Photo Credit: Robin Harper
The sky is the limit for Rozzi. This San Francisco native grew up with unwavering self-determination to become a singer. After being discovered for her powerhouse voice, previously compared to Adele and Amy Winehouse, Rozzi launched her career by touring with Maroon 5.
We had the chance to catch up with Rozzi and discuss her recent single, “Never Over You,” a soulful and melancholy song where she establishes an incredible foundation of authenticity, cultivated by her sincerity and honesty. The song hit #39 on Spotify’s Viral Top 50 playlist and Time Magazine referred to it as a “relatable anthem,” and we agree! Rozzi is blurring the lines between pop, soul, alternative as she continues to break boundaries.
Take a look at our Q&A on Rozzi’s experiences touring with Maroon 5, falling in love for the first time, and her eye-opening switch in focus from success and performing, to living and self-discovery. Be sure to catch her show at the Peppermint Club on April 3.
OTW: You were discovered by Adam Levine when you were 19, what a way to start your career! What was the most valuable thing you learned from that experience?
ROZZI: Opening for a band where no one knows you is great training on how to entertain people. Adam, and the whole crew, they are incredible people. They really taught me a lot about loyalty and friendship – it was such a great initiation into the music industry.
OTW: How do you think touring with Maroon 5 shaped your music?
ROZZI: It was such a fairytale to be playing a packed Madison Square Garden at that age; but I think part of my journey and learning experience was really shaped by my relationship with Maroon 5 ending. During my time with the band I didn’t really know who I was…I was so ambitious with a single minded goal of performing, but I needed to get to know myself better as an artist.
It’s hard to express yourself if you don’t know yourself; and I realized I wasn’t letting myself live, or make mistakes, or fall in love. I really needed to experience life more and I think my newer stuff reflects that. Maroon 5 was such a vital part of my journey to get me to where I am now and I am so grateful for the experience.
OTW: Any advice for your 19-year-old self?
ROZZI: I would say, “let things be and let things unfold.” I care so strongly, and when I was younger that manifested in controlling things. I have found recently that there is a lot of beauty in lettings things unfold naturally.
Also I would say, “to be ok with changing and evolving.” It is okay to know who you are and to strive for that dream, but when you realize that you want to be something different and steer away from who you think you are, that’s ok – it’s part of growing up. I always wanted to be a musician but some of the best things in my career have been surprises and accidents.
OTW: How would you say your music differs from that time in your life to now?
ROZZI: Its more emotional and vulnerable, more honest. My old stuff was as honest as it could be at that time, but I wasn’t as in touch with what I was feeling. I think the newer stuff is more reflective of my roots, more organic. I use a lot of live instruments and it feels more soulful.
OTW: Is there a story behind “Never Over You?”
ROZZI: Yes! I was in a fight with my boyfriend at the time and I was frustrated, really exhausted and kept going over everything that was going wrong…everything that I was just over. I was over so many things, but I realized I was never over him as a person. It seems, often times, people break up because the relationship didn’t work - but not because they didn’t love the other person. It was such a fascinating idea to me at the time – I hope it connects with people.
OTW: What is your approach to songwriting?
ROZZI: I walk to this local coffee shop and I start free-writing ideas and poems. I write a lot of notes on my phone whenever and idea comes to me, but I usually start with lyrics. It’s different for every musician, but for me, I feel like I need to get an idea out of my head and put it somewhere. It’s easier for me to hear a melody or a vibe for a song if I have lyrics in mind.
OTW: Do you ever feel vulnerable performing such honest songs?
ROZZI: Yes, definitely. I wrote these songs at unbelievably private/personal moments and to share those emotions can be scary. I am really proud of that though – I don’t consider myself a necessarily open person in my life, but I have discovered that I am a particularly open person in my songs. So many artists that I look up to pour their personal lives into their music and growing up helped me feel understood, it still does - so I am glad they are so personal.
OTW: Which artists would you say are your biggest influences?
ROZZI: Amy Winehouse changed my life. I remember feeling almost stressed out as a young kid wanting to sing soulful songs and be on the radio but not knowing how. Once I heard Amy everything made sense to me. Lauryn Hill is also one of my favorite voices of all time.
OTW: Who are your Ones to Watch?
ROZZI: Wrabel is incredible, I wrote two of my favorite songs with him. I am also really into Lizzo, she is so talented.
OTW: What can we expect this year in terms of touring/new music?
ROZZI: The album is coming this year – I’ve been dying to release an album my whole life so I couldn’t be more excited. Hoping to tour as well, I can’t wait to get back on the road.