Rodes Rollins Talks About "Nasty Woman," Her Personal Growth & Plans for the Future: "There's a Long Road Ahead"
Brooklyn songstress Rodes Rollins isn't tied down by anything - not location, genre or even society's expectations of her. With her powerful new single, "Nasty Woman" serving as the first page of a new chapter in her life and musical career, Rollins is off to an incredible start this year. And with a few more months to go before the end of 2018, this certainly won't be the last time you hear her name.
"Nasty Woman," which can be heard below, tells a story of female empowerment and pride - a very timely release considering today's political and societal climate. Get to know a little bit more about Rodes Rollins and her plans for the future below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for any readers who might be hearing your music for the first time?
Sure! I live in Brooklyn (most of the time) but I tend to lead a bit of a nomadic lifestyle. I hop around a lot. The three cities I find myself in most are New York, LA and Mexico City - I really like to keep it fresh! It keeps me inspired. I travel mostly because of music - whether I'm performing or writing and recording somewhere. I've always liked to refer to the music I write as "cowgirl poetry", but more recently, I've started to describe it as desert-psych inspired. I'm heavily influenced by sounds of the West and vintage rock.
What first inspired you to get involved in music? What continues to inspire you today?
My family always encouraged me and my sister, Hannah to be in music. Both she and I have been musical from a young age. I started playing guitar and writing when I was 8 or 9 and I've never stopped! It's always been my outlet for self-expression. Seeing live music is a big source of inspiration for me. Seeing people create before your eyes is something special!
Earlier this year, you released your powerful new single, “Nasty Woman.” At its core, what inspired you to write this track? What does it mean to you?
Honestly, I hadn't gone into writing this song thinking to myself that I'd be writing a feminist-inspired piece - it kind of just came out that way. As I sat with the song though, and then recorded the final version, I couldn't help but feel really happy and proud to be singing it. Typically, I tend to write about darker, more somber topics, and this felt really different. I was singing something that really lifted me and was telling a story about my confidence and pride being a woman. This song embodies that for me. And I think it's special to have a song like that to sing right now in this current cultural and political climate. It just feels right.
“Nasty Woman” isn’t just a single - it also came along with your photo series featuring the stories of 10 other women. What did you learn when working on this project?
Wow. This was really special for me - in a way that I didn't even expect it to be. Getting this group of women together in one room, interviewing them, getting dressed up and giving them a platform to shine in front of the camera, was really magical for me. It made me realize that songs could be more than just musical stories we tell, but actual inspiration points to extend the message across to so many other areas. This experience captured the physicality of my song and it kind of felt like these other women were singing "Nasty Woman" in their own words and ways through this photo series.
Are you planning on continuing the project? What can fans expect next from this series?
This series was limited to this song. But we really got to celebrate it - we had an exhibition and a big party for its release. For future material, I'd love to continue to incorporate other artistic mediums to tell the story.
What do you hope listeners take away from “Nasty Woman”?
First of all, I hope they have fun with it. This was a fun song for me to write and record. I also hope that women feel proud and can at least smile while listening. I hope it's refreshing to hear something empowering. We don't get enough of those kinds of songs.
How do you feel you’ve grown between the release of Young Adult and “Nasty Woman” or new music you’re working on?
I've grown immensely. There have been a lot of ups and downs in my personal life and career since the release of my first EP. I feel like, in part because of that, I'm much more directed in knowing what I want as a songwriter and as a person. I'm also pushing my boundaries as a songwriter and working to incorporate a more eclectic group of sounds into my songs. With that said, there's a long road ahead and I'm looking forward to lots more growth.
With “Nasty Woman” out now and summer upon us, do you have any other exciting plans for the rest of the year?
Yes, of course! I am going to be releasing another song this summer that has a large West African influence to it's sound. And vocally, I was really inspired by Jane Birkin. It's very eclectic and I'm excited to release it. I'll also be performing in my three cities, NY, LA and CDMX throughout the summer into early fall. So look out!
Do you have any other big goals for 2018?
Always. I feel like every morning a wake up with a bigger one. For now, I'll say that I'd just really love to continue to get the word out. I'd love to expand the network and meet more people who enjoy my music, and who also inspire me.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?