RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW NEW BRISTOL ARTIST ROSINA BUCK
Hi Rosina, thanks for joining us today. What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I don’t think I really had a choice. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t daydreaming about being on stage or making up songs in my head. I didn’t come from a musical family, although my mum loved to sing, so I feel that music and songwriting chose me in many ways.
There was always a very powerful desire that came from the inside of me to express myself through lyrics and words (I was always writing) however it took me a while to find the confidence to really take up space as a musician.
It wasn’t until I was 28 that I brought myself a guitar and decided that I was going to teach myself to play, and I soon began to see that this means of expression was a gift. I had just come out of a chaotic relationship, as a young single parent, and it was through my relationship with music and the songs that I was writing that I began to find my voice. This was the moment when I decided that I was going to be my purpose.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
I’m a singer-songwriter and poet from Bristol UK. I have been honing my craft as a songwriter for the past 15 years. I studied for a BA Honours in Songwriting, and I have toured the UK festival circuit including playing shows at Glastonbury Festival, Boomtown, Shambala and Greenman.
I have self-released an EP with the previous project Circe’s Diner and am currently about to begin work on recording my long-awaited 13-track solo album.
As well as this I am involved in a new exciting project pioneering a 16-speaker special audio 5D landscape model. This will combine music, spoken word, meditation, art-foley, and theatre for an immersive and unique audience experience…watch this space!
One of my proudest musical achievements was working closely with Bristol-based charity Integrate UK writing songs such as “My Clitoris” and “Use Your Head (both championed by The Guardian and receiving Tweets for Lilly Allen) with the young campaigners.
What was life like for you before music?
Gosh! Well before I decided to quit my job and dedicate my life fully to music I was working as a teaching assistant in the Performing Arts.
It was such a beautiful job, and I am so grateful for those days, but the part of me that wanted to be the one on stage, performing my own songs, had grown stronger and stronger. So, at 30 years old I took the leap and jumped.
I remember attending my audition for BIMM and the lecturer asked me to play a G sharp major or something on the guitar, I just looked at him and smiled as if I didn’t have a clue! Fortunately, after playing some of my songs, he saw something in me and suggested I go to the music shop down the road to purchase a music theory book, the rest is history!
I have had a long history of addiction and mental health (4 years sober in January) so much of my life has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I’ve had wild times and low times, I’ve fallen in and out of love, I’ve grown, and I’ve hidden myself away. I’ve always been on a journey of self-discovery and with that I’ve gone to the depths of what it is to be human, and I’m grateful for every last breath of it.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
The Carpenters. “I Won’t Last a Day Without You” or “Close To You”. I loved The Carpenters so much and would sing along to them in the back of my Dad’s Cortina.
The Bangles Greatest Hits album, I used to make up dance routines to all the songs and perform them in school assemblies. I knew every single word (still do) to that album, it 100% shaped me as a songwriter.
I vividly remember buying Tracy Chapman and Erykah Badu’s albums from the Summerfield’s Supermarket I worked at when I was a teenager and they both blew me away.
I was obsessed with The Spice Girls. I still remember when they arrived on the pop music scene and released Wannabe, I had this profound moment that spoke to me “You can do anything!”
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
I would say that I sit within the realms of FIA, Feist and Lilly Allen. Strong female singer songwriters with an open and honest approach to writing. I desire to write music that tells a story and touches people through both the wonderous and the ordinary.
The music I write holds a transmission for healing so I see myself playing in environments that can hold space for this, music for transformation!
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
My dearest friend and phenomenal singer-songwriter Katey Brooks once told me that before a show she looks herself in the eyes, straight in the mirror, and says, “I love you no matter what” and thinks to myself that whatever happens, I won’t abandon myself, I will be loving and kind, and that I’ll be my own best friend. This really stuck with me.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I have over 150 houseplants.
I’m really terrified of cows.
I can do 10 cartwheels in a row!
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
I so so so long to travel. I love roaming and exploring new places and sharing my music to the far corners of the world so getting a support slot with an already touring international artist would be a dream come true…
I’d love to tour with FIA. Also (like every DIY artist) funding and investment would be a relief, to have full creative freedom to make and create music videos and spend more time in the studio, would be a dream come true! I have so many visions and ideas that I would LOVE to bring into the world so I always pay and ask, “Please bring the people and opportunities into my life that will help make my dreams come true”.
What was the worst experience on stage?
My worst experience on stage was the last time I performed live before I went to rehab. It really was a devastating time where I was creating a big mess all around me. I had a bottle of wine on stage (had already drunk 2), and I couldn’t stop crying let alone sing. I ended up in a puddle on the floor with my best friend coming to scoop me up and take me home.
It was a heartbreaking time for me. It was my rock bottom and it had become obvious that I needed help. It’s taken me a long time to recover and remember who I am as an artist, and who I want to be. Now I get to play shows sober which has been wholeheartedly liberating, my relationship with music has deepened into something way more transformative and healing than I could have ever imagined.
I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.
YES! My new single “Like A Lion” is out now (10th November). “Like a Lion” is a poignant chronicle of my journey through the final days of a relationship.
The melancholy melodies & powerfully honest lyrics weave a tale of heartbreak, this song is my autobiographical incantation to make sense of it all.
Two souls, scared & wounded, attempting to navigate the turbulent ocean of love, hoping to find solace amidst the rubble of shattered dreams, unable to see past their own pain and hurting each other in the process. I used to carry a lot of blame around with me but now I have an understanding and compassion that we were both in turmoil.
What was the recording process like?
This song was written around 6 years ago, I began recording it just weeks before I was admitted to residential rehab. I remember sitting in the studio feeling completely dead inside, it was so painful as I was recording my music but felt so numb and sad inside.
As soon as I returned home we were thrown into a global lockdown (something that in many ways I am grateful for as I was able to focus on healing and spending time with my son).
It wasn’t until last year that I finally returned to the studio to finish the track here in Bristol with Tim Allen and Oliver Baldwin. I was so glad that it had taken all this time to finish the track, the timing was indeed divine, as my vocal delivery was so much clearer and cleaner than before!
I’ve been sitting on it for months now, not knowing how or when to release it into the world, but it feels like now IS the time.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
That it takes time, that everything always unfolds in the way that it’s supposed to. To surrender to the process, to trust in the timing and absolutely practice patience and presence along the way.
To be compassionate and kind towards myself as I create and birth music, to stay open. To remember that whatever way it happens is happening for the greater good of the music and my journey. That every piece of work I put into the world will initiate me in ways that I could have never ever predicted!
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I really wouldn’t. I’m so proud of the track and the journey it took to arrive at this release.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
That we are all full of magic. That we all deserve to live a life full of joy and that we all deserve a second chance no matter what. That recovery and healing are possible, and that we get to choose life. To allow ourselves to laugh more and not to (try not) take everything so personally. To honour your energy and say ‘no’ when it’s a ‘no’. To be gentle with our hearts.
Getting to know oneself will be the greatest adventure of all. To trust your gut, to listen for the wisdom that’s inside of you and to practice laughing more and more. We as humans have the capacity for so much more that we realise, that our dreams exist because they are who we are! Eat more vegetables, love over fear, dance more because it feels good and spend time with animals!