Rising Star: Irish singer Valerie Rose

Valerie Rose Pic: Diffusion Lab

We caught up with singer Valerie Rose as she chats about her music career and where her grá for songwriting came from.

The 18-year-old Dublin alt-pop singer made her breakthrough on the Irish music scene in late 2022 with her debut track My Head. And since then her music has appeared on TV shows like Made in Chelsea.

Here’s what the Rising Star had to say…

Hey Valerie, how are you?

I’m good. I just had a gig that went really well. So I’m good.

Tell us, how did you get into music?

Ever since I was a small child all I did was sing. I drove my brother absolutely demented. He has a rule now that when I’m over at his house I can’t sing. But it all started when I was really small. I would dance and sing and put on little performances for my mam and dad. Then I would make them clap! [Laughs] I took piano lessons and I met Lauryn Gaffney who became my vocal teacher. She was super encouraging for my music and developing it. Just before COVID I started teaching myself guitar. I had written music before that but once I started learning guitar chords all I wanted to do was write. I wrote every day! I realised that music is what I want to do. There is no other plan. This is it.

You obviously have a great support behind you…

My mam and dad have always been really supportive. I know a lot of people have the struggle where they don’t have the support. But my parents told me, “You do what you want to do. But you do it to your fullest.” They’re very supportive and encouraging. And they also tell me if I need to be doing more. Which is really helpful.

Pic: Fnatic Headshots

But you’re also going to college. You’re in BIMM right now. Why did you decide to do that rather than go straight into the music industry?

I wanted to have that experience of going to college. BIMM is the most perfect place for me. I love learning about music. I get to meet a lot of musicians as well there.

What is it like releasing the music you’ve written?

Sometimes. I’ve definitely written a lot of songs that I’m really proud of. A lot of the time the songs are written about things I’ve gone through and really personal things, so putting that out into the world is a bit daunting. Sometimes I worry that people won’t relate to it. But sometimes I just make the meaning up for my songs. Those songs are easier to release.

And hearing them in TV shows!

It’s completely crazy. It’s surreal. I’ve had two songs on Made in Chelsea. I got my entire family and we all sat down to watch the TV. It’s really cool. There is no other way to describe it.

But nothing can compare to live performance, we’re sure. Tell us about that feeling.

I have to say before going on stage I’m always nervous. But I think that’s completely normal who wouldn’t be nervous? But once I’m on the stage it’s just my time to have fun. And do the best I can. Then afterwards I’m really proud of myself.

You grew up performing so did that prepare you a bit for being on stage?

I did music competitions. I would perform in musicals for years and years and years. It’s very familiar to me. But now it’s different, because it’s my own music and no one is telling me how I need to perform things. Which is actually even more scary because it’s really you, you’re not pretending to be someone else.

Ireland, obviously, has a bustling music industry. What is that like to be a part of?

It’s really nice. Once I got into the industry, I realised that there are so many new people to discover and listen to. I love that there’s a big musical community in Ireland.

Is there any artist who inspires you?

I love a lot of different artists. I don’t ever listen to an artist and think I want to sound like them. I love Conan Gray and I listen to a lot of Billie Eilish. There are so many people who are amazing but I don’t know how much they influence me.

Tell us what’s next…

We’re looking at releasing an EP. I want to build it up first. Obviously, I would love to have an album, but I think I’ll do an EP first. Dip my toe in and see what it’s like. I love proper bodies of work. That’s the plan. And more gigs!

How do you decide what songs make it onto an EP?

Usually, it’s a group decision. My latest release is called September so that obviously had to be released in September! I have input but I think it’s really important to have a group decision on these things. I’m just one person so I like to ask my team, my friends, my parents what they’re feeling. And sometimes there’s a song I love but it just doesn’t feel right to be the next release or to fit in somewhere.

Before we let you go, what’s on your bucket list?

I’d love to play big stages and headline my own show. I’d love to open up for a musician I really admire – cough, cough, Conan Gray. Honestly my bucket list is just do music forever!

Check out Valerie Rose on here.

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