LA-based singer/songwriter Rozzi has a lot to say with her new EP Hymn For Tomorrow. It dives into heartbreak and hope. The project was efficiently crafted around Rozzi’s powerhouse vocals in a series of tracks ranging from R&B and funk to upbeat pop and low-key ballads. She shines throughout all seven tracks along with her introspective songwriting that captivates the listener.
EUPHORIA. chatted with Rozzi over Zoom to discuss the EP.
It’s been a minute since your last full-length release (Bad Together released in 2018), how does it feel to finally have an almost full body of work out into the world? What was it like making it?
It’s been a long process. I’ve been working on it in various different spaces for years. Making it felt differently at different times. My recent song “I Can’t Go to the Party” is actually the oldest song on the record. I wrote it right after Bad Together (the album) came out. It’s been around for awhile, so to finish that one was very exciting. It’s also kind of strange. It’s been a part of my life for years and now finally out in the world, which is great but also a very strange feeling. I’ve made a lot of it in London with George Moore, who’s an amazing producer — that was a really incredible experience. It kind of felt like kinda finding one of my musical soulmates, which I have a bunch of them working on the record and it’s a special feeling to find those people.
Working on this EP, was it harder or easier being in lockdown not being able to work on it with anyone in person?
I think I was lucky that I had finished writing most of it. I did write some new songs during it. I found writing in lockdown to be kind of hard. It feels a little bit like groundhog day. My day looks the same every day and that’s less interesting to me. I think I was lucky with timing that most of my songs were written in some form, along the way when lockdown came. I think if I was in the very beginning of my writing process that might have been hard. I also think it would’ve been really sad if I was about to put it out and go on tour. I think timing wise, I was lucky it was not that hard to finish up remotely. We adapted and it wasn’t that bad.
What made you want to title your EP Hymn For Tomorrow?
The truth is, it’s part one of the album. The album has a title that I’m not gonna say yet because I want it to be a fun surprise! Hymn For Tomorrow is a placeholder name for this first half of the album before the whole body of work comes out together. The reason that it felt right for the first half is we’re just kind of living in a real painful time in history. I’m an optimist and I like to help myself be excited about the future. I kind of like to help myself see a better tomorrow than yesterday, so I like the idea of making part one of the album like we’re going somewhere. There’s something better on the other side. Technically because I have a bunch of breakup songs as always on part one, so I wanted to make a theme different than Bad Together. It’s not a big breakup record even though there are a bunch of heartbreak songs on the record. I wanted to make the emphasis on a better tomorrow even though we might have had a rough year … rough few years. We’re optimistic, we’re looking forward to what’s next.
“Mad Man” is an absolute jam, especially that guitar solo! What influenced that song?
I wrote “Mad Man” about someone I worked with awhile ago who couldn’t really handle me having human emotions. Frankly, I think sometimes as women our really justifiable anger and frustration gets labeled as hysteria and meanness, just because for some reason a woman being angry about something seems to upset people. There was somebody who I used to work with who I found was really receptive of his emotions, his moods. I let him have human emotion but I didn’t really feel like I had that same support from him. I felt if I wasn’t being sweet and soft he couldn’t even hear what I was saying because me being frustrated would seem to kind of set him off in a way that was sexist. I wrote this song in response to that and it’s one of my favorites. I’ve been waiting to release it for a long time, for the right moment. It’s a song I’m particularly proud of and I remember playing it for my cousin and she felt so seen because she’s an emotional person. My hope is that a lot of women and men would feel that way. To feel a certain freedom in your emotions and not feel like you have to stifle them.
Which song on the EP are you most excited for people to hear?
The song called “i dk.” It’s the last song on part one of the album and also the last one of the whole album as well. I wrote it right before lockdown in February 0f 2020. I just love it! It’s really simple, very minimal. You can really hear my voice. I wrote it with my really good friend Eric Leva. It’s the first song about my boyfriend that I’m releasing. This song is like me turning a page.
Have you learned anything during the pandemic, in terms of letting your music sit and not touring? Has it made you feel any different about your music over time? Although, you’ve been able to play live shows virtually quite a bit. How has that experience been for you?
That was the hardest part for me of COVID. I really really miss in-person shows, it’s my favorite thing on Earth. Both singing and going to them, I really miss it. I’m grateful for the online shows and I’m grateful I had to get better at piano. That was a weird silver lining of COVID for me. I had to figure it out because I was alone in my house. Mostly, I’m seeing people start to play shows and it’s almost giving me anxiety ’cause like ‘I wanna do that but do I remember how’? I feel kind of overwhelmed. I’m so excited to do it and it almost makes me nervous because I missed it so much. Because of COVID, I make a vow now, sometimes touring is exhausting, a lot of traveling, I play a lot of shows that are incredible and there are a lot of shows that are tough and I promise to never ever complain again because I miss it too much.
What are some of your goals for the rest of 2021 and what can you tease about your full-length album?
My goal would be to celebrate the album because putting out music can be hard. Some of these songs I’ve had for a long time and it’s almost strange to finally put them out and it’s not always just a celebration — it’s kind of a complicated feeling. My goal is to appreciate the moment, I’ve been waiting to share these songs for a really long time and I’m so excited they’re finally coming out. My other goal is to start writing the next record. In terms of the whole album, I couldn’t be prouder of it honestly. I think it’s a record I always needed to make. It’s been inside of me since I was a kid. I could feel it — that’s a weird thing to say but I could just feel it and I hadn’t successfully made it yet. I really feel like I did, not to say I won’t feel the same way about my next record but I really do feel that way. This is something I’ve always needed to write, make, and share and if nothing else it’s gonna be amazing to have something in the world that I truly feel represents me. I really feel like I’m sharing myself with people so if they don’t like it that’s scary, but it feels good to be honest about yourself and share who you are. I really just can’t wait to share it!