Photo Credit: Katia Temkin
People like Erose gravitate towards the spotlight because of an innate need to perform. As a kid she made it her mission to be on stage, “I was in an after-school drama club, and would always convince whatever adult was in charge to let me turn our plays into musicals so that I could commandeer the stage and perform my silly little songs under a spotlight for no good reason.”
From there she played in garage bands, packed for band camp, and eventually headed to NYU to study music. Now Erose is ready to share all she’s been working on with a magnificent team behind her. We started this back and forth with the beauty of the team, queer representation on all fronts, and more like the titular single from her August 2021 EP, ‘Unrealistic.’
Kendra: Representation is a term we’ve used very often in recent years because finally, people are aware that everyone deserves to see themselves in life be it in music, on TV, or even in politics. This is why I wanted to point out that your team for this record is female and queer. First, how do you feel working in that environment pushed you creatively?
Erose: Working in a queer environment will push you creatively because we naturally nurture each other. When you know you’ll be understood without having to explain yourself (because everyone in the room has a shared experience of queerness) the creativity simply flows.
Having an all-queer team was THE DREAM. Luckily for me, I happen to have lots of talented gays in my life, and everyone involved in creating this EP (FLETCHER, Shannon Beveridge, Jenn Decilveo, Kelley Missal) is just a talented gay friend of mine who happened to be free to roll by the studio while I was making this EP.
Kendra: Secondly, did you have that level of queer representation growing up at all?
Erose: There was very little (if any?) queer representation in media for me growing up, but being a theater kid, the adults I most looked up to in real life were openly gay, and that made me happy to be different, too.
I think the difference in having queer representation back then for me, would have been knowing it was cool to be different, rather than having to learn it. I hope queer kids now, in 2021, just know that being gay is simultaneously very f*cking cool, and also no big deal.
Kendra: As for the record, ‘Unrealistic,’ you say it sort of straddles the line between hopeful and hopeless romantics. Which side of that line would you say you lean more towards?
Erose: I’m still trying to figure that out myself, which is a struggle you’ll notice throughout the record. I wrote “MORE” as an anthem for the hopeful romantics (“my heart’s like a piggy bank, born hungry, break it for the goods just to refill it”), and “NEVER LOVE ME” as an anthem for the hopeless romantics (“you can never end what you never start, you can try your best but you’ll never love me”).
Kendra: The lead, titular, single is this laundry list of things you want in a partner, and I think we all have that master list in the back of our heads and I feel for some yes – it’s so unrealistic to think someone will check off every single item. Have you found that perhaps not settling, but realistically editing one’s list can lead to more potential opportunities to find love?
Erose: I don’t think you should have to compromise your “list” to find love, but chemistry is chemistry and I wouldn’t fault someone for ignoring a few red flags to follow the butterflies in their stomach instead.
Kendra: So you’ve gotten yourself immersed in a lot of scenes. Doing emo nights and living it up in the drag realm. With that, you said that ‘Unrealistic’ is an “easy listening album for overthinkers.” Are there any emo albums that you love that also fall into that genre?
Erose: My best friend Shannon Beveridge curates the most perfect Spotify playlist every season that always hits the damn SPOT — right now, her “nowthisissummer21” playlist is my go-to for all emotional listening needs. I higgghhhly recommend following her on Spotify!
Kendra: Also, which drag queen do you feel fits the aesthetic of ‘Unrealistic’ so much so that you’d be more than honored for them to lip-sync a song or two from it in their act?
Erose: Nothing makes me happier than stepping into my favorite gay clubs to see my drag performer friends take the stage with one of my songs! I loved Mini Horrorwitz performing a song of mine at Metropolitan, and Iodine Quartz performing another at The Vault — I would be honored for any performer to interpret any song off the ‘Unrealistic’ EP any night of the week.
Kendra: Going back to the single, “Unrealistic,” one of the things on your list is that this future person in your life “hate cops.” I love that line because while a small note, it is about a huge problem we have in America. Being part of a community that is still fighting for full acceptance, how has it been to watch this country continue to try and brush aside racism, homophobia, and transphobia?
Erose: I think/hope that 2020 made it clear that we won’t allow racism, homophobia, transphobia to be brushed under the rug in America. The line “hates cops” might be a small one, but it’s the line that most represents why art matters to me in the first place. I love the Toni Cade Bambara quote, “The role of an artist is to make revolution irresistible.” If that’s not the goal, I don’t know what is. R E S I S T !
Kendra: With the album out at the end of August, do you have plans to do some shows this fall?
Erose: Yes!!!! Keep up with me @erose.etc to find out where the shows are, & slide into my DMs to book me!