Roses Gabor’s 2012 single ‘Stars’ announced her as one of the most exciting new voices in British music. Taking her from bubbling-under-promise to bona-fide, blasting-from-the-speakers ubiquity, the single was as forward-thinking and fresh as it was authentic; a song that could only have come from the post-everything melting pot of UK genres. ‘Stars’ had Zane Lowe lauding Gabor as ‘the future of R’n’B,’ was Huw Stephens’ BIG THING’ and made the In New Music We Trust playlist on BBC Radio One.
But Stars was no overnight sensation - the road to that point had been long and colourful. A lot about Gabor can be explained by her childhood, during which she began writing poetry, short stories, fantasies and fairytales aged only 4. That goes a long way to explaining how naturally her creativity pours fourth.
She describes herself as ‘a Piscean, a daydreamer, a free thinker.’ She likes the magic in life and art. She’s of Grenadian heritage, born and raised in West London, and grew up in a household in which everything outside of metal and classical was played. As such, she has always listened to ‘EVERYTHING.’ That shows too, in the broad scope of her music, in which there’s a refreshing sense of throwing off the straitjacket of genre.
When she grew older, she began to spend the majority of her time dreaming up creative ideas and concepts for new art and songs. She still does to this day. Not content simply to sing, she also writes and produces. It might be useful to note that artists with that multidisciplinary thirst are often the most exciting to hear.
She began to love the merging of rap and R’n’B that she heard in Mary J Blige, Janet Jackson and The Dungeon Family. At the same time, uptempo dance music thrilled her – something that would later find an outlet in her collaborations with Redlight and Shy FX.
In a sense, the third passion she developed completes the picture of the influences you can hear in her music. The depth of vision of two great artists blew her away. “Bjork is so otherwordly; a true creative in every sense of the word, and a true inspiration to me. The way her vocals dance through the song, mixing genres and weaving their way from beginning to end… the visual aesthetic always so exciting. She’s wonderful!”
The other artist was that true original force of pop music in the late 20th Century, Michael Jackson. “He painted genreless musical pictures of Freedom,” Gabor says. “…I’ll forever be awestruck.
All this depth of passion and interest paid off, when Roses’ own career as a musician was instantly fruitful. She became the voice of ‘Noodle’ in the British animated band “Gorillaz,” singing on their sophomore album ‘Demon Days,’ which went platinum and spawned Roses’ first UK Number 1 in the brilliant ‘Dare.’
She was awarded BBC Radio One’s ‘Hottest Track in the World Right Now’ with ‘Pharaohs,’ the song she penned for SBTRKT. The track received over 4 million hits on youtube.
Her debut solo single ‘Stars.’ was produced by dance music magician and Raekwon collaborator Redlight, and received heavy rotation on Radio One and specialist radio in the US. The single’s success led to a string of festival appearances throughout Europe.
With a list of collaborators that already includes Damon Albarn, Redlight, Buraka Som Sistema, Ty, We Are The Shining, Toddla T, Swindle and Rowdy SS (ATR,) Roses Gabor already has a true musical pedigree, and stands as one of the most exciting prospects in quality British pop music. She’s as down to earth as she is a dreamer though, someone who loves dancing, drinking herbal tea and yoga as much as she does cutting edge fashion.
2014 has seen her release the aptly named single, ‘Rush.’ Made in an electrified, inspired couple of hours with producer MNEK (Rudimental, Duke Dumont, Tinie Tempah) in his East London studio, it’s utterly compulsive. Roses says that the song is about the electrical chemistry that links two people together, the unseen but unbreakable forcefield. ‘It’s the magnetic charge...The life in the pit of your stomach...That Emotional connection... All these things you can’t run away from… even if you wanted to..."
Roses is now busily working away on her debut album, which is eagerly awaited to say the least. With her depth of imagination, skill and talent, it promises to be a thrillingly widescreen take on pop music worth listening to.
For now, we leave you with Rush, a magnetic charge of a song, arctic-fresh and hypnotically gripping. Words that work equally well to describe Roses herself.
Photo Credit: Satoshi Minakawa
- Roses Gabor
- I Could Be Yours
- Catalogue Number
- Release Date
- November 8, 2018