Rozes Opens Up About Anxiety, Depression, and Sexual Harassment [INTERVIEW]

Before her show at the famed 7th St Entry, we sat down with singer-songwriter ROZES for an intimate interview


Last updated on February 18th, 2022 at 09:56 pm

Elizabeth Mencel, better known by her stage name ROZES, is an American musician and singer-songwriter from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Growing up in a gospel-influenced home, she first studied piano at age six, also becoming proficient in clarinet, saxophone, guitar, violin, flute, and trumpet.

In October 2014, under her professional moniker ROZES, Mencel was featured on and wrote Just a Gent’s “Limelight”, reaching #1 on Hype Machine, and has over 2 million plays on SoundCloud. She is best known for her 2015 collaboration, “Roses”, with duo The Chainsmokers. Released on June 16, 2015, the single peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, as well as #1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart for the week of January 9, 2016.

ROZES’ debut EP, Burn Wild, was released on February 14, 2016, and in 2017, she inked a deal with Photo Finish Records, where she released singles “Canyons” and “Famous.

Before her show last week at 7th St Entry, we were able to sit down with her, and ask her about some of her favorite collaborations, where her musical talents come from, and a variety of other topics!

MIM: You are known for your collaborations among other things, with The Chainsmokers, Big Gigantic, Logic, among others, they’re all really really great. I’m wondering about your collaboration with Captain Cuts, who has worked with BeBe Rexha, Tove Lo, and Grouplove among others. I’m wondering what he brings to the table and what Collaborating with him is like.

Mencel: Its interesting because captain cuts it actually three guys. Each of them has their own specific qualities to them that makes them such an amazing trio. One’s good with lyrics, One’s good with topline, one’s good with production. Its an amazing dynamic so working with them is like the recipe for perfection.

MIM: It’s like a mega collaboration. 4 brains are better than one.
I’m wondering about you too. You are so talented, and I think a lot of people know you’re a talented singer-songwriter, but a lot of people don’t know you’re a really well-rounded musician. How many instruments do you play?

Mencel: Nine

MIM: That is nine more than me. Do you play those on record, or use them in your own productions?

Mencel: Sometimes I do. It depends. Some of the 9 instruments don’t appear in my work. A clarinet or Violin isn’t going to be appearing. For the most part when I write my songs they start on piano.

MIM: So was piano your first instrument?

Mencel: Yes, and then violin.

MIM: What age?

Mencel: Six

MIM: So you’re from Pennsylvania, what was that like? Was music always your thing?

Mencel: Always my thing, but also my parents thing. My dad was the leader of the music ministry throughout our church, and my mom plays as well. Everybody in my family plays at least three instruments.

MIM: To follow up that I’m curious about Philly and the Pennsylvania music scene, do you have a favorite Philly artist?

Mencel: Questlove.

MIM: That’s like the Holy Grail of Cool.

In addition to your music which we all love, you’re known for being into social causes, Mental health awareness, women’s rights, equal rights for all. That’s an important part of the ROZES brand and identity. I’m wondering where that comes from and if you see your music as a vehicle for social change.

Mencel: Where it comes from? That’s actually interesting, nobody’s ever asked me that before. I grew up being bullied, so already I felt oppressed as a human. Only as a woman have I faced oppression like that, because, let’s be real, I’ve been privileged to grow up who I am, but being bullied makes you feel like you’re so alone and nobody is listening to you cry, and they know what’s right and they’re not doing it.

So I guess that’s where it all comes from, Especially with sexual harassment, you know, I have grown up a woman. I have been sexually harassed, many a time. Mental health goes along with it all, if you’ve been sexually harassed, you’re gonna have a mental carrying of all of that, and that’s where I come from.

I live in a world of depression and anxiety in my mind, and OCD. I need everything to be perfect. So I want to carry it out, and share with the world that natural humans like me, who literally wake up and don’t make their bed can achieve their dream as well. For me, I want to prove that normal, natural girls can make it. It doesn’t matter if you’re anxious or depressed, you can still do it. It shouldn’t hold you back. So I fight for the people who are bullied because I can feel their bullying.

You do what’s true to you and what’s true to your heart. I believe in all of these things, LGBTQ community, Black lives matter, Women’s rights that need to be fought for right now. I think we’re at a watershed moment in American history in a lot of ways right now. Being an artist, a beginning artist at this stage in this political time, it’s very crucial for me to take a stance.

MIM: As a young artist, you’ve racked up a number of accomplishments. You have hit singles, cool collaborations. You have hit singles. You’ve been around the world, you’ve been on TV, where do you see your career going forward?

Mencel: I have huge ambitions. I want to win a Grammy I want to sell out Madison Square Garden. I want to play the Target Center.

MIM: And I think you’re already on your way.

Written by Anna Paulson


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