With the release of their fourth album, “No Means No” available as of September 21st Ezza Rose takes a moment to chat about the album’s creative process and the significance of the album title.
Sinister Girlz: Your new album, “No means No” was just released, how did you celebrate its release?
Ezza Rose: Just like most others days in the life of a musician. At my other job slingin’ the usual shit. The only difference between release days and the normal old day is that there’s a little touch of a new magic in everything you do. A special secret behind the sparkle in your eye. You feel you’ve accomplished something that day, and yet just about every person in front of you has no idea what you’ve done. Every hour spent working the “other job” feels ok now knowing those sweaty hours were imperative to creating something as real and true as you possibly could. Quietly navigating a storm of vulnerability and excitement.
Sinister Girlz: The album’s title alone is very provocative given the political climate we are living in, what was the inspiration behind this record?
Ezza Rose: The title is provocative because we are living in provocative times. Though, as cynical as “No Means No” sounds off the cuff, for me it’s a liberating concept. It’s the phrase that plays on repeat in my head as I face the everyday. I felt it was important to include an artist statement with this particular record. I feel it best describes this albums inspiration.
Artist statement – “Words have meaning, and when meaning is disconnected from words, communication is lost. My mother always said things to me like, “No means no,” and “Sorry isn’t good enough,” which frustrated me as a child, to feel powerless against her words. The women in my family value their words this way, following their intention through to action. Later in life, I realized the value of this foundation they had built in me. Today, I also stand by my word and hold myself accountable for the actions and ideas my words convey.
I’m confused when others don’t take my words at face value, that society gets to choose whether or not I am heard. I know others have struggled to feel heard their entire lives, and it’s powerful to finally see that struggle acknowledged and addressed in societal movements towards equality. The content of this album, ‘No Means No,’ covers the landscape of interaction between people, both in the public eye and behind closed doors. It’s a reflection of my frustration with those who choose not to respect the meaning of, and intention behind people’s words. “I don’t want to tell you that No means No”…but I will, for now.”’
Sinister Girlz: Being that this is your 4th release was the creative process easier or more difficult this time around?
Ezza Rose: Every record is different, this one came easier because it reflects an emotional state I find myself in every day. Most of my past writing has been inspired by personal relationships. This album is addressing the bigger picture. Instead of only taking issue with the actions of people close to me, I’m taking issue with the institutions that got us in over our heads in the first place.
Sinister Girlz: As musicians I’m sure you get to play a lot of your songs over and over again, what do you do to keep it fresh for yourself and still have a good time performing them?
Ezza Rose: To me a big part of what makes an artist is a person who is actively feeling, hashing things out, being vulnerable and working on their ideas as they revisit them through their medium. In this case performance is just as much a medium as the music. I don’t grow tired of performing the same tunes. It’s more like getting to visit your family everyday, not always great in constant repetition, but in doing so you may get to know yourself better.
Sinister Girlz: One question I love to ask musicians is if they remember the first song they wrote and what it was about?
Ezza Rose: I do, I was 15. My partner at the time called me sunflower eyes. I wrote a song about them catching the dew when we broke up.
Sinister Girlz: Any upcoming shows you’d like to share with our readers?
Ezza Rose: Yes! We have a free home show this Sunday at RonToms, basically the Portland music scene’s “church”. West coast and East coast tour dates in the works for the spring. All shows are listed on our webpage. www.ezzaroseband.com
Sinister Girlz: Where can people find you, plug your social media
Sinister Girlz: Thank you so much for talking to us, next time you are in NYC make sure you stop by the studio and we’ll make it a party.
Ezza Rose: Deal! Thanks so much for the love. See you in NYC!
Below check out their album “No Means No”