Roses Gabor is well known for the work – or in her words; “underground bangers” – she’s featured on with respected artists, producers and performers such as the Gorillaz, Kano, SBTRKT and Redlight in the last few years but the style obsessed singer songwriter is more than ready to go it alone. Karolyn Judge, assistant editor of Amaru Don TV finds out more…
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am Roses Gabor. I sing, I write and I create. I’m living my dreams and my life has been transformed by music.
How did you get into music and the whole scene?
Music has always been an obsession but it came after my full time work. I used to record from 10 ‘til 4. I did that for a few years really and then a couple of years ago I thought: ‘You know, I should follow my spirit and purpose’ and got to this point. I’m involved in music full time. It’s pretty much my whole life.
You’ve got a 45 minute long mix tape ‘The Wonderful World Of Roses Gabor’ filled with tracks that you’ve featured on or have been part of. You’ve also appeared on 1xtra collaborating with the likes of J2K, Lady Chann and Toddla T to produce a track within 3 hours – is group work a challenge? And what have you learnt from it?
Hmm, collaborating with people is always a great experience, whether it was good at the time or bad. Generally everything is a valuable experience so to me that was really cool. I work on vibe a lot and I’ve done shows before where I’m with the band and I’ll just say to them: “play something.” Then I’ll write a tune there because I like the sound of… I don’t know… the trumpets. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s absolutely rubbish. It’s just that I love to vibe. For me I feel that’s the direct result of it.
Has your past work with others given you the confidence to produce solo music?
Definitely. It hasn’t been strategic to work with lots of people but it is strategic to work on my own now. I love working with other people; it seems that I end up doing lots of features which I love. It’s all great for me and people argue (laughs), saying “I love this!” But as a creative person I feel like it’s important for me to express a collection of music that’s just ‘me.’ It’s quite exciting really. I feel like I should do some solo stuff.
Could you tell us a little bit more about that?
I’ve got a single coming out soon; July or August I think. It’s coming out on Toddla T’s label… I’m not sure if I’m supposed to tell you that, could you send this over to me once it’s done… and it’s produced by Redlight. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to tell you that either. That’s pretty much it really.
You’ve worked with Toddla T and Redlight in the past and they’re respected producers. Has that helped you with your current work?
I worked with Redlight on ‘Stupid’, which was my first underground, errr, I want to call it a banger because I love it, so yeah, my first underground banger. I went to Bristol and met him; put the track together in his studio. We formed a friendship, he moved to London, lived in West and we ended up doing loads of sessions together. He would call me to put vocals on a track, because I live in West and Toddla T was always calling me for the same sort of thing. It was cool, we’d always hang out. I wouldn’t want it to be anything else; we’ve just got a great relationship so it’s cool.
I went to a SBTRKT gig in Manchester earlier on this year and the crowd went bananas when he performed ‘Pharoahs’ which you featured on. What was it like working with SBTRKT?
He asked me in 2010 if I’d like to collaborate. We were on MySpace at the time. I said: “yeah sure” because I loved collaborating with people. He sent me some beats but with a lot of them, nothing happened. As I said, I work on a vibe. I don’t like to think about a track. I just like to play it, record it, listen back on the next day and I either love it or hate it. It’s normally the decider for me and then I send it to the producer. I pretty much wrote it and sent it to him. He loved it and I actually loved it for myself but he’d already had the idea for his album and had a couple of other people on it as well. So he put it out. It was a long time ago. I didn’t even realise and I was looking through my e-mails the other day, you know when you’re just deleting stuff from your account? I was like “wow, I can’t believe it was nearly 3 years ago.” It’s amazing. Like I said, I love collaborating so it’s cool and he’s really talented.
And what was it like going on tour with Gorillaz?
I’ve been on tour with them a couple of times. I’ve worked with them for a long time, we’ve done all sorts together including performing at the Apollo in Harlem, Manchester Opera House – we did that a few years ago with Shaun Ryder – and Glastonbury. I learnt how to perform to massive audiences a long time before I learnt to perform with smaller audiences. I learnt how to perform with a fantastic, amazing band and in front of amazing visuals. Technically I was working with the best of the best before learnt to do anything else. I’ve kind of worked backwards from when it comes to Gorillaz because it’s such a massive platform. It’s really cool man, like Toddla and Redlight it’s just like family to me.
What are your plans in terms of touring this year? Will you be at any festivals or carnivals?
I’ll probably do carnival and I’ll definitely being doing some festivals. I’m setting up dates now so if people follow me on Twitter and Facebook, the dates will be up soon (ed: Since speaking to Roses, it was confirmed that she’s appearing at Global Gathering on 27th and 28th of July).
I’ve seen that you have a Tumblr – Roses: and I have an Instagram as well, now – and you seem really heavily into style?
That’s funny; I’ve always been individual with the way I dress. I feel like I’ve never been into fashion per se, but over the years there’ve been some labels that have become my favourites. I find that people are interested in what I’m wearing. I will probably get into something, whether it will be a jewellery line… I’m not quite sure yet but I do feel like I’m edging towards that. I’ve got so many friends that are in fashion so yeah I do love nice jewellery – more so, interesting jewellery. I love sneakers and shoes too!
Interview By Karolyn Judge (@Karolynsgoneout)
Download Roses Mixtape for free here.
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