Artist Spotlight: Rozi Plain – Our Culture

Artist Spotlight: Rozi Plain – Our Culture

Born in Winchester, England, Rosalind Leyden was 16 when her brother, Sam, took over the open mic evening at a small native pub and inspired her to get into music. In 2008, she made her debut as Rozi Plain with Inside Over Right here, a group of homespun recordings that launched her hazy alt-folk sound in its barest kind. Now primarily based in London, Plain lower her enamel within the Bristol DIY scene, co-founding the Cleaner Data collective and collaborating with Kate Stables of This Is The Package, with whom she’s spent a lot of her time on tour. As a solo artist, she’s been broadening her horizons with every album, and 2019’s What a Increase noticed her folding in additional experimental textures than any of her prior releases.

Plain’s fifth LP, Prize, out at this time, is constructed from recording classes that came about in every single place from the French Basque Nation to the Isle of Eigg in addition to studios in London, Bristol, and Glasgow. That includes co-producer Jamie Whitby-Coles (additionally This Is the Package) on drums, Amaury Ranger on bass, and Gerard Black on synths, as effectively a powerful forged of visitor musicians together with jazz saxophonist Alabaster DePlume, synth manipulator Danalogue, and harpist Serafina Steer, the album is rooted in a communal spirit however shimmers with the identical light, hypnotic intimacy that has permeated Plain’s music up to now. On the identical time, Plain wraps her usually perplexing lyrics round winding, subtly complicated preparations with out overshadowing the songs’ vibrant heat and understated candor. She leaves questions hanging within the air, but makes drifting alongside them really feel effortlessly pure.

We caught up with Rozi Plain for this version of our Artist Highlight interview sequence to speak in regards to the making of Prize, her method to songwriting, reconciling previous and future, and extra.

A couple of days in the past, I had an in a single day layover on the airport, and I listened to your information, so as, from Mates all the way in which to Prize. I’d already listened to the brand new album just a few instances, however the music actually got here alive another way after I was on this barely-awake state. It made me surprise what kind of headspace you’re often in whenever you enter the writing course of, if it’s extra acutely aware or a form of dream state.

I really feel like there’s totally different headspaces. There’s undoubtedly moments of writing that do really feel like divine intervention or one thing, and it seems like a form of combination of distraction and focus; when you may distract your self from your self sufficient to search out focus in a brand new factor. Typically it seems like issues are coming to you a bit. However I feel that’s additionally fairly uncommon, and I feel I used to assume that it needed to be these moments; it needed to be this, like, “Oh, wow, I’ve simply written a tune in 5 minutes.” However I’ve modified my thoughts about that. That does occur generally, however it’s also possible to slowly craft a tune by working in your stuff, and it could actually are available a totally totally different means. It may be actually tough, after which in the long run it could actually nonetheless have the identical feeling. It’s discovering the issues that compel you to maintain taking part in them; I need to discover a guitar riff that I don’t need to cease taking part in as a result of it feels so satisfying to play, or a sentence that feels that I actually take pleasure in to sing time and again. I feel I’ve stated it earlier than, however eager to make, like, savory music. I would like it to really feel deeply, deeply satisfying.

With Prize, did you go extra within the course of attempting to slowly craft one thing and have an added sense of management?

I undoubtedly didn’t attempt to make it slower than it was as a result of I’m conscious of how sluggish I’m anyway. I’m actually sluggish at writing. And likewise, as a result of it had been the pandemic, we needed to look forward to fairly a very long time earlier than we might document the album how we needed to do it, so I used to be wanting to get on with it. I additionally had been given a deadline by the label, after which realized it simply wasn’t prepared. I used to be attempting to make it prepared, after which I noticed it was not prepared, so we delayed it I feel by two months or one thing, the hand-in. And that made such a tremendous distinction. It prefer it simply I used to be so pressured about it. I used to be attempting to make it like, “There’s sufficient stuff there and it’s completed,” and it simply wasn’t. After which I despatched this e-mail saying, “I can’t hand it in now, it’s going to be a month later.” And the extreme aid I felt – instantly we might make all these actually good selections about it and, like, see the wooden for the bushes, as a result of I used to be in a little bit of a panic attempting so as to add issues on it. After which I used to be like, “Okay. Okay, that is what it wants.” The additional delay time we gave ourselves, it actually modified the album. I really feel prefer it actually turned mine once more one way or the other.

In what sense do you imply?

I don’t know, it’s like we unlocked the recordings. Additionally, how we’ve executed issues earlier than is recording the bottom of issues after which including numerous overdubs, and it felt harder to do on this album. It simply felt like every part needed to be so particular. And if it actually didn’t improve it, it did distract from it, it wasn’t price having it there. So we added numerous issues, and we took off numerous issues as effectively. We blended it with Ash Workman in Margate, after which my buddy James [Howard] added fairly a little bit of guitar on numerous the tracks. I used to be simply considering, “I feel simply this one tune simply wants one…” After which he did it on about seven or eight songs, and it simply lifted all of them up. It was superb.

Is there a selected purpose all of your albums comply with a 10-track, 40-minute construction?

I feel for this album, it was a part of the contract that there needed to be 10 songs. However I feel there would have been 10 songs anyway. Each album has had ten songs. I don’t know – not that I’ve even realized it earlier than, however I feel, “Oh, an album’s received to be ten songs.” [laughs] And I don’t even know why I feel that, but it surely’s like 9 appears too little. However then I adore it. I’m not tremendous prolific, I don’t make an enormous quantity of stuff. I imply, I don’t have hundreds of songs to select from. It’s in all probability numerous that as effectively, truly.

You’ve expanded your sound with every album, and although the songs can generally get fairly intricate and ambiguous, they maintain a sure readability and nearly simplicity of coronary heart. ‘Difficult’, as an illustration, regardless of its title, is among the sparsest tracks on the document.

Sure, after we have been engaged on it, we did carry on attempting so as to add issues, after which we’re identical to, “I feel this tune simply must be actually easy.” It feels satisfying that it’s like that and referred to as ‘Difficult’. That’s a pleasant swip-swap. I’m writing about my very own experiences, however I’ve by no means felt compelled to form of deal with issues head-on; I need to make it so folks can interpret it in several methods, however to expertise which means in it. I would like it to really feel like sharing as an alternative of explaining. I would like issues to really feel open.

There are numerous songs that begin with an “it” or a “one thing,” but it surely’s by no means absolutely revealed what that one thing is. It’s such as you’re getting into in the course of a dialog or the center of a thought course of.

Yeah, yeah. And I do discover that I’ve numerous questions in, and I suppose it’s stuff that I’m asking myself and different folks. It’s nice you can say “you” whenever you imply “I,” since you’re allowed – as a result of it’s your tune, you are able to do no matter you want. However sure, it’s humorous as a result of I did really feel actually acutely aware in regards to the phrase “it” and I did assume, Oh my god, I can’t use the phrase “it” anymore.  [laughs] However it’s a must to use the phrase “it” generally.

As listeners, we’re used to listening to “you” with out it being tied to a selected individual, however I feel it turns into fascinating when the “it” is as much as interpretation. After all, the album begins with, “What we could name it?”

Yeah. However I’m additionally in my life fairly a query attacker. It’s fairly a cushty place for me to be if I’m chatting to somebody is simply asking a number of questions. [laughs] And I don’t at all times assume that’s a great factor. I don’t assume I’m horrifically interrogatory or one thing, however I feel I do ask numerous questions. It’s nice when you may spend time with somebody and never asking these questions – not simply say, “Oh, how was that? And the way is that going? And the place did you go then?” That’s like the traditional stuff, isn’t it? It seems like a problem to not do this, however I feel it’s good train to not do this. Since you usually discover out extra from folks whenever you don’t simply get the info off them. It’s good whenever you meet up with a buddy, and then you definitely notice you don’t know something that they’ve been doing. [laughs] However you’ve nonetheless had a very high quality catch-up.

I do know what you imply, generally it’s laborious whenever you’re having a dialog with somebody to not be in that mode the place you’re making it in regards to the different individual.

Sure, precisely, simply making it in regards to the different individual. After which additionally, whenever you make it in regards to the different individual, inevitably they’re gonna make it about you in a second. They’re gonna say, “And what about you?” Like, “What? Oh no, I don’t need that! I simply needed to get you to do the speaking!” [laughs]

How do you assume you’ve been influenced by the totally different locations which were part of your musical journey, from Winchester to Bristol to London?

Once I take into consideration the songs I’ve written, they’ve received a spot and a time and an period. As a result of I suppose a sense you’re attempting to seize, deliberately or not, will get tied to time and place. Somebody was asking me about this the opposite day, about transferring round, how that impacts me, but additionally, it seems like that’s like been my life for the final 15 years or one thing. I’ve been touring for ages, in my challenge or This Is the Package, and that’s the form of stuff I do. It undoubtedly does soak in, but it surely seems like a pure a part of my life. That seems like my life expertise. I really like doing that, after which I additionally like coming house.

Nevertheless it does have an effect on your relationship to house, proper?

Yeah, undoubtedly. However I feel the sensation of house is usually a very movable factor. Typically it seems like a home and the place you reside, and generally it feels just like the folks you’re with. There’s undoubtedly instances when on tour with my band or on tour with That is the Package seems like my homely setting. I really feel prefer it adjustments a bit, but it surely additionally seems like the final word quest, feeling at house. And it’s cool when you may determine form of what that’s for a bit.

I need to single out the road “Standing up within the full blue of newness,” which apparently seems in direction of the top of the document. Do you keep in mind arising with it?

I truly do, as a result of I really feel like had a major realization just a few years in the past that – I’m wondering if I may even keep in mind what my important realization was. [laughs] It was one thing like, I noticed that I didn’t let my future in on my previous; I didn’t belief my future with my beloved previous or one thing. And I didn’t belief my beloved previous to imagine sooner or later. And I believed, I hold these issues actually distant from one another. And truly, in fact, they’re fully joined. I don’t even know if something’s modified since, however I feel in all probability I’m responsible of being a reasonably nostalgic individual. The truth that issues which have occurred simply form of turn out to be reality – regardless that these info can change, however the reality is, they occurred. It’s like, if I take heed to an previous album, I feel, “I can’t even keep in mind how I did it – how did I come to all these selections? God, I should have identified what I used to be doing.” It seems like there’s all this conviction in regards to the previous, simply because it’s the previous now. As a result of these are the issues that occurred, and you may write them down. And after which the longer term, in fact, is unknown, and also you don’t know the way it’s going to be and also you’re anxious you’re going to do it fallacious otherwise you received’t do it justice from how significant you discovered the issues which have occurred. However you discover them significant as a result of they occurred or one thing.

Additionally, my mum proofread the lyrics, and the phrase “blue” was once the phrase “bloom.” And she or he’d heard the album earlier than and he or she was like, “Oh, I believed it was blue.” And I used to be like, “Oh, that’s hundreds higher. I’m altering it to bloom.” [laughs] I form of by no means felt very comfy about having the phrase “bloom,” it by no means sat very simply with me. And the phrase “blue” made extra sense. It form of felt like the brilliant blue new. And it’s cool, I really like that it was a misheard factor. Additionally, I usually don’t pronounce the final sound of a phrase. I’m at all times not doing that, I simply fade out. So it doesn’t sound like I’m singling “bloom” anyway, it feels like I’m saying “blue.”

As a result of there are so few objects truly talked about within the lyrics, naming the document Prize feels important. What does it imply to you?

Every time I’ve named an album, it’s been a lyric from the album. I’ve typically not held that a lot attachment to naming songs. It’s form of admin; everybody has to know what tune they’re taking part in, so it’s the obvious phrase in it or one thing. And I’ve at all times named albums by simply going by means of the lyrics, and after some time, one thing stands out, I simply assume, “Oh, yeah, I feel it’s referred to as that.” I used to be going to name it Nothing Will Do, after which it felt a bit faffy, a bit sophisticated. After which some folks spooked me by saying it’s not good to have a destructive phrase in there.

However I actually like that it’s a five-letter phrase. I just like the quantity 5. And I like that it’s received a “z” in. But in addition, I feel there’s in all probability rather a lot within the album about – I don’t even know if I imply competitors, however form of wanting to return good or show one thing to somebody or to your self. I suppose I’m form of fascinated by shut tensions and relationships between myself and totally different folks. Folks need to be not misunderstood and misrepresented, and I feel it’s straightforward for folks to get misinterpreted as eager to be proper or win or one thing, when, truly, they only need to be certain that they’ve expressed themselves clearly and have been understood. Additionally, it’s fairly a enjoyable phrase.

This interview has been edited and condensed for readability and size.

Rozi Plain’s Prize is out now through Memphis Industries.


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