We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Rose and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal Rose, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Music is definitely something that is a need-based activity for me. I’ve always needed to sing, so I’ve known from a young age that this is what I wanted to do! In my mom’s culture (she’s from the Philippines), singing is an important collective activity. We used to go down to National City, San Diego to our favorite karaoke restaurant, where she would belt out Patsy Cline and I would sing my Disney favorites. As I got older, the music community in San Diego really offered me essential personal and musical support, and I just always felt that I need to keep singing to give back to the community, and sustain my emotional/creative self.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A need to express in a way that mere words can’t drives my work. I am not that much of a talker, but rather a deep feeler and thinker, and I try to explore this in my music.
Currently, I am working on releasing singles from my upcoming EP “Anew” with my collaborator Emi Trevena. These songs were created with a need for immediacy. We worked to create and record, without overthinking any one element for too long. I am really excited to get to share these songs! “Thought I’d Say” is a single that has been released, and the next one, “Working on Myself” will be out on the inter-webs on September 9. I loved getting to improvise a lot of the harmonies on these songs. There’s a dreaminess to them that I hope people will enjoy.
Before working on “Anew”, I had been writing in a more solitary way, without collaborating much until it came to recording and producing the music. Even then, most of the vocals were recorded in my apartment in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve come to love both ways of writing, and I think that both offer special attributes. My debut album “It’s Raining in Here” has direct and abstract elements to it, with some otherworldly flute sounds, sometimes clear and sometimes cloudy language and subject matters- yet it also feels very personal to me.
I gigged as much as I could while attending college and I started teaching as well, which really saved me during the height of the pandemic.
In San Diego, I remember sharing my songs for the first time during high school- I was so thankful my creative writing teacher let me sing rather than recite my poetry! I sang with the First Friday Club and my cover band Revolt-age around the San Diego area from the age 13. I am so thankful for these golden learning experiences.
I can’t say that anything has been easy. In San Diego, we didn’t have much money, and I spent a good amount of my time hopping around various places to stay, and lived with many different families. Nothing felt solid I must say. And in New York, I work various jobs, some as a music teacher, to fund my recording projects. I recently created a Patreon- hoping that might catch on a bit more!
My biggest take aways are that singing and creating are essential to communicating (outwardly and inwardly), and that it really is okay to ask for help.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
In San Diego? Hmm well I would definitely take them to Flashbacks in Hillcrest, we would definitely get a burrito (I used to love the taco shops around Stumps and Point Loma High School), we would go to the OB street fair, get an açaí bowl, and spend lots of time on the beach! Maybe we would get a cinnamon roll at Con Pane and go to OB Noodle House. I really love North Park, OB, and the cliffs, but it’s also fun to drive through Lakeside and see the farm animals around. Soda Bar is a great venue too!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shout out The First Friday Music Club for their endless support, musical opportunities, scholarships for lessons, and so much more as I grew up in San Diego, CA. To Glen Fisher and Kevyn Lettau for their musical and personal care. I want to thank The Nuffers and The Anders for encouraging me to follow through with my collegiate experience and making it possible for me to do so! I am thankful to all of the families and friends in San Diego that have supported me! Sahara Grim and Jake Nuffer for their friendship and musical collaboration throughout the years. In New York thank you to my partner Guy Paz for his endless support and creative collaboration, and to his beautiful family as well. Andrew Forman, Annique Monet, Judette Elliston, Louisa Rosi…so many! Teachers Jamie Leonhart and Nick Hakim. I want to thank Emi Trevena for his artistic craft collaboration with our project “Anew”. To my parents and their partners for their support and kindness through my 25 years. There are so many people to thank- this list could go on forever!!
Other: https://linktr.ee/crystalrosemusic https://open.spotify.com/artist/3lh2btaa40g8Q9Z7zL1svD?si=Oojh8agIQLWOvDLY05THnA https://crystalrosemusik.bandcamp.com/music https://soundcloud.com/crystal-rose-speros?utm_source=clipboard&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=social_sharing
blue shirt- Guy Paz red shirt- Alvin Chua pink dress- Alyssa Freitas black and white- Brian Malihan live shots with guitar and guitar with flute player- Amanda Catton-Johnson