CHOICES: YF ROSE opens up about life’s crossroads and musical path

"A lot of what I go through in life is reflected in my music. Whether love, hardships, heartbreaks, loneliness, or doubt, it is all illustrated in my lyrics"
14 June 2024

Imagine standing at the edge of a new path, where every direction speaks to a distinct facet of yourself – this is what life’s crossroads are all about. Meet YF ROSE in a conversation that gets up close and personal.

YF ROSE, the burgeoning R&B artist with roots in Cameroon and Montreal, unveils his latest introspective single, CHOICES, delving into themes of personal reflection and navigating life’s pivotal moments.

With influences ranging from Ed Sheeran to contemporary rap artists like Toosii and DDG, YF ROSE merges melancholic melodies with a vibrant rap cadence, creating a sound that is uniquely his own. With CHOICES, YF ROSE offers a fresh voice in the music scene. 

If I had to describe my sound, it’s mostly a blend of melancholic melodies and resonance with a solid and substantial rap cadence, all while giving you an upbeat feel to make your heart skip a beat.

YF ROSE, could you share how your upbringing and cultural background have shaped the style of your music and the themes expressed in your lyrics?

A lot of what I go through in life is reflected in my music. Whether love, hardships, heartbreaks, loneliness, or doubt, it is all illustrated in my lyrics. These are all things for which I had to make a choice for or against; a choice had to be made. It then goes on to form my worldview and ultimately who I am today. Life is a series of choices that shape your future.

Which particular life experiences prompted the creation of your newest single, CHOICES, and how are these experiences reflected in your music?

The particular experience that birthed the creation of CHOICES is a situationship I had a couple of years ago, fresh out of high school with a girl from my class. At the time, I was working a lot to get by because I had just moved in alone. My focus and energy were more angled toward my 9-5 job and my music. That, in turn, made the attention I gave her almost nonexistent. It came to a point where it had become too toxic. For my mental health and future, I chose to end the relationship, which she didn’t take well and didn’t understand. It just had to be done.

Could you provide insight into the artistic journey behind CHOICES, detailing the process of crafting its compelling hip-hop groove and emotionally resonant lyrics?

Writing CHOICES didn’t take me as long as I expected. I found the beat on YouTube and recorded the melody for the song at around 1 AM after I had just finished another song. I sat with the melody for about a week, then proceeded to jump on the mic the following Saturday. I recorded the song that same day. I’ll admit, for it to have the bounce it has, I recorded about seven different melodies for the song and then chopped the best parts. All that before writing the song.

What sets your sound apart from other emerging R&B artists, and how do you navigate blending various genres like pop, R&B, and rap?

If I had to describe my sound, it’s mostly a blend of melancholic melodies and resonance with a solid and substantial rap cadence, all while giving you an upbeat feel to make your heart skip a beat. I found that mixing R&B and rap isn’t always easy, especially if you’re trying to build a sound that is authentic and new at the same time. The key is really learning and not being afraid to step outside the defined lines of each genre.

Can you discuss the significance of your name change from Blackrose to YF ROSE and how it signifies your personal and artistic growth?

BLACKROSE was the name I initially chose when I started taking music seriously. The meaning behind it was: “BLACK” to represent my black background, something I am proud of and will forever be, and “RØSE” representing my kind but daring personality. I finally decided to stick with “ROSE” and change “BLACK” to “YF,” which means “young & fearless”. I changed it at a moment when I had taken a break from music to figure out my sound and the emotions I wanted listeners to embrace.

How do you infuse your cultural heritage into your music while embracing influences from different places like Yaoundé in Cameroon and Montreal in Canada?

Maybe not in CHOICES, but in many of the songs that will be released in the coming months and years, French, which is my main heritage, will be incorporated. Many of my bounces or the way I approach a song often stem from my Afro background. It gives life to my music and impacts the melodies. A couple of Montreal slangs are also included in a lot of my songs.

Can you elaborate on the influences from artists like Toosii, DDG, and Ed Sheeran in your work?

The artist that has had the most significant influence on my music so far is Ed Sheeran. He was one of the first artists to make me want to jump on stage and show what I was capable of. Songs like Photograph, Nina, and I’m a Mess by him inspired me to start writing. One thing I’ve always admired about him is the way he enters a song in so many interesting and intriguing ways, always keeping you on your toes. Later on, artists like Toosii and DDG came into the picture, providing elements of their own that I learned from and implemented in my music.

Can you reflect on the pivotal moments of your music industry journey, from your modest origins to your current status as an up-and-coming R&B sensation?

I am definitely not in the spotlight I would like to be in now, but I know it will be a long journey, so I’ll be patient with the process and myself and enjoy every moment. One thing I’ll say is that it feels good to have my music getting some attention. But until now, it’s been fun but lonely since I don’t have a team to rely on for a lot of things, but everything will come in time.

Can you outline your methods of connecting with your audience through your music and digital platforms?

The people supporting my music have been enjoying the 09′ edits that I post on my socials, but lately, I’m focusing on providing content of better quality and substance, such as music videos and short movies. Experimenting is the fun part in all of this, so it’s trial and error until I find what works.

Additionally, what innovative directions can fans anticipate from your evolving sound and artistic vision?

Like I said, I’m working on music videos and short movie content for my upcoming music. I’m planning on experimenting as much as I can this year, so a lot of different sounds can be expected from the upcoming releases. As for the genre, you’ll just have to stay tuned

©FM

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