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I Never Expected to Leave School to Pursue Music

Writing by Roze Burke

I always knew that music was my passion. I never expected to leave school to pursue it but when the opportunity arose, I didn’t hesitate. My parents were the ones who made that option known and encouraged me to choose a path that felt right. Despite doing homework and assignments the day they were due, I was pretty good at school and I loved my friends –  I was sad to leave. However, following my gut and taking the risk to just go for it was the best thing that I could have done.

I grew up in Sydney’s suburbia not really surrounded by music. My parents both still have corporate jobs and know nothing about art. Nonetheless, I was drawn to it and spent my childhood singing and playing instruments every day. Though he was clueless, my Dad took on a managerial role when I was about 15 and started organising busking permits; liaising with venues about gigs and helping with transport as I was too young to drive. The year I left high school I began a music course at TAFE, which turned into two more because I loved it so much. By this time, I was performing all around Sydney at all sorts of events, while simultaneously working on my songwriting and producing craft.

Like many people, I felt pressure to conform to societal norms. As an incredibly reserved person at the time, I went through big internal battles to get to where I am now. I’ve been told to get a “real” job. I’ve had people look at me funny when I tell them about myself. There have been times where I’ve even asked myself if they were right to judge me – what if I really was doing the wrong thing with my life? There are two things that I often remind myself of when I feel down: there is no wrong way to live, and progress isn’t linear.

Perfectionism is a disease I was cursed with for the majority of my childhood and teenage years. The comparison game also took up way too much of my headspace. I would spend sleepless nights caught up in the fact that I didn’t sound like my favourite artists. Accepting the truth was tough; I was NEVER going to sound like them.

Discovering my own artistic sound took some experimenting. Mistakes were made, and I came out of each one thinking “oh, that wasn’t so bad”. Rewiring my brain to feel safe while making mistakes is a process I’ll be working on for life. I eventually said, “fuck it” and released my first fully self-written and self-produced song ‘monster’ in 2020. After that came ‘illusive haven’ in 2021 and ‘realm’ most recently this month of 2022. That’s the sort of approach I tend to take these days. Just go for it.

Being vulnerable and willing to mess up has moulded me into the artist I am today. I’m super grateful for the opportunity to present my experiences and I can’t wait to share more as things happen.

Check out Roze’s dreamy new lofi pop track, realm here.

Roze Burke

Sydney based singer-songwriter/producer, Roze Burke is a daydreamer. With self-aware lyrics intertwining with elements of soft rock, indie, electronica, and pop, the music she creates makes for a deep dive into her personal experiences (both past and present). Untouched by the hand of the music industry at large, Roze has gained organic listenership through her thousands of followers on TikTok; becoming a new-age hidden gem ready to be released to the world. If you’re a fan of artists like King Princess and The Japanese House, Roze Burke is one to watch.

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