26 Aug 2019
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Hybrid Rose - Interview: Hybrid Rose

10 Jul 2019 // An interview by Paul Goddard

Hybrid Rose is showing no signs of slowing down during what has become an exciting 2019 for her. After spending the last few years as an electropop producer and musician, she made her vocal debut with the stunning single Dream Team in late June. With 2 albums and an EP already under her belt, her newest EP Awkwardly Eccentric will be released in August, and she'll be embarking on a NZ tour at the end of July in support of her new material.

Rose spoke to Paul from Muzic.net.nz about her typical day, collaborations and what it is like to be a solo performer:

So how are things in the world of Hybrid Rose and what does a typical day for you look like?

Hybrid Rose right now currently in her bedazzled coffin, mentally preparing for the events that will take place in a months' time. Meanwhile, I (Rose) like to relax in bed, with some cooked spaghetti watch things that amuse and inspire me. I find romance films make me quite emotionally invested in the power of connection between two people and it fascinates me.

You seem to live and breathe your music. Lots of releases and seem to be constantly busy. Is keeping busy something you need to do or are you equally at home chilling on the couch?

Hahahaha thank you, well I love to work, the only problem is I am trying to work less so I can enjoy the world more and get out of this obsession with my goals and learn more about the world. One way of doing that is relaxing, studying about things that fascinate me. The other day I was reading all these Reddit subpages about conspiracy theories about the mysterious MH370 flight.

Each of your releases seem to develop in unexpected ways. New single Dream Team being a good example. The first time I heard it I didn’t know it was you. Is pushing boundaries and challenging expectations something you consciously strive for or does it just happen organically?

Wow, thank you haha! It's something I feel like I was born to do. Ever since I was young, I used to push all kinds of envelopes and boundaries. I was quite a bad kid, to this day a lot of my behaviours I had growing have now become something people strive to do so we can change pop culture. It's natural to me and it's only going to push me to become a star.

You have a few gigs coming up. Where are you most comfortable, onstage or in the studio?

In my bedroom studio, I love playing live, but I haven't been doing it long enough to find the crowd of people that are going to live for the art I aspire to express on stage. My mind is so theatrical, and I hope someday I can express it.

You collaborate with other people and often with Fanfickk. Do you sometimes wish you were part of a band? Have you ever thought about that or felt pressure to do it?

You know what? I would love to start a band, but it's filled with female producers and we just make the loudest and more avant-garde pieces of music. I don't feel like there's any pressure, if you can find the right people then it's bound to be a success right?

It has often been mentioned that you don’t shy away from politics or contentious issues in some of your lyrics. The way things are at the moment there is plenty to write about. Do you think it is important to highlight issues or is writing about these things more insular and more focused on getting your point of view across?

Absolutely, I feel like so many musicians that I know play it safe. They play the candid sad-pop persona because it's catchy and try to maintain this consistent image. These musicians don't actually touch on anything that's important; they'd rather just wait for social media to make it blow up when we could really be highlighting things that need to change to us as humans can come together and move out of the black and into the blue.

What is your opinion on the NZ music scene at the moment? Is there anyone who you think we should all be looking out for?

I love the NZ Music Scene, I think it finally brought back the pop that made me fall in love with New Zealand music, to begin with. The one person who is absolutely killing it right now is Benee, if I had a vagina it would be incredibly moist for her right now.

How difficult has it been for you to get people to listen to your music? What advice would you give anyone starting out and trying to get their music heard?

Well yeah, no one is doing what Hybrid Rose is doing right? It's hard in this day and age to do what I do and try to come up with it while everyone else is doing things more commercial or more appealing. I don't mind it, because it means that this isn't my time just yet, but someday very soon it will be.

As a solo performer you wear all the hats, singer, songwriter, musician, producer. I can imagine that having control over all the elements can be empowering but can it also be difficult to constantly create something new without the influence of other people to shape the music?

Sometimes, it can be a little complicated. I am always influenced by something out of this world that keeps the material fresh. It sounds crazy but even my older music inspires me sometimes, it helps me think outside my comfort zone and how I can progress and keep giving this Hybrid Rose universe the nutrients to maintain it's magic.

Who would you say is currently your biggest influence and who or what was it that first got you into creating music?

One word, Zowie. She is the reason I started and every time I get in my head or lose my touch, I tie myself to my bed (not literally) and blast the Love Demolition LP as loud as I can until my spirit is awakened. I wanted to be that weird and freaky, it's something that inspires me in the same way Bowie or Gaga do, it's art and it's strange but I love it.

Is it important to you that people hear what you have created? Do you write for an audience or purely for yourself?

Well, for both really. During this adventure that is Hybrid Rose, I've noticed that my intentions change every era. My debut album Cosmic was made to appeal to both the people and myself as a person because I wanted Hybrid's first impression to count. Warhol was for the fans, each song has a different thing to it and hopefully, at least one song will appeal to a group. Awkwardly Eccentric was for myself because I felt like where I was personally at the time was a really, really dark place and the intentions for this record where to make a project that would make me happy and remind myself of my growth as a musician and artist.

Where do you see Hybrid Rose 5 years from now?

I want to be a star, I don't know if that goal will have been reached in 5 years' time, 10 years' time, shit it could happen tomorrow. I didn't think I'd be at this point right now, but it feels right, so all the best.


 

About Hybrid Rose

Citing a range of musical influences from Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) to Lady Gaga and Marina Diamandis, to Coldplay, Blenheim resident Rose Gray (aka Hybrid Rose) self-produces tunes that vary from chiptune ditty Video Games to the poppy, dance-y Pixel and distorted dubstep of Expectations.

Her influences go beyond music, however; the opening chords to Pixels came to her while watching an episode of Adventure Time for example. She also cites vintage design and graphics as an influence, especially in terms of the visuals she produces alongside her songs. While Gray doesn’t consider herself a political person, she says she’s very passionate about making change.

Her musical character is a little more involved however, and the music is occasionally politically inspired. Hybrid Rose, an electronic character. An infectious virus in your ears, an addiction you cannot quit.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Hybrid Rose

Releases

Warhol
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Cherry
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Cosmic
Year: 2017
Type: Album

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