Guitarist Roselien talks about musical expression, the best London venues and promoting music for fanbase growth.
Roselien is originally from Belgium, and moved to South-East London three months ago. She started playing classical guitar at an early age, then moved on to electric guitar and learned playing keys along the way. She started producing tracks in Ableton when she was 16 and has continued to do so up until now. Her music has evolved a lot but she feels like she has never been so close to her musical identity as she is now. Along the way her music got support from Meshell Ndegeocello, Reggie Watts, Lefto, dj Simbad. She has played supports for Meshell, Gregory Porter, Anthony Joseph and Gabriel Garzon Montano.
What inspires you to be a musician?
Music in itself is inspiration I'd say. I also get inspired by everything that comes into my path and moves me in whatever kind of way. Music is emotion and I'm expressing my emotions through music.
What is the best part about being a musician in London?
London has an extremely high amount of live music events and the quality of the concerts is very high as well. There's also more awareness about soundsystems and acoustics. So I love to go out a lot and get inspired and challenged by all the amazing acts out there. I also feel like people are far more open towards different genres and crossovers in genres compared to Belgium, people have been very receptive so far when I play live in London.
What is your favourite London venue for gigs?
There's a really small, intimate venue in the cellar of Lay Low Golborne in West London. It has a lot of character and the sound's really good. I recently saw Allysha Joy there, performing solo on the piano and it was a wonderful, intimate and pure gig.
What is the biggest challenge you have as a musician today?
Combining paying the bills with being relaxed, bored and creative. I feel I'm best at being creative when there's no pressure and I can even be bored. This is a rare condition in this city where rent is so high and there's always so much to discover and to be seen and heard.
Do you think the industry is changing for the better?
I'm not sure. There's positive sides and negative sides to the evolution we're going through. Everybody can be seen and heard through internet and specifically through social media. This in itself creates opportunities for everybody to be heard and to release stuff the labels out there might not be supporting yet. On the other hand I feel as if the way you profile yourself, the pictures you post of yourself, are becoming more and more important, the way you profile yourself might even start to overrule your music. I believe it should always be about your music and not about your marketing campaign or the brands you're wearing.
What are the three tools you could not live without?
Ableton, my RE20 mic, my Gibson es335.
How do you find opportunities to gig?
I should start searching more!
What are your fondest musical memories? Eg. In your house? In your neighbourhood or town?
I played Meshell Ndegeocello's support in Rich Mix, Shoreditch two years ago and the way the crowd supported me without even knowing my music beforehand is unforgettable.
How do you reach your fans?
I use Instagram and Facebook. Although I have far more followers on Facebook I have the impression Instagram's working much better atm.
What is it that compels you to publish music?
It is my contribution to the world, it the best I have to offer.
What are your thoughts on streaming services?
Music has become more accessible than ever before. That in itself is a good thing. The ridiculously low amount of money artists get from streaming is problematic.
What is something you wish you had known sooner?
That having a deep, profound belief in yourself is essential.
Are you actively looking for record labels? Do you think it could be a good option?
Yes I am and yes I believe that it can definitely make a difference in my case.
How do you balance your music with other passions - partner, children, job?
I'm still working on finding a balance. I'm working too much at the moment, so I want to start working less and invest more time in my music. I haven't got a partner or children either and I wouldn't know how to combine them with the life I'm living now to be honest...
We hope you enjoyed reading Roselien's story and experiences as much as we did. To learn more, please search 'roselienmusic' to find her on SoundCloud, Facebook and Instagram.
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