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.