We pick the hottest new live acts so you can tell your friends you heard them first. This week's pick is Perth singer-songwriter Blake Rose
With his airy guitar melodies, cinematic beats, soulful vocal, and a knack for writing dreamy pop tunes, Perth singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Blake Rose is definitely someone to be excited about.
Music, and a curiosity for creating it, has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember – the didgeridoo marking one of the first instruments he’d ever picked up, before finding the guitar at age 12. But it was on a three-month-long family road trip around Australia that Rose’s love affair really kicked into gear.
As he and his family travelled from campsite to campsite, Rose started to write his own songs in the backseat, and when he got home mastering the art of production became part of his new focus.
Soon, he was taking to the streets of Fremantle and Perth CBD, honing his craft through regular busking gigs while selling CDs door-to-door to help fund songwriting trips to Los Angeles.
Garnering millions of streams and turning heads of tastemakers around the world from the very beginning, Rose’s trajectory – alongside his brilliant mix of raw, soulful melodies and bright alt-pop hooks – have set him up to be Australia’s next big pop export.
With the likes of Zane Lowe and Taylor Swift among his growing list of fans, it’s pretty clear that Blake Rose hasn’t taken a wrong step yet. Influenced by the likes of Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Coldplay, and Elvis Presley, while managing to carve out his own corner of the music industry, Rose is an artist you need to keep on your radar in 2021.
The Blake Rose Story
From the beginning
Blake Rose: “I started making music at about 14 years old, when I went on a three-month road trip around Australia with my family. I’d been experimenting with songwriting a little prior to the trip, but this was when I started diving into it more seriously. I brought along an acoustic guitar, as well as my laptop, and would sit in the back of the car writing songs and making beats. These early songs ignited an intense passion inside me and as soon as we got back to Perth, I set up a little home studio and have been making music ever since.
“Leading up to this trip, I’d been dipping my toes in music throughout most of my childhood from as young as 5 years old when I performed DJ Otzi’s ‘Hey Baby’ in a talent show. I dabbled in various instruments such as the Didgeridoo and cello.
“Whenever I would go on long drives I would always be in the back seat with my earphones in listening to music. I’d be singing along at the top of my lungs as if there was no one else in the car and it made me feel so free. One day as we pulled into a petrol station Mum and Dad mentioned I had a good voice which took me by surprise as I’d never even stopped to ponder how I actually sounded. I asked if I could get some singing lessons and they agreed. This was the first time I started realising my love for music. Around a year later I went over to a friend’s house to stay the night and as I walked in he was strumming a guitar. I’d never known him to be musical at all so it was a shock but he taught me a couple of chords that his Dad had shown him and I became completely obsessed with the instrument for reasons I’m still unsure of. I began teaching myself on the classical guitar which had been sitting in my parent’s house untouched my whole life then some months later we embarked on that big road trip around Australia.”
What you’ll hear
Blake Rose: “I would probably describe my sound as anthemic alt-pop. Somewhere between The 1975, Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, and Coldplay. This was never a sound I intended to create. It just happened naturally.”
For the love of music
Blake Rose: “I love the feeling you get when you’re onto something good – it’s indescribable and one I haven’t been able to match in any other aspect of my life. I also love how meditative it is and that I’m allowed to be creative all the time. I’m also growing to really appreciate how big of an impact one song can have on a person’s life, so being in a position to be able to do that for people is amazing.”
Blake Rose: “My biggest achievement so far is my team, for sure. I always wanted to wait on releasing music until I had the right heads around me, so finding and having the privilege of working with a team of amazing people who are truly passionate about my music is definitely a highlight.”
The hard yards
Blake Rose: “My biggest challenge was probably learning to produce music. It’s such a complicated craft and took me many years to be able to finish a song by myself to a releasable standard. In saying that, it’s also the one thing that I’ll forever suggest learning if you are venturing into the world of creating and releasing music. It is hands down the most helpful skill I have acquired.”
The year ahead
Blake Rose: “At the moment, I’m planning to head back over to LA in February. I think it’s going to be a big year of releasing a lot of music and hopefully if things start to open up I can get on the road.”
Blake Rose – Lost
“‘Lost’ started with just the guitar riff. I was playing my guitar while deep in a conversation with one of my roommates, when I stopped and noticed what I had been playing, which was essentially the bones of the riff. I quickly grabbed my phone and recorded it, then I tracked the riff and made a basic beat around it a couple days later. My roommate and I started to sing melodies over the beat and pretty quickly had almost the whole song down, melody wise. After that, it was just a matter of finding the right lyrics. I ended up scrapping and re-writing the verses and chorus about 5-10 times, which is quite unusual for me. ‘Lost’ was the first song I had produced on my own, which was a daunting task but I’m super happy with how it turned out.”
Blake Rose – Ordinary People
“I’d been travelling back and forth from Perth to Los Angeles for a while, and on one of my stints in LA I fell super hard for a girl. I only knew her for a couple of weeks but was absolutely head over heels. Nothing ever came of it unfortunately (apart from this song) and as fast as we met, we parted ways. ‘Ordinary People’ pieced itself together over a period of about a year. It started with the riff and some random lyrics which ended up forming into the first verse. I had that verse for a good 6 months before coming back to the song. Earlier this year I finally decided to sit down and smash it out. The production process was super quick and streamlined which was refreshing after spending months working on ‘Rest of Us’. A fun fact is that it was called ‘The Lookout’ up until the day before we had to put it in the release system, then I finally caved to the suggestion of calling it ‘Ordinary People’.”
Blake Rose – Lady
“Months before writing this song I posted a story on Instagram of me jamming on my guitar. I was playing a riff which was the bones of what became the chorus melody for ‘Lady’. A few months later, I was back in Australia camping with my family over New Year’s Eve into 2019. I was sitting in the caravan noodling, when I stumbled upon the chorus melody. At first I just thought it was a cool riff but 15 minutes or so later I sang it to see what it sounded like and that was that. I only had two attempts at singing through the verse to try and write it. The second time around, the entire verse and pre-chorus formed and I had the whole song. When I got back home and started producing it, I set up one microphone and played live drums into the track to draft the beat. I intended to take this out but I ended up keeping the recording in the track and layered it on top of some drum samples . I tossed up calling it ‘Lady (The One I Never Forgot)’ for a little bit which in hindsight was clearly a horrible idea.”
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