Hailing from Perth, Australia, 20-year-old Blake Rose recently touched down in LA and is already making a splash. Rose has already signed a publishing deal with Kobalt, no small feat for a new artist. His first single, "Hotel Room", is a fierce debut and only shows a glimmer of what's to come from Blake Rose.
Unheard Gems: We are really happy to get to talk to you on Unheard Gems! How are you?
Blake Rose: I’m doing great! It’s an amazing feeling to have all the music I’ve been working on over the past few years finally start to come out.
Unheard Gems: Just for our readers to get a little bit of background on you, when did you first know you wanted to pursue music and what was your journey like?
Blake Rose: I was always subconsciously into music from when I was very young. I used to perform around the house singing and playing whatever I could find as an instrument. I even went into a talent quest when I was about 5 years old and sang so I had my first taste at performing when I was very young even though I can’t really remember it. It wasn’t until I was about 12 that I figured out I want to do music properly. My mum got this classical guitar for her 21st birthday as a memento piece. It’d been sitting in our house since I was born but no one ever played it. I went to a friend’s house one day and his dad had started teaching him guitar. He taught me 2 chords and once I could do that I was hooked. i came home, picked up mum’s guitar and started playing it non stop.
When I was 14 I went on a 3 month camping trip around Australia with my family. This is when things started to fall into place musically for me. I took a guitar I had been given by a family friend with me and started to properly dive into songwriting. I would be writing songs and teaching myself the guitar in the back seat as we drove from place to place. I also started to experiment with music production on GarageBand. I fell in love with the idea that I could create a whole song from top to bottom so I started researching more professional softwares until I landed on Pro Tools. I knew that was the program I wanted so I started watching tutorial after tutorial on how to use it. Once we got home I used the money I’d saved over the years to buy Pro Tools and set up my own home studio which became a haven for me as I was growing up. Also while I was on this trip I got accepted into a school program called World Challenge where we would go to Sri-Lanka for 2 weeks to experience life in a 3rd world country. To go on this trip I had to raise $6000 on my own so because I didn’t have a job I decided to give busking a go. This changed everything for me as it was my first proper taste of performing to the public and ever since then i knew this is what i wanted to do as a career. Busking basically became my part time job and funded all my future trips out to Los Angeles which have been life changing.
Unheard Gems: I love your single “Hotel Room” and I am so happy that we finally have this song in our lives. Can you tell us about the inspiration about the song and how you chose this song to be your debut single?
Blake Rose: nothing in particular inspired this song. My roommate, Joel Adams, and I were riffing melodies over some guitar chords when we came up with the hotel room line. Once that was there we basically had the whole song. We knew we wanted it to be an anthem for anyone who’s ever been cheated on and that’s what it became. I chose Hotel Room as the debut single because it really smacks you in the face. I wanted to make a statement artistically that was energetic and emotional rather than a standard pop song as it was important to me to show that I’m not just another Justin Bieber or Shawn Mendes.
Unheard Gems: You also released a music video to accompany the single, what was the process like creating the video and bringing the song to life, any details we should notice about the video we mights not catch on the first watch?
Blake Rose: I didn’t have that much to do with the concept for this video. Some video ideas I have completely mapped out in my mind but for this one all I knew was I wanted deep reds/blacks/greens as the vibe. Emma Sydney Menzies, who directed the video brought the idea to life. There’s actually this one shitty pair of sunglasses I have which are kinda large frames with white gems on the outside. You can see me wearing them in one of my photos and in my stories sometimes as a joke but they made it into the video haha.
Unheard Gems: What can we expect from you in the future? Any projects in the works you can tell us about?
Blake Rose: you can expect a lot of music! I will be releasing a series of singles over the coming months, all of which will take listeners on an emotional roller coaster from feel good songs to very deep and conceptually interesting songs. I’ve worked very hard on bringing this music to life and now that it’s all taking shape I couldn’t be happier!
Unheard Gems: Prior to this release you worked on a lot of collaborations and features on works for other artists, what are some of your favorite memories working on these collaborations and do you have any coming up or any dream collaborations for the future?
Blake Rose: I did a track called ‘Skins’ with an artist called Bad Decisions. That is one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written for a few reasons. The song itself was really good but
it also started a lot for me. It was the realisation that I could write toplines which was a massive door opening for me. Writing for DJs and featuring was how I got my foot in the door with this industry so I’m very thankful I discovered that skill.
Currently I’m not doing any more collaborations but I do have plans for potential remix collabs on future tracks. Nothing has been fully explored yet though so I wont go into detail.
Unheard Gems: Even before these collaborations you were doing covers on YouTube with artists like Kurt Hugo Schneider, Kristen Collins, and Madilyn Bailey. Now there are some major artists coming from YouTube like Troye Sivan who are taking off in the industry. While you didn’t make the same type of videos, how do you think having YouTube as part of your origin story impacts you as an artist
Blake Rose: Doing those videos with Kurt Schneider is what got me my first real fans. Kurt saw me when I was busking in Perth, Australia (he was on tour) and invited me to shoot a video with him if I ever went to LA. It’s absolutely crazy that he gave me that opportunity and I’m forever grateful for it. It was the main reason I came to LA for the first time which started a brand new chapter in my career. As an artist though, doing those videos probably showed me more what I don’t want to be rather than impacting me positively. I really enjoyed that part of my career but I realised that there’s already so many singers doing that and for me to get ahead I needed to be original. I ended up pulling the plug on doing covers all together and focusing on developing my writing and productions skills towards releasing the music that I am today.
Unheard Gems: You actually came on Unheard Gems radar back in October of 2017 when we were talking to Airports (Aaron Lee) and Sammi Constantine. Aaron recommended you to all our listeners to be an up and comer to check out. I love that we sort of have a full circle Unheard Gems moment with this interview. Anyway, I bring this up because they recommend you and highlighted the fact that you, like them, are Australian. Now you live in Los Angeles (USA) but how did growing up in Australia shape your music and how do you see the music industry differ, if at all, between the two countries?
Blake Rose: Aaron and Sammi are the best!!
Being in Australia didn’t specifically impact my artistry until I went to university at West
Australian Academy Of Performing Arts (WAAPA). A lot of people there had a quite eclectic taste in music which I started to notice was very common in Australia. I learned to love a lot of different types of music, in particular, alternative music which had definitely influenced my sound today.
Unheard Gems: I’m going to ask the same question I asked to Aaron and Sammi (and every Unheard Gem), if you could recommend to us another artist you think deserves more recognition in the music industry, or an Unheard Gem, who would you recommend and why?
Blake Rose: I have a group of friends I went to uni with back in Perth who formed a band called ‘wooly mammoth’. Their music has dope indie rock vibes and ranges from slower jams to energetic bangers to pump you up. Their lyrics are also super interesting and have a lot of depth. My favourite song ‘Made to Fall’.
Unheard Gems: Lastly, for all of our readers, where can they find you and your music and is there anything else you want to leave us with that we didn’t talk about in our questions?