Cover photo by: Denis Duquette
Article by: Shayla Lee
The majority of music out there is written for extroverts. From lyrics about partying and going out to high bpm’s and layered productions meant for the dance-floor, it is rare to find music that makes an introvert go “wow that is me.” JUNO Award-winning musician Rose Cousins just released the perfect introvert anthem. Titled “The Benefits of Being Alone,” Rose delivers cheeky lyrics, a fun production, and an even more fun music video that will have any introvert yelling “finally a song that describes me perfectly!”
“The Benefits of Being Alone” is the lead single of the artist’s recently announced album “Bravado” which she will be releasing in February. Rose Cousins will also be bringing her music to life early next year when she hits the road with John Paul White. If you’re a fan of musicians with beautiful lyrics like Rosie Carney and Lisa Hannigan, Rose Cousins will most likely strike a chord with you. We had the chance to chat with Rose about her new song, music video, and her upcoming album.
Femme Riot: To people unfamiliar with you and your music, how would you describe yourself and your music to them?
Rose Cousins: I like to explore the corners of emotions, uncomfortable intersections, feelings, vulnerability. It’s what interests me. I love piano and I love songs that make you need to lie on the floor to listen. I want my music to make people feel the things they don’t let themselves feel and I want them to feel less alone in that.
Where do you draw inspiration for your music? Who are some of your musical influences?
Being alive. I’m inspired by words and melodies and by struggle and how many different ways we do so. I’m interested in what’s really happening and poetry and my tops have always been Patty Griffin and Shawn Colvin. Ana Egge, Anais Mitchell, Sarah Siskind, Leif Vollebekk, Ethan Gruska, The National, Tim Baker, Frightened Rabbit. I could name so many brilliant writers who hit bone. My inspiration comes from seeking relief from the tough parts of being alive and approaching love from many angles.
As an introvert who loves being alone, I’m a huge fan of your new track “The Benefits Of Being Alone.” Can you tell us more about this track and if there was a specific situation that inspired it?
This song highlights the great things about aloneness as it can sometimes have a bad connotation. I’m also an introvert. I like the way it’s speaking to those of us who like to spend time with ourselves. It can be a rich space but also there is a duality in this track and in all the tracks on my new record. Being alone is awesome but can also get really lonely and those two things are different beasts. People in great relationships might not get enough alone time and can also feel lonely. I really think it depends on who is listening to the track and where they are in their lives. Alone and loneliness are both important things to examine.
The music video for “The Benefits Of Being Alone” is full of pastel colors and quirky imagery which results in a beautiful visual component. What was the creation of this video like? How did you come up with the concept?
The concept came to me fully formed and is exactly on screen as I saw it in my head. A contrived world made to look like all is well and wonderful but clearly just being held together, portrayed.
The pan away shot at the end says the rest. The making of it was really fun and I feel lucky to have such a wonderful group of creative and willing pals who helped me make it come to life.
It was really fun to be silly as most of my music is so serious.
What does the perfect day/night alone look like for you?
I should think more about this. In an ideal world the house would be clean and I’d be caught up on work, (rarely) I would feel calm and I’d make a great meal, maybe watch a movie in the bath tub, read and then sleep without setting an alarm. I don’t get to be home for very long, very often and crave the simple things. I’m not great at relaxing so if I could get to that point I’d be winning.
Your cover of Prince’s classic “I Would Die 4 U” is a beautiful collaboration with Bear’s Den and Christof van der Ven. How was it working with these artists?
It was a mutual love fest. We’ve been fans of each other for years and I just love that this intersection happened. I love the track.
You have a new album – “Bravado” which will be coming out on February 21. Can you tell us a bit about this album? Any secrets you can let us in on?
It’s a vulnerable one for sure. I think I’ve gotten to a new level of my own truth on it. I’m proud of the songs and the production credit. I’ve been at it long enough to just trust myself more and enjoy making the music and the decisions. I have incredible musicians in my life who care about my music and I think that shows in the records I make, including Bravado. I think the writing has uncovered some things I needed to get to for myself. Songs seem to be the best way to figure out where I am and how I really feel about something. I can’t tell you the secrets.
Mental health is something that is really important to us at Femme Riot and we love hearing about how others maintain balance in their lives. As a busy musician, what practices do you implement to ensure your health and well-being are taken care of?
This is one I’m constantly chasing. I am inconsistent with meditation but want to be better. I try to maintain my physical health with supplements and exercise which always contributes goodness to my head but I battle stress and sleep. Giving myself permission to be still and trying to change the way I schedule my life are daily work. Consistency is my goal.
What is the biggest piece of advice you could share with a fellow female in the music industry?
Ask for what you need, from your team, from tech crews, from anyone you’re interacting with. Have clear boundaries and be direct. Know the tools of your business. Be prepared everywhere you go whether it’s gear or having your story straight for an interview. Set goals and go get’em.