Nothing Fazes K. Rose
Coming into her womanhood, K. Rose is one of music’s rising stars that will get a big dose of estrogen when she sets foot on the stage of the opening party of the world’s largest lesbian event The Dinah on April 4.
How does that faze the young talent? Not one bit. Excited for the love she knows she will receive from the thousands of women in attendance, K. Rose identifies with the LGBT community much as most rebellious youngsters seem to do these days.
Working with hip hop producers Cool and Dre (Epidemic Music), Rose’s first single "Sleep When I’m Dead" was deemed a defiant teen liberation dance anthem by USA Today which relays K. Rose’s RoseBot Rebel Movement (RBRM) philosophy to her young listeners.
The philosophy of RBRM is basically love oneself and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from doing what you want to do. A message relevant to anyone, such an anecdote to life resonates well with the gay community who have had to rely on the love of ourselves when the rest of the world has turned their love away from us, and had to create our opportunities to do what we want when the rest of the world says we can’t because of our sexuality. It is no wonder that the poetic lyricist K. Rose has found inspiration in the LGBT community and been able to connect to gay youth with total understanding.
Though her second single "A Voi E Me (You & I)" displays K. Rose’s maturity into womanhood, it doesn’t step away from liberation and rebellion with its sensual overtones while embracing a young woman’s sexuality. Falling on her roots, K. Rose’s Italian lyrics definitely have a sensual coming of age vibe as they flows across the dance beat.
With the diversity of her ethnicity (Italian/Black) and her musical influences with Queen Latifah, Joan Jett, and Michael Jackson, K. Rose is one of those eclectic performers whose never out of water anywhere, and performer at The Dinah won’t be any different.
BeBe: I want to get right into it with you and chat about the video you have out for ’A Voi E Me (You and I).’ But first who came up with the idea for you to do this song which is partially in Italian and partially in English?
K. Rose: Well, my mother is Italian, so I have always sung in Italian since I was little. I decided to write this poem in Italian and recite it over this dance beat that I got. I sing it in English on the chorus, and it just came together.
BeBe: This song in contrast to your first one ’Sleep When I’m Dead’ is quite different. ’A Voi E Me’ is a big contrast from this kind of revolutionary teen type of anthem song that Sleep When I’m Dead is. This is a very sexy song. Is ’A Voi.....’ speaking to your coming into your womanhood?
K. Rose: You are right on point! I’ve been going through a kind of transformation and kind of redesigning myself. I am digging deep as to who I am as a person and presenting that through everything that I do. When I first did this song, I just had so much great feedback from my friends with whom I play my music first. When I heard the playback, I said I got to be hot in this video! I can’t hold back. So, I went all out and showed my true colors. Because nowadays 20 year old girls -- they bad! (we laugh)
BeBe: Let’s talk about your beginnings. You have been in development working for the past couple years with super hot producers Cool and Dre on their imprint Epidemic Music. How did this union come about? I mean they have been known to work with some hardcore hip hop acts like Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross, Game, Busta Rhymes and all of those; but you are a little bit different from those guys. You bring something else to the table outside of your hip hop dancing background. I wouldn’t consider your music to be hardcore hip hop. So, how did your relationship with Cool and Dre come about?
K. Rose: Well basically I was doing a special performance at a talent show, and Cool happened to be one of the judges of the talent show. He saw me performed and called Dre really quick and said they had to have me in the studio. It just went so fast. The combination of our differences just meshed together so well, because I have this deep root in hip hop. I’m black and Italian, so I have this deep root in me from dancing. But, I love singing classical music. I love singing in Italian. I love jazz. I love Broadway. I love the arts in general. As a young artist and they as young producers, I think we saw fusing it all together would just lift up the whole project. I’m in control of everything I do. I’m young but I know what I’m talking about. I write everything. I choreograph everything. I have to because I have to make this work. And, they support that so much. They are so hands off. They just let me live. They let me make my music and be me. That’s what I love about working with them.
BeBe: I was going to ask you about how much freedom you have with your music since you re a young artist. I was curious how much say you had in what you do in working with hip hop producers who have made a mark in their productions with other artists. It appears they give you carte blanche to do what you want to do.
K. Rose: They support all that I do because they know I know what I’m talking about.
BeBe: Now, you’ve been dancing since you were 10. You also were internationally dancing as a hip hop dancer at a young age. And you completed middle and high schools through a performance arts program. So, who has inspired you in your career?
K. Rose: Queen Latifah is definitely someone who I look up to. She started out as a rapper, and now she is a household name. She’s incredible. She’s been inspiring melding two different fields of entertainment. Definitely Joan Jett because I think the moment she started her thing, she was an independent woman and had everything together. I admire her strong spirit. And Michael Jackson for sure. His performances were so invigorating and so captivating. (His performance style) is something I’ve studied since I was little.
BeBe: Those are three diverse and different people. They come from three totally different backgrounds. That kind of explains you because there is a lot of diversity with you. You mentioned three people who separately represent hip hop, rock, and pop.
K. Rose: Exactly!
RoseBot Rebel Movement
BeBe: Now, tell me what this philosophy of RoseBot Rebel Movement is all about?
K. Rose: I kind of base it off my life at first. I was going through a really big change the moment I turned 18. I kinda wanted to rebel and just be myself. I wanted to be on my own. The whole ’Sleep When I’m Dead’ video is actually a true story. I did get kicked out of my house. I became the rebel of the family. I was misunderstood. Now that I am a little bit older I see that I was rebelling against people who told me I can’t do what I wanted to do. And that’s the RoseBot Rebel Movement.
That’s why I feel I relate so much to the gay community because they are so much in love with themselves, and who they are. I admire that. You need that sort of spirit to survive out here. The whole RoseBot Rebel Movement is about that, staying one with yourself, fighting for individuality, fighting for your life.
BeBe: A little birdie also told me that you draw some inspiration from the drag artists out there. What is it about the art of drag and its artists that are so interesting to you?
K. Rose: They don’t really care about what other people think. They love themselves and who they are. Their love for themselves makes others love them. That confidence they exude gives me life immediately. It makes me want to present that life on stage. If someone is confidence on stage, you are immediately instilled with that confidence. Passing it (confidence) on to others is what I admire about drag queens. I remember a drag queen coming up to me after leaving the Parliament House (Orlando’s largest gay dance club), and he said,’Ooo K. Rose, I’m never going to forget that name. I’m going to put you K. Rose right next to my K.Y.’ (both roar with laughter)
Comparisons to Rihanna
BeBe: I’m sure you get some comparison to Rihanna. If you do, I’m wondering are you afraid of such comparison, or do you embrace that?
K. Rose: I actually find many ways to embrace that. One, she’s a hit maker. She’s never really failed. Every song she’s put out has been a number one hit. I admire that. I pay attention to the work. Her music is impeccable. I listen to it all the time. I embrace the comparison to Rihanna. Where she is at in her career is where I want to be. I want to be the next big thing.
BeBe: You’ve just came of a couple of big performances at the Music Conference Week in Miami (March 21), and then ended March at White Party in Palm Springs with all the gay boys. Now, you are headed to The Dinah Shore, simply known as The Dinah now, which is the largest lesbian event in the world. How are feeling about performing at the opening party on April 4th?
K. Rose: It will be my first time there, and I’m really, really excited to perform there. I already know the love that will be coming from the audience. I know their expectations of me will be a little high, but I’m going to give them everything that I have. But, I’m excited.
BeBe: You mentioned how you relate to the gay community and its love for itself, do you have a message that can be directed to gay teens, especially those who are finding it hard to be able to reach their dreams because of their sexual orientation?
K. Rose: Like I say in one of the songs I love performing on stage, it says ’I dance, dance, dance the way I want with who I like.’ I say that for a reason. I look at every single one of them (gay youth) when I perform it. It (your sexuality) doesn’t really matter. As long as you are building an unshakeable confidence with every single person that you meet, you are alive. And that’s what I would share with them.
BeBe: You are working on putting out your debut album. Is there a projected release date? And, are you featuring any guest artists on the album that may be also associated with Cool and Dre?
K. Rose: The EP is coming along really well, but not sure of a release date as of yet. I am hoping to have really great features on it. Cool and Dre keep telling me they have surprises for me, so hopefully one of those surprises is someone I hope will be a featured artist. I hope Kendrick Lemar (’good kid’, ’m.A.A.d city,’ ’Section.80’) appears on one of my songs because I absolutely love his poetry.
K. Rose performs at The Dinah Opening Party in Palm Springs on April 4. Go to the Dinah website for more information and tickets.
The Dinah is a five-day music festival and weekend getaway (April 3-8, 2013) for the lesbian community and is the largest event of its kind.
Follow K. Rose on twitter at www.twitter.com/KRoseOnline
Watch K. Rose’s video of ’A Voi E A Me’ (You and I)’: