The new livestream series NYJO Presents… will start in March 2021, and features a range of young, exciting artists at the start of their careers. Each show will be transmitted live from the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club straight into your home.
On the 28th of March, Rosie Frater-Taylor will take the stage for our second NYJO Presents evening. Rosie will be playing a mixture of tunes from her first album “On My Mind”  as well as new music from her forthcoming album “Bloom”, due for release early this summer.
Hi Rosie! How are you feeling?
Pretty balanced, I’d say! Part of me is loving spending this time working on myself & my music but then I also really miss seeing people & going to places beyond the park round the corner!
You’ll be playing at Ronnie’s as part of the NYJO Presents Series on 28 March. How long has it been since your performed live?
Indeed, I am! With my full band – which is the vibe for Ronnie’s – the last show we played together was at The Vortex Jan 2020! I’ve done a couple of trio live streams with my dad on drums (in my bubble!) & Seth Tackaberry on the bass, who will also be playing for the Ronnie’s show. I was also fortunate enough to get in a solo support set at an unbelievably sold out Jazz Cafe back in December just before we all locked down again.
Although we can’t have a live audience on this occasion, how does it feel to be back at Ronnie’s?
It’s interesting for sure! Part of what I love about Ronnie’s is hanging around super late for the Late Late Show/after party, which is obviously not gonna happen this time round – but I always love the experience of performing there whether it’s sitting in or playing my own stuff. The sound is great and, quite honestly, playing my music with musicians / friends I love again is what really counts for me.
Your upcoming album Bloom is coming out this year, tell us a bit about the project.
‘Bloom’ will be out approximately May/June time. This is my second self-produced album, a collection of 12 new tracks (including 2 covers) from the heart. For me, in retrospect, this project really has a ‘coming of age’ vibe in both the degree of my musicality, production and playing as well as the songwriting and lyrical content. Those three years between 18-21 are super formative and they happen to encompass the period in which I’ve created this album (I’ll be 22 about the time of release!)
This album was really a journey to solidifying ‘my sound’, realising what that is, why I write the way I do and am drawn to certain sounds and genres and then doing it with as much intention as I can!
On My Mind, your debut album, came out in 2018. What was different about the experience this time around, given the peculiar circumstances of last year?
I covered this a little above, having played live A LOT since ‘On My Mind’, I’ve attained a lot more facility as a player and a singer, which I suppose is the natural process of things. We’re always getting better just by doing our craft. There’s a sort of natural elevation to this project in comparison to the last I’d say, but I love to see that sort of thing. Furthermore, all the shows I was playing were with the same band that recorded the album with me so I’d say the project has a very cohesive ‘band’ sound as a result.
In a similar vein, I’m also relinquishing a little bit of control this time in terms of the mixing and marketing of the album, working with a manager and a gradually expanding team to try and get it into as many ears as possible.
Why did you choose Better Days and Think About You as the first two singles?
They’re my favourites! At least they were at the time, it’s pretty much constantly changing. But, if you want the marketing answer, because my sound crosses several genres: jazz, folk, pop, soul, singer-songwriter – that’s just how I love to write, taking elements from everything I love. ‘Better Days’ has jazzier tones and ‘Think About You’ more pop/singer-songwriter tones – we felt that they were good representations of the various styles on the album.
There seems to be a renewed consensus around the idea of streaming platforms being somewhat exploitative to independent musicians. How do you think the age of YouTube and Spotify has changed how listen to music, and how it is created?
The market has changed the music without a doubt. Just releasing a full length album feels like a controversial choice! I think more than anything artists and listeners have to cope with a seriously over-saturated market which can be exhausting for those releasing and those listening.
Not only this, the immediacy of music seems to have quite an impact on listeners’ attention spans, first Instagram with 1 minute videos, now Tik Tok with 15 second ones! Something needs to change about this ‘churning-out’ of singles/content culture for the sake of us all really.
I do believe we’ll see a return to albums at some point (in conjunction with singles). This ‘fast paced’ releasing thing is not a way of life and it’s not how artists work! Plus, there’s something incredible about listening to an entire body of work, so much more is discovered and a much more intimate relationship between artist and fan is created.
A return to the ‘album’/taking control of the market, I hope, is possible if artists keep releasing music the way they want to. Release that track with the slow intro or the one minute solo or the complicated hook. At the end of the day, streaming success is just one piece of the pie, for example, Bandcamp is a platform doing really great things.
Whilst I don’t believe artists/listeners should boycott streaming platforms (though Tidal does pay it’s artists 3X more *mind blown*), I think it’s crucial to remember that it’s all a numbers game and I’d encourage any fellow artists to consider what ‘success’ and ‘authenticity’ means to them, it’s something I’m constantly thinking about!
(Rosie apologises for her rant here, but we think she’s talking a whole lot of sense.)
Global pandemic aside, what will you remember the past 12 months by?
Meeting my wonderful manager, working endlessly on this album, my cat (we spent a lot of time together), realising the importance of friends, realising the importance of perspective, heartbreak and heart-fullness!
Agreed! Ok, Rosie, last but not least… Desert island discs, you know the drill: eight tracks, a book, and a luxury. What would you take to a desert island?
Snowpoet – Roots, This is the Kit – This is What You Did, John Mayer – I Don’t Need No Doctor (Live in LA), Meshell Ndegeocello – Convictions, Joni Michell – Help Me, Goldie – Horizons, Mura Masa – Deal Wiv It (Feat. Slowthai) and “Vortex” by the Nova Twins.
Book : ‘Educated’ Tara Westover and Luxury : nylon string guitar (with spare strings).
Big thanks to Rosie for giving us her time. You can watch Rosie’s NYJO Presents livestream from Ronnie’s on 28 March 2021 at 8pm. Click below to register your interest and set reminders now!