Passion. You hear the word used a lot by artists, in particular musical artists. Hell it’s damned near a prerequisite to do anything deemed creative. But passion only goes so far, there needs to be drive, perseverance and sometimes the luck of being at the right place at the right time. That’s how it started for new R&B/Soul artist KJ Rose.
After graduating college as a business administration major, the singer/songwriter worked for five years pharmaceutical company Pfizer in the corporate compensation department. A far cry from any musical aspiration, but she had a game plan, “…being there I was able to channel some other music opportunities because I had a steady paycheck coming in.”
Rose went to open mics where she performed alongside big name talent including Carl Thomas and Faith Evans. Her opportunity came from the Overweight Lover himself Heavy D with a spot as a background singer.
“I just came through by being available at the time and economical. I don’t think they knew they were looking for me. I knew they were looking for me, but I don’t think they knew.”
From there she got her first touring experience with Kelly Price where after one conversation she was asked to tour with P. Diddy. After getting her feet wet being in the background Rose, was ready to claim the limelight for herself. “I think it was them believing in me and me also witnessing at someone else’s expense the business and the work that really goes into it. It kind of shaped my desire to really be in it. I think after doing all these background gigs I was like, ‘Okay, at some point I don’t want to keep chasing the next gig.’ Because you realize as much prestige is there, you’re still hired help. So when their albums don’t take off, we don’t go on the road. I didn’t want my career to be predicated on somebody else’s career.”
Which brings us to now. As a totally independent artist, KJ has a loyal three-man crew and cheering section made of friends and family. Together, they pound the pavement and get the word out about this incredibly driven chanteuse. And while the majors have come knocking, she doesn’t take it personally if nothing pans out. “I’ve had a few meetings and it used to be so discouraging because I didn’t get the response that I was looking for, but now it’s such a better feeling when I can walk out and say this meeting isn’t going to stop me because I’ve already chosen to succeed.”
One success is the release of “A Better Way” the first single from her debut album “All Heart, No Regrets.” A heartfelt ballad that’s sung with throaty, soulful passion, it more than your average love and relationships song, for Rose, “A Better Place comes from a place of healing. “It was just on my heart and I felt like in order for me to make room emotionally I had to get that out. So I can tell when it’s GOD working because the song didn’t take that long to come together. This song was probably written in like a half hour because it was so real. It went from my heart to the paper to the studio. There was no embellishing, it was what it was and I accepted that.”
With “All Heart, No Regrets” set to drop in October be prepared for a return to good music. Music that’s not heavy on the riffing or synthesized sound. Listen for tunes that are all about the melody and conveying a message. Be prepared for a return to real music.
For more information on KJ Rose please visit www.myspace.com/kjrosemusic.