Struggle. Perseverance. Challenge. These are just a few words to describe what Rosie Carney has been through to make music. She was discovered at 16 by Universal Music’s Polydor. She faced an industry machine that wanted her co-write, change her name and be remade. At 18 she left the label and walked away. What followed was years of depression, anxiety and trauma.
In January she released Bare on Akira Records. The album is minimalist and soaked in emotion. Instead of walking away Carney has emerged a better songwriter, musician and is on a track to success. The album includes tracks “Orchid”, “Zoey” and “Thousand.”
FEMMUSIC: What was the biggest challenge making Bare?
RC: Some of the experiences that inspired the songs were very challenging, to say the least, but I’m so happy I could take each one and turn it into this body of work.
FEMMUSIC: What made you want to return to music and what role does music play in your life?
RC: Music has always been a constant in my life—it plays an essential role. I feel it makes me who I am. Not just the creative aspect, but even listening to it. Music is in my life every day. Whether I’m listening to it or creating it. It shapes most of my day.
FEMMUSIC: The last 8 years sound like an incredible arc in your life. How do you view that time and how have you overcome it?
RC: Obviously at the time, it was all very hard, and sometimes very amazing. I think it’s all played such a crucial part in who I am now. I am grateful for every experience I’ve had to endure, mostly the negative ones. They’ve given me strength and taught me so many valuable lessons I’ve been lucky enough to learn at such a young age. Not to say that I’m lucky to have gone through very hard times, I just feel that it was important and I’m lucky to have gained the perspective I have now.
FEMMUSIC: Can you describe your songwriting technique?
RC: Lighting is a very important part of my songwriting. I usually try to create an ambience of sorts in whatever environment I’m in. It’s usually dark with a very faint, soft light, then I’ll come up with a melody, usually on the guitar, to which I will sing and record some gibberish over. Usually then when I listen back, I can make sense of it. It’s like I allow thoughts to just flow freely straight from my subconscious.
FEMMUSIC: What song (not your own) has had the biggest influence on you and why?
RC: Although it might sound rather pretentious, “Clair De Lune” by Claude Debussy is definitely one of them. I just remember hearing it for the first time, I felt so taken aback by the fact that I could connect so strongly with a piece of music. It taught me how important a melody is and that how sometimes instrumentals have the power to say so much without using a single word.
FEMMUSIC: What challenges, if any, have you faced as a woman in the music industry? And how did you overcome them?
RC: Being consistently undermined in terms of ability and contribution to a conversation, whether it be writing, singing or recording music. When confidence and belief in your work is construed as bossy or hysterical. Feeling patronized in terms of originality of ideas that are taken into the studio. Specifically as a young women, being treated as an object i.e. being persuaded to use our physical image as a means to success.
FEMMUSIC: Whom would you most like to collaborate with, or tour with? Why?
RC: Justin Vernon, because he is just amazing.
FEMMUSIC: What one thing would you like to change about the music industry?