FM Presents: MAY ROSA

By Vasco Dega

Specialising in the glitz and glamour of the 80’s, May Rosa is a talent unlike any other with haunting vocals that allow the Northern Irish artist to expand her wings in this industry.

We sat down with her to talk about all things music and her next steps in life.

You’re originally from Belfast? When you lived in London, what were the main differences you noticed living in London, compared to Belfast?

Yes, I am originally from Belfast but have lived in London on and off for around six years. I think that the biggest difference is how fast-paced and full life becomes when you live there; you have to learn how to juggle a lot. It’s a city full of artists, so I found it a lot easier to collaborate and meet people who shared my perspective. I saw other creatives being successful, which was really encouraging; it felt like my goals were within reach. Nothing beats Belfast humour though. 

I like having the contrast between both. London is stimulating, whereas Belfast is more chilled. I appreciate both in their own way. 

What is it about the 80’s that you love so much?

Banger, after banger, after banger…Sonic exploration and an artist’s individuality was fully embraced and celebrated in the 80’s, so the music is such a mixed bag; completely unique and iconic. I love the drama, with artists being unapologetically eccentric and performances, theatrical and over the top. I am obsessed with the soaring, catchy melodies and the full production; the drum machines, the gated reverb and the glittery synthesisers. 

I also love the visuals, especially the Deco Graphics; the gridlines, the glitch, neon magenta, purple and turquoise, the palm trees and the silhouettes. It’s so evocative. 

What’s your favourite part of the song-making process?

I genuinely love it all, but the best part for me is getting the master back and playing it for the first time through headphones whilst going for a walk. It’s so satisfying hearing the vision for the song brought to fruition. 

Your new track ‘Gresham Street‘ is considered a ‘bop’ by fans, is it weird to see people form opinions on a track you’ve worked on for so long?

Yeah it’s slightly weird, but definitely more up-lifting. It’s so interesting to see how people interpret and put their own slant on something that you’ve written. Gresham Street is descriptive of such a specific experience in my life, but a lot of people are saying they relate to the premise of it and feel nostalgic listening to it, which I think is amazing. 

Finally, what’s next for May Rosa?

I have a video coming out for Gresham Street in the next week, which is very extra, with me dressed up as a cherub and the Virgin Mary (as you do). I’ll also be releasing another single this year called Ceasefire Baby which is to spread awareness on the suicide epidemic in Northern Ireland. Six people on average commit suicide per week in NI, so this is a cause I feel very strongly about.