There was a discussion sometime back with friends over singers and who was the best. For me, it’s not just about the vocals, it’s about the passion for performance to sell said vocals. That is why people like Emilee Rose feel tailor-made for the stage. She’s been finding the spotlight since she was just a kid and since then has been on quite the musical journey. Emilee Rose wasn’t afraid to try out this and that when it came to genres, but in 2022 she focused on country and that’s where she resides today with plans to – well, continue reading on to see what this Nashville artist has in store as the year goes. We talked about the plans, the latest single “Small Town Dream,” and so much more in this back-and-forth exchange.
Kendra: When was the seed of pursuing music sort of planted in your head?
Emilee Rose: I always loved performing and singing as I was growing up. I remember performing karaoke covers for my family in the living room when I was as young as five! I also did a lot of musical theater and classical training up and through middle and high school. I always knew deep down I wanted to do music as a career, but for a while, I didn’t think it would actually be possible, I thought it was just a big dream of mine.
Music has always been my everything, so the idea of doing anything else beside it didn’t seem fulfilling. When I was 15, I started writing my own music and creating songs and it was so natural and freeing. My career opportunities just naturally started falling into my lap, everything happened so effortlessly. It felt meant to be.
Kendra: Because you dropped a single back in 2020 that does lean more toward the pop/dance realm than country before your debut country single in 2022 came to light. What happened in those two years that made you want to reassess your musical path?
Emilee Rose: I went through some major career losses that kind of put my creativity and career progress on a standstill. I had lost a lot of money and worked with lots of untrustworthy people. I felt like I was constantly running into a wall and I lost my passion for what I had going on at the time. I have always loved writing lots of genres, anything from R&B to Pop to Rock.
I originally grew up listening to country music, which is what I would karaoke to in my living room. At the time in 2022 when I was at a standstill musically, I started writing country music with a close friend with intentions of selling it to other artists. We both were connecting to our old roots of growing up and were creating these incredible country anthems in only 30 minutes to an hour a session.
I felt a creative spark I hadn’t felt in over a year and I actually felt excited again, it felt so natural singing the country songs as well. I originally did the demos for them and as we showed people the songs I was constantly asked why I wasn’t releasing them myself. After a while, I thought about how I really have nothing to lose. This could be my chance to start over and create a new path for myself that was exciting and inspiring for me, so that’s what I did. I am so happy I made that shift.
Kendra: Now let’s talk about your latest single, “Small Town Dream.” Being from a very tiny spot rarely acknowledged on most maps, I always appreciate songs like this no matter the genre because they always make me feel seen. You know? With that, what do you believe are three elements one must possess in order to leave their small town in pursuit of bigger things?
Emilee Rose: This is a great question! I didn’t grow up in a small town, but I did move around quite a lot as a child because of my parents’ work and it forced me to repeatedly step out of my comfort zone and find my way through so many different environments.
I would say one must definitely have a sense of confidence. Confidence is key in any setting! When you believe in yourself you automatically radiate an energy that other people can read and respect, which leads to so many opportunities. I’d say you also have to have a sense of adventure; a curiosity for the unknown. It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zone, the places where we feel familiar and safe. But that causes us to be held back sometimes and not give ourselves the opportunity to see what we can really make for ourselves. You gotta be open to taking those risks and creating your own destiny!
Lastly, I would say originality, owning who you are and what makes you stand out. You gotta be able to be a leader in your own way, using the qualities that make you unique and special as tools for success.
Kendra: This song has a great line, “Face like Dolly, attitude like Reba.” Dolly is without a doubt one of the most beloved celebrities across the board, but it’s not every day we’re hearing about Reba – unless it’s memes about her hit TV series. What about Reba McEntire’s career has influenced how you approach your own?
Emilee Rose: Reba is one of the most influential and bada** women of country music! She quite literally paved the way for her own career and other women in country music to this day. She has done everything from music to acting, to even being on Broadway. A true example of a woman doing it all, and being the best at everything she does, which is exactly what I want to do with my own career. She has never taken no as an answer and if someone does tell her no she still finds a way around it to succeed. I feel like I relate to that after a lot of the trials and tribulations I have gone through in my own career, I still never back down. Reba is a true example of confidence, hard work, independence, and empowerment.
Kendra: This song also mentions lime and tequila and you have another song, “Burns Like Whiskey.” So I gotta ask, if your sound, your musical aesthetic were to be made into an adult beverage, what would the ingredients be and why?
Emilee Rose: I love this question! I would have to say a Paloma. It’s light and refreshing with the grapefruit and lime but is a classic that packs a punch and a good time with the tequila. A perfect balance you might say, just like my music.
Kendra: Time for a side note – So Easter is my favorite holiday. Don’t ask me what the holiday is actually about because it’s only my favorite. After all, I love Spring and the candy is top-notch. With that, if you were to receive an Easter basket, what sweet treat and album on vinyl would you hope was in said basket?
Emilee Rose: Snickers, Twix, and Jolly Ranchers are musts in the candy category! I would love to see ‘Golden Hour’ by Kacey Musgraves or the ‘On The Rocks’ by Midland on vinyl!
Kendra: Lastly, with “Small Town Dream” out now, what else can people expect as we continue into Spring and soon into Summer?
Emilee Rose: Lots of new music! I hope to release a lot this year since 2022 was my start-up of country music. I’ll be releasing everything from disco country to traditional country. It’s gonna be a blast and I am super excited for the world to hear what I’ve been working on.