The 411 on College and Life Around Campus
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After her debut on the Billboard Hot 100 for the song “Roses” (co-written by Andrew Taggart and produced by EDM-Pop duo The Chainsmokers) in 2015, ROZES (Liz Mencel) has been on the come-up. With releases like her ‘Burn Wild – EP’ in 2016 and her most recent single “Famous”, which has already accumulated 1.1 million streams, the singer/songwriter is making a name for herself within the music industry. Having collaborated with artists like Cash Cash, Galantis, and even a track with Big Gigantic and Logic, ROZES is most certainly on her way to the top.
I had the opportunity to hit the Indianapolis date on her tour with MAX (singer/songwriter and former Nickelodeon star) and was blown away by her set. With phenomenal vocals and an electric stage presence, ROZES kept the audience dancing and singing along throughout, and her enthusiasm and passion for the music made for a fantastic performance.
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I had the opportunity to sit down with Liz after her set and talk with her about collaborations, future projects, and mental health awareness.
Gabi: Most people your age are getting entry-level jobs and just starting out. What’s it like to have achieved so much at the age of 24?
Liz: It feels great, but it also makes me feel old. With this industry, you compare yourselves to other artists. But when I put it into perspective, I think, “Wow I’m doing a lot,” for only being 24 and thinking about others young people who are around my age (not to be insulting to them). But it definitely feels like I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing. At the same time, I’m quite humbled when I look at Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift, with how young they are. It’s truly inspiring.
Gabi: What artist/artists have been your biggest inspiration or influence in making music?
Liz: I grew up with Amy Winehouse and Adele. All of their lyrics are so raw and vulnerable, they even threw themselves under the bus. For me, that was really inspiring. I remember watching an Adele documentary and she said something along the lines of, “I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable to everybody’s judgement,” and I thought to myself, I get that.
Gabi: Your next EP is set to release in 2018. Are there any specific themes or topics that you explore on it?
Liz: You know, a lot of this project is me post-Chainsmokers. It’s me proving who I am as an artist, outside of EDM and collaborations. Its sort-of about my life experiences, emotions of the past, and a lot of reflection. There’s a song on the EP titled “Where Would We Be?” and its kind of a reflection of a past relationship and where we would be had I not chosen this career. So it’s a lot of self-reflection.
Gabi: What’s something that not many people know about you that you think they should?
Liz: You know, I’m pretty much an open book, especially on social media. I guess maybe that I seem outgoing, but in reality I actually am very shy. I’m self-conscious and I worry that people won’t remember me.
Gabi: So this tour with MAX started in early October. Do you have any favorite places that you have been so far?
Liz: Funnily enough, Indianapolis is one of my favorite places because when I came here with AJR and the crowd is just so receptive to music and energy. We also played Columbus and that crowd was insane, too. You think of cities like LA and Philly and New York, when in reality LA can kind of suck sometimes because everybody is an aspiring artist, so there can be a lot of judgement from the crowd.
Gabi: Back in 2016 you got to perform at Coachella. What was that experience like for you?
Liz: That was legitimately insane. It was the biggest crowd I’ve ever played for. It was a dream. I think back on what life is like and then getting to be there and I think, “that is absolutely insane.” Its inspiring to me, to want to be there again.
Gabi: You’re known for being an advocate for mental health awareness. Do you have any advice for someone who’s struggling?
Liz: It’s tough to give advice because I can only give what I know. But I think my best advice is to not be afraid to speak about it. Even if you’re writing in a diary, get your thoughts out of your head. Don’t suffer through them alone. In lieu of Lil Peep’s death, it’s really got me thinking. If you see your friends struggling, say something.
Gabi: So do you have any guilty pleasure songs or albums?
Liz: Old Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles. Their songs are kind of my escape.