San Francisco born and bred, Rozzi was raised to believe a career in music was near impossible. Her practical family warned the artist that her that her dreams of being a performer were one in a million. In response, Rozzi dreamed bigger and sung louder. Through her music she told a listening audience of her tales of living, falling in love for the first time and the inevitable heartbreak that followed.
“Uphill Battle,” premiering today is one of those tales. This gut-wrenching piano ballad, allows us to see her at her worst with such lyrics as: “Wouldn’t it be nice to be a cool wind, always keep it breezy … but I am not that easy.” Rozzi has the innate ability to deliver riveting universal stories in a soulful, organic, and fiercely honest way. She is currently at work on her debut album for Small Giant / Columbia Records. We chat with the young crooner about her new track and sharing her vulnerability with the world.
Your latest song “Uphill Battle” takes us through the lens of a relationship from one person’s perspective. Is this story anecdotal or something you’ve actually experienced?
Oh it’s totally something I’ve experienced – all of my songs are. This song started as a poem, like most of my songs do. I wrote it at my local coffee shop during a particularly long week. I was going through a rough patch with my then-boyfriend and there was something about that relationship that allowed me to see myself through his eyes – particularly the ways in which I might make things difficult. This is a song I had been trying to write for a long time – it was basically me trying to articulate that these are my emotions, my passions, my flaws – and I know it’s a lot but it’s who I am.
“Uphill Battle” also feels like a very vulnerable testament, especially when you list off some of the characteristics that a romantic partner may see as a negative. Was it hard to be that open in your lyrics?
The thing about writing is that I get so lost in the process. I got so deep in it that I almost forgot about the audience- I was just writing for myself. In the moment it was all about getting an emotion out of my head. So it wasn’t hard to be open with my lyrics while I was writing them but I’ll admit it is a little scary to share them now…scary in a good way!
Do you find that process cathartic? If this song is about you – did you feel differently about being ‘a lot to handle’ than you did before going through the process of writing this song?
Writing is so cathartic – I’ve come to really depend on it. The past two years have been all about writing for me – it’s been my sole focus and my obsession – so in a way I have almost felt like I was living my life in the context of a song – anything could become a song and anything could inspire a song. And with my life so focused on writing, the songs in turn became exact depictions of my life. The album will really be an honest snapshot of the two years I spent writing it. And in a way, yes, putting my thoughts to paper does make them weigh less on my mind. I have always known I might be “a lot to handle” but it feels good to articulate it and then set it free.
We know your first foray in the music industry came to a close with you dropping from your first label, but now you’re about to release a new single and are working on your debut album. What was the process of getting from there to here?
Being signed the first time around bordered on being a fairytale. I was signed to a star as big as the arenas we were playing in but that didn’t push me to find the real artist in me. Adam Levine changed my life in so many wonderful ways and I learned so much from him. I’m very grateful that I got to work with him and I am also grateful that he let me go. I needed to be devastated. I’ve always been super ambitious, so much so that I wasn’t really allowing myself to live my life. I needed to get kicked down to understand that being hyper-focused on my goals was great, but it wasn’t enough to make me an artist. What I needed was to live my life – which I did, and then I wrote about it in excruciating detail. And of course I found the most wonderful team at Small Giant/Columbia Records that shares my vision and brings out the best in me. I’m so grateful for all the experiences I’ve had. I wouldn’t be the artist I am now without them.
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