact would be that I’m quite shy. I’m an introvert and an extrovert. I’m not the most outgoing person. I always envy the person who can just chat up a storm with someone that they just met.
Were you a shy person in high school?
Yeah, I think so. I had my people. People probably thought I was some giant jerk because I wouldn’t say hi or something.
How did you come up with the stage name ROZES?
My grandmother’s name is Rose, but I wanted to put my own spin on it so I made the “s” a “z.”
If you could collaborate with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I think right now it would be Twenty One Pilots, because I think it would be a really fun collaboration and it’s something a lot of people haven’t done yet. Many don’t collaborate with a rock band. It’s mostly collaborations with pop artists and rappers. I think that we need to start exploring other genres to collaborate with.
Have you seen Twenty One Pilots live yet?
Yes. I’m obsessed. I’m a fangirl.
Join more than a million others and stream her latest track ‘Famous‘.
Catch her on the Meteor Tour with MAX.
Featured Image: Justin James Muir