Los Angeles-based talent Rodes Rollins floored the world with her first single ever, a song called “Young & Thriving”, which dropped earlier this month. Her voice is a soft, tranquil dream, uttering sentiments that we can all (for the most part) relate to. The song itself is beautiful in its composition, the words like butter as they flow over the serene instrumentals.
This song makes us want more. And, of course, we know there will be more (Right?), but we will go ahead and play this on repeat until we know what to do with ourselves.
In honor of her debut, we got a moment to chat with the talented darling.
What’s your official origin story?
I was born and raised in Boulder, CO. I grew up going to a bilingual school that was made up of 70% Latino students (mostly of Mexican origin, and mostly first generation). At age 17, I left for NYC to attend NYU and pursue my music career. Since then, I have spent time living and working in LA, Buenos Aires and Mexico City. I have most recently been working in Mexico City, which is definitely one of my favorites cities.
What’s the most imaginative way you could introduce yourself to a crowd, if you had zero limitations?
Sometimes I feel like performing my own compositions is like standing naked in front of a crowd and saying, “what do you think?” I don’t think I’d ever have the courage to actually do that. But I think it’s important to point out the comparison to showcase just how vulnerable sharing your songs can feel.
What was the earliest record you can remember listening to? Who introduced it to you?
I remember listening to “Wild World” by Cat Stevens in the car with my dad and my sister, while we drove through the Rocky Mountains.
How supportive are your friends and family in your pursuit of music?
My friends and family are extremely supportive of my pursuit of music. I couldn’t ask for more supportive and loving parents. My older sister is also a vocalist, and my boyfriend is a jazz trumpet player, so I’m constantly surrounded with love, support and creativity. However, most of my friends are involved in other areas besides music including architecture, dance, visual art, and teaching. I love that we all have different strengths, which allows for collaboration rather than competition.
What keeps you inspired to continually create music?
I’ve always considered myself a story teller. This is why I love writing music. It provides a creative outlet for me to express my own stories and the stories of others. I don’t know what I would do without it.
What’s the most challenging moment or obstacle you’ve encountered on your path to being here today?
During college, I was battling sever tonsillitis. It became so severe that I could barely speak, let alone sing. I completely lost my voice. For about a year, I would go back and forth with these bouts of tonsillitis, until the point where the antibiotics I was taking stopped working. I couldn’t do the one thing I was most passionate about. But I was terrified to get surgery to have my tonsils removed because all of the doctors I had seen told me there was a chance that it would change the way my voice sounded. I took months for me to finally take the plunge and move forward with the surgery. After I had finally recovered and could speak again, I remember trying to sing for the very first time. My voice had changed, but thankfully for the better. I couldn’t wait to start writing and performing again. That’s when I started writing all of the new material for my forthcoming EP, Young Adult.
Where do you feel most comfortable, as an artist? On the road, at live shows, in the studio, at home?
I think I feel most comfortable in the studio. It’s where I’ve had the most experience. It also feels like a really safe space for experimentation and collaboration. But I have to say that performing gives me a high like none other.
When you find traction with a single like “Young & Thriving”, how does that influence your direction on future works?
I’m glad that people are responding to “Young & Thriving” and that it’s translating the way I hoped it would. It just inspires me to share more. I feel energized to keep putting myself out there.
What’s your dream collaboration?
If he were still with us, I would have loved the opportunity to play with Lee Hazlewood.
Keep tabs on Rodes Rollins and her upcoming EP here.