Rozzi Breaks Down Every Track on Her 'Feminine, Natural' Berry EP

We've always loved singer-songwriter, pianist and producer Rozzi's soulful and vulnerable approach to her music, but we think her new EP, Berry, out today, is her best collection of songs yet.

We knew it was something special from our very first listen—and of course, we just had to go straight to the source to learn more about it. We got the chance to chat with Rozzi all about Berry, breaking down how these gorgeous songs came to be, and what their powerful lyrics mean to her.

Berry

Rozzi: To be honest, I stole the name from my boyfriend! He and his brother have a band and they were considering naming their album Berry, and then I literally stole it! In my defense, it was just the perfect name for this body of work. Berries to me are rich, sexy, textured, feminine, natural. All things I hope my music is too.

These songs are all very personal, like all my songs are. They're raw, emotional and rich. The record is full of vulnerability and I hope my vulnerability empowers others to be vulnerable themselves. That it makes them feel strong. That it makes them want to cherish, celebrate and share their emotions and their stories.


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'I Guess I'm the Bad Guy Now'

Rozzi: I start all my songs as poems—I have a hard time hearing melodies without lyrics to guide me. The words came to me at a coffee shop on Melrose and I brought them to my great friend and constant collaborator, Eric Leva, to finish it. He showed me Stevie Nicks' demo of her song "Gypsy"—it's just her voice and Rhodes. We decided to make this song the same way.

It's kind of dark, to be honest! I wrote it when I was exhausted over a breakup. I had cared about it for too long and I was tired of carrying it around. It was making me kind of icy to the people I was attempting to date. The song is me realizing I wasn't ready to be with anyone new.

Rozzi's Favorite Lyric

"When love has only hurt me and changed me in the end, I could do the same to you." I think that lyric captures the whole feeling—the anger I was feeling towards men who had treated me badly. It's another way of saying, "hurt people, hurt people."

 

'Consequences' ft. Nile Rodgers

Rozzi: Finally, a dance song! I wrote it with Jackie Young, Pretty Sister and Robert Gillies and finished it with producers George Moore and the legendary Nile Rodgers. I can't believe I got to make a song with Nile. He's such a hero. We spoke over the phone a bunch during the process because it was recorded in the depths of COVID. His solo at the end is one of my favorite moments on the whole record.

This song is a continuation of "I Guess I'm The Bad Guy" in that, lyrically, it tells a similar story, just with a smile on its face. I remember going out with a couple guys and feeling completely detached—just not over my ex at all. I would come home and tell my friend that they were fun, cute and nice but I felt nothing. I was just incapable of opening up to them. I wrote this song as a kind of warning to them—a flashing sign that I wasn't ready!

Rozzi's Favorite Lyric

"I'll hold you in my heart forever and keep you like a grudge." I love how, at first, it seems like a sweet message—like "I'll love you forever." But the word "grudge" makes it feel eerie, like something isn't quite right.

 

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'fllow'

Rozzi: I wrote this song when I was falling in love with my boyfriend. I had this lyric, "Thank god I didn't meet you 10 years ago," and I remember Eric Leva, who I wrote it with, saying, "Shouldn't it be 'I wish I met you 10 years ago?'" And I was like, "No, that's the whole point!" Timing is everything and I am so grateful I didn't meet the right person at the wrong time. Now I'm ready for this kind of love. We wrote it on Zoom and I recorded it in my apartment. I tried cutting it again in a real studio later, but it didn't have the same feeling, so we kept the original, live vocal.

It's very special to me. When I sing it, I see myself on the lawn with my boyfriend, trapped at the house because of quarantine, feeling like I was 16 and experiencing the kind of relationship I used to see in movies. Just totally teenage and obsessive.

Rozzi's Favorite Lyric

"Both hands on my face, makes my skin break out for days." Nothing feels more like teenage love than that!

 

'Berry'

Rozzi: This song came so quickly. I wrote the poem in like 20 minutes, and finished the song with Charlie Snyder and Wendy Wang in about an hour. Wendy basically finished the production the same day—with her epic clarinet solo. I wanted it to feel like a folk song with the repeating refrain at the end of each section—"First knew I loved you on Berry Drive." That gave it a sweet and simple feeling, a true love song.

It's one of my favorites. I love how simple the production is, how the emphasis is on the words. I love that it's a gooey love song but it's still honest—it still references the realities of a relationship and the fights and issues that come with deep love.

Rozzi's Favorite Lyric

"I said I hate how time is passing, so you made it stop with your hands dancing on me till they hit the spot." I'm proud of how it's sweet and sexy—it feels real.


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'Rock Bottom'

Rozzi: If grief comes in stages, this song is anger. I was on tour when I had a very frustrating phone call with my ex-boyfriend. I felt so mad that I was still letting myself be affected by him and our past. I remember walking all over Chicago listening to "Gives You Hell" by The All-American Rejects and writing lyrics. It felt like the song was busting out of me—I couldn't wait to get home and finish it with Wendy Wang, Paris Carney and Charlie Snyder. George Moore finished the production in London.

I really made this song for myself—to talk myself out of how I was feeling. I do that with all my songs, but I really needed this one. I still listen to it when I feel hurt by someone. I hope it can empower other people the same way—to lead them from heartbreak to anger and eventually to acceptance.

Rozzi's Favorite Lyric

"I know what's waiting for you when the glitter stops falling." It's a pretty bitter lyric. The whole song is. I was very much a scorned lover writing it, but I think those kinds of words are necessary to share. It's one of the reasons I love Alanis Morisette and Beyoncé so much—they're not afraid of their anger and the ugliness of it.

 

'Clouds'

Rozzi: The concept came to me on a road trip with my dad. I was on the brink of really letting go of my past relationship. Looking out the window, I remember thinking how magical clouds are—how they look like one thing from the ground, but are something else entirely when you fly through them. How, in a way, they're not really there at all. I took the idea back to Los Angeles where I finished the song with Pretty Sister and Charlie Snyder. George Moore finished the production in London.

For me, the song is a release. I'm really stubborn. When I want something, I will hold onto it forever, even when it doesn't serve me. I'm a Taurus! This song is the last dying breath of hope that a bad relationship would work out. It's me finally letting go.

Rozzi's Favorite Lyric

"From the ground it's like a dream, but it's never what it seems." How many times did I believe this person was changing? That this time it would work. Maybe I'm more proud of what that lyric represents than the lyric itself. I'm proud of myself for realizing "it's never what it seems"!


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Want to know what else we're loving this week? Click HERE to read our interview with Bella Dose on their hot new track, "Bite."