An interview with Aveleen Rose
Aveleen Rose is a solo artist, singer and songwriter, based in Dunfermline, and describes herself as a free spirited, contagiously courageous and totally independent individual. We caught up with Aveleen to find out more!
Describe your music in three words:
Brave, honest, magical.
How and when did you begin your solo career?
Before this project I was performing with various bands in London as a lead singer. It was a great experience, but then I had all these songs coming through and I thought they really were too good to not be heard. It was a long road because songwriting requires a lot of effort and a considerable investment, so I had to do it in stages. I started recording my first songs at the end of 2015, and we finalized the recording and production for my Debut EP in the Spring of 2016.
I had a couple of gigs and worked on some promotion material, as well as a lot of research on the music industry in the UK. So 2016 and 2017 were mainly about that; gathering a lot of useful information about music as a business, meeting people, going to various events and generally trying to understand how it all works. I officially launched my Debut EP in 2018 and began to try some things out to see what worked and what didn’t!
Where can we listen to your music?
You can find my Debut EP on all online platforms: Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Amazon Music, YouTube and my Website. Couple of my songs are also available on SoundCloud.
Tell us a bit about your songwriting process.
Songwriting for me is like a miracle. It’s hard to describe it in words. I write songs in many different ways, but quite often inspiration comes to me through dreams. I am singing a song, or someone else is singing a song in my dream, and I’m like… hmm this song sounds really good – then I force myself to wake up and quickly make a recording on my phone. It is usually just a fragment, and I end up working on it at a later date when the inspiration strikes again.
Other times, I’ll be randomly playing a keyboard or guitar and a song just comes to life. It could also come from a vision, which is how I wrote Here For You, or it could be a total mystery like The Redeemed – I wrote this song rather quickly, and I still can’t explain how or why. I was on the bus going home from work, and this song just came to me – both melody and lyrics, all at once. It wasn’t related to anything going on in my life at the time, so it made no sense to me when I wrote it, but that made it even more special. No matter the process, every time I am writing a song I feel like I am stepping into another world where all this ancient knowledge and wisdom is available to me. Well, that’s what it feels like! It’s a really unique experience.
What do you listen to on the way to a gig?
I usually listen to my own thoughts. The ideal situation would be to have no thoughts at all, so I can just relax and enjoy myself, but because (so far) I have organised all of my own gigs, and have been performing with session musicians, there has always been a lot going on in my head before gigs. Now I feel like I am heading towards a more stable ground, so hopefully my routine before concerts can also improve.
Which of your songs do you enjoy playing the most?
It’s really hard to say…I think it depends on my mood. I do love to sing So Long because of all the soft parts of that song. I am also enjoying singing all of the new songs, because I haven’t had many chances to perform them live yet and they all sound great.
Each song has a different meaning, and has a different vibe. Maybe that’s why everyone has a different favourite when I ask them which song they like the most, which is wonderful because it means I have more than one good song, and people from all backgrounds, age groups and locations can find something good or useful in my music!
What’s your personal favorite song you’ve released (or are about to release!)?
It’s one of the new songs, not yet released, titled Stand Your Ground. There was a time last year when I started to lose hope, and I mainly lost confidence in myself. I started to doubt my own journey and my own judgment. People and the environment around us sometimes make us scrutinize our understanding of the world, and our part in it. In those moments this song came to life. This song probably means more to me than any other because of the lovely message it holds. I am still singing it to myself every now and than as a reminder to have faith and trust in my own path, despite of what goes on around me.
If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would you pick?
It would have to be of course, Michael Jackson. He had the best songs, covering a variety of themes. You can dance, sing, laugh or cry to those songs. Most are very uplifting and his interpretation of things was mind blowing.
Which bit of music gear could you not live without, and why?
Definitely my acoustic guitar. I need at least one musical instrument at hand to be able to work on my songs, and the guitar is easier to carry than a keyboard!
What’s next for you? Any gigs or releases coming up?
I am trying to be a little bit wiser now, and to allow myself more flexibility. So this year I’m going to focus on building a solid foundation for my music and my career, to allow it to grow in the years to come. I will spend more time on finalizing songs, recording sessions, photo and video shoots, getting some collaborations in place and just follow the natural flow and take advantage of the opportunities in front of me. I am hoping to release one more song this year.
You recently released the Music Video for ‘So Long’. Would you like to tell us a little bit about it?
The environment we live in can be restrictive and damaging to our well-being most of the time, whether we are aware of it or not. We are surrounded by too much noise and it makes it hard to listen to our own intuition and wisdom. But when you are outside of that environment, that is when you can actually hear yourself. We need nature, for our mental health and spiritual growth, just as much as we need it to survive at a biological level.
So it made sense to use this idea for the music video and connect it to the message of the song. So Long, like most of my songs, is like a guide. It basically says “trust in me because my love is true, open up and follow my guidance, don’t be afraid as I will be there with you every step of the way.” But to be able to follow you have to detach from your environment, and let go of what you think you know. Once you’ve found the answers you can implement them and make the changes you want to make, and trust yourself in the process.
This is pretty much the message of the song and nature offers that sanctuary where you can think freely and be yourself. There is no judgement, no imposed rules or restrictions and for that reason and many others, we have to continue protecting it and acknowledge it’s value.
What are your favourite Scottish recording and / or rehearsal studios?
I was nicely surprised by the rehearsal rooms at Loopmaniac in Dunfermline and the service is amazing. Also enjoyed rehearsing at Banana Row in Edinburgh – very friendly and helpful staff. In terms of recording, there are a couple of studios I would like to go see before picking my favorites.
How do you promote yourself? Is there any method you’ve found that has worked particularly well?
Well, I am still testing my theories. I think there is a lack of trust us artists have when it comes to our own abilities. When releasing new material or working on promoting ourselves, I think the mistake we all make is to look at what other artists/bands/labels/music execs are doing, and not listen to our own intuition and guidance.
The idea is to find the channels that work for the music and the values you are trying to promote. Of course effort, courage and determination is required but I also learned, from my own experience, that chasing things to happen and putting too much energy outwards doesn’t work either. I think a good balance is needed. Taking time for yourself is just as important as taking action, because ultimately you want your forward progress to be sustained. When I say time for yourself I mean meditation, recuperation, rest – anything that helps you balance yourself and clear your mind, so you can tap into your own wisdom every step of the way.
On the other hand, everything we put out there has to be a true expression of ourselves, just like the music we write. Everything has to gel perfectly. It’s not an accident that my Debut EP is titled Who I Am. To know yourself is the first and most important step.
If things go exactly to plan with the band, what would you like to achieve?
Well, I am trying to create and promote real value and share the kind of information I would want my children to know. Mainly, I would like to continue to write songs and bring more valuable content to life that can help others, get involved in communities and really make a difference.