Five Minutes with Rosie Darling: The pop singer-songwriter putting emotions first with dreamy ballads

HUNGER catches up with the artist following the release of her new song ‘Justify’.

Singer-songwriter Rosie Darling is following in the footsteps of some of the world’s favourite stars. Her knack for lyricism rings similar to the innate talents of Taylor Swift or Olivia Rodrigo, and Darling is proving herself another mouthpiece of this generation – revelling in her emotion and layering delicate vocals over light acoustic guitar. The latest tune, ‘Justify’, sees Darling truly come into her own in her songwriting journey, with this dreamy ballad diving into the way we forgive toxic behaviours to save those precious glimpses of romance.

Since 2021, the Boston-born, LA-based singer has been walking down this windy path of songwriting, with a dedicated group of listeners following as she prepares to release her debut LP later this year. Her first-ever EP Coping kickstarted her rise with over 165 million global streams. Now, the latest chapter ‘Justify’ finds a new path for Darling in between moments of empowerment and delicate introspection. And as her sonic palette expands, so do her visuals: “I wanted to visually show what it’s like to sit with your feelings and process your emotions by escaping into nature for a bit,” says Darling. “I find nature to be healing, and I love how by the end of this video, there is a beautiful field scene with tons of light pouring in.”

Here, on the cusp of releasing her new song, we catch up with Darling about her recent tour with Ashley Kutcher, the best songwriting advice she has ever been given, and what sort of different sounds we can expect later this year…

Congratulations on your new single, ‘Nail In The Coffin,’ which features Boy In Space; how did you two link up for the track?  

Thank you! I have been a huge Boy In Space fan for years and have been dreaming of collaborating with him forever! We work with many similar producers and artists, and I think, somewhere along the way, someone suggested that we’d sound great together on a song. We ended up having a session over Zoom while I was in LA and he was in Sweden, and we decided we needed to give our fans another emotional breakup ballad because that’s what we do best. 

What was the inspiration behind the track?

A lot of times in sessions, we end up diving right into things we are going through or ideas and themes we have for songs, and I remember after we got to know each other a bit more on Zoom, we realised we had a lot of similar experiences and ideas that resonated between both of us in our own ways. We know our fans love our songs because they are emotional, and so having both of us on a song was able to lend itself to writing something with two perspectives of a breakup. I love writing duets because I think getting both sides of the story from each artist in the song adds another layer that you don’t always get in songs where there is only one artist’s side of the story being written about. 

Do you ever feel nervous about releasing new music into the world?

Sometimes! I feel like I have gotten to know my fans and listeners over the years, and I know what they like to hear from me, but sometimes when I am trying something new or experimenting with a different sound than they’re familiar with hearing from me I get a little nervous about how well they will receive it! But either way, I always remind myself that I am writing music for myself and that not everyone will always love it, and that’s okay. I know my songs will find whoever is in need of hearing them. 

Writing about your own personal issues and being introspective is something you seem fairly comfortable with within your music. Has it always been something you’ve had the confidence to do?

I like to draw inspiration from certain emotions that I experience or have experienced in my life; however, I also understand that creative writing is a tool that you can play with to paint a larger picture for someone listening, even if they don’t know my story on a super personal and detailed level. I love writing and using super specific lyrics because it allows the listener to relate to the experience in a way that feels really personal while also protecting my own experience. I truly love how music can relate to anyone and feel that no matter what I am singing about, whether it is personal or not, it can FEEL personal to a listener. I know for me, sometimes I hear songs, and I don’t even quite know the story behind them, but there is just a special feeling in the production or melodies that capture me and keep me listening. I have always been somewhat comfortable sharing my emotions in writing because I think part of being an artist and sharing your art is allowing yourself to be vulnerable, even if it is scary! I do like to maintain a sense of privacy, though, when speaking about songs because it really is important to me that the songs relate to my listeners and fans more than it is that they know every single detail about my personal life. I think finding that balance is key because I really want my listeners to relate and find their own stories in my songs. 

How do you get yourself out of a songwriting block if you’ve ever experienced one?

Honestly, I just try to write! Sometimes I need to get in the room with other creatives to get ideas flowing, but usually, once we start something, a spark is lit again, and we end up writing something fast! Sometimes I like to start ideas on my own, but overall, one of the best parts about being an artist is that you meet so many deeply talented people who share your vision and understand your goals as a creator. I can’t think of anything better than getting to write songs with some of my closest friends and sharing them with the world.

What would you say has been the most surreal moment of your career so far?

I think going on tour! I had the privilege of touring with another extremely talented artist, Ashley Kutcher, and it was sort of my first real experience touring around the country. I was opening the show and didn’t know what to expect in terms of who would understand my songs or if anyone would really know who I was, but to my surprise, they did, and they were singing along to every song! I released a large portion of my music just around when the pandemic began, so I didn’t get out there on the road to promote my music right away, so I didn’t fully know which cities or how many people would actually go out of their way to come to the show not only for Ashley but also for me! After every show, I got to meet a lot of fans and take some pictures or sign merch, and that was really special getting to meet so many people who have been listening to my songs for years that I didn’t even know! 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

I get asked this a lot, and I feel like my answer changes over time depending on where I am and what I am doing at the time! Right now, I feel like the best advice to anyone in music or chasing something that feels scary is to just show up. There were some nights, even on my tour I wasn’t feeling 100% or my nerves were getting the best of me, but then I did the show, and it was one of the better performances of the tour. You don’t want to over-rehearse, and I think showing up is half the battle, and the other half is letting go of the little things that go wrong. You are likely the only one who will notice the little errors, and it makes you more human when you make mistakes, even if it’s on a stage in front of hundreds of people. Everyone is there to support you and cheer you on, and anyone knows that things can go wrong in live music. I think it comes down to how you handle it. If you handle things with confidence and patience, then everyone else will follow your lead. Everything is always going to be okay, and you are your own worst critic, so trying not to be so hard on yourself helps a lot! 

If you could tour alongside anyone, who would it be and why?

This is a hard question! I’d be grateful to tour with anyone. It’s such a great opportunity to get out there and see your fans face to face and get experience doing shows! I love artists like Gracie Abrams and Holly Humberstone, so maybe some artists in their lane of music would be cool. 

What song are you playing to get a party started?

‘I’m So Tired’ by Troye Sivan and Lauv!! I swear this is my go-to song when I have control of the music. Everyone loves this song. It is so catchy and immediately makes people want to dance and cry at the same time, which is my vibe.

What’s the goal for Rosie Darling?

I hope to continue making music that I love and sharing it with the world! Having a career in music has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and I feel like I am on my way! 

What can we expect from you for the rest of the year?

More music soon and lots of fun and exciting projects. I don’t want to give anything away just yet… but there is a lot happening! 

WriterElla Chadwick