London based and Spanish born, electronic artist ROJAZ releases her latest single 'Gravitating'. With its heavy synthesis and gritty textures carefully paired, ROJAZ embodies a rawness showcasing her ability to create atmosphere through her narrative songwriting.
Liquid speaks with ROJAZ about what inspires her creatively and her feelings on the new single.
Listen to 'Gravitating' below
Hi ROJAZ, how have you been?
Not too bad thank you for asking! I’ve been trying to use the time we have now to work on more music and creative projects.
When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?
I have always wanted to be in the performing arts world in some shape or form. When I was young I used to create choreographies with my friends or pretend I was singing at my own concert. Being an artist was always a dream of mine but it seemed like such an unachievable goal. But on my last year of university I started writing my own songs and fell in love with composing. I realised I wanted to be making my own music. That was when I was 21.
For those who are unfamiliar with your music, how would you describe your sound?
I would say I make music with detailed atmospheric instrumentation, soft and airy vocals, and detailed nostalgic lyrics that play with rhythm. It is, at its core, electronic music with some RnB and Jazz influences and inspired by Kllo, FKA Twigs, James Blake, and Billie Eilish.
Congratulations on your latest release, ‘Gravitating’, how are you feeling now that it’s out in the world?
Thank you! Really excited to be honest, I think up until now I’ve been a bit more safe in my music choices and haven’t allowed myself to explore my creativity fully. Gravitating is the first of my more experimental releases and marks the beginning of a more explosive, electronic, and alternative sound to songs. I’ve absolutely loved this song since the moment I wrote it so I’m incredibly excited that its out in the world and even more happy by the positive feedback it’s getting.
Tell us about the single, what was the creative process behind it?
I think I’ve settled into a creative process which is quite natural and collaborative. I wrote Gravitating last February in a session with Henry Long, the main producer of the track. I always like to begin my sessions by talking with whoever I’m working with about whatever is
going on in my life. So that’s how I started that session. I tend to write as a way of expressing emotions, almost as a therapeutic tool. Letting my producer know what’s going on in my life usually sets the tone to the session and allows me to be more honest in my lyrics. After that we listened to a few songs we’d been feeling lately and, with inspiration and a clear idea of what we wanted to express, we began creating. We found the chords, Henry began a beat, and I settled into writing the lyrics. For Gravitating, the lyrics and direction of the song came quite naturally and relatively fast. After that it was a back and forth process of refining the sound with Henry at the lead of production.
How has your creative process changed since the pandemic, where are you getting your inspiration from these days?
The pandemic has definitely forced a shift from in-person sessions to more online writing sessions. Personally, I have found the shift to be quite hard and still prefer, where possible and safe, to meet in person with my producers. However, in cases where songs already had demos or were quite advanced in their creative stage it hasn’t been as hard to adapt. The pandemic has actually made me improve my production skills and in many ways has expanded my creativity. I’m actually developing the production of my own demos a lot more than I used to.
My inspiration sources haven’t changed, it’s always whatever I have going on in my mind or in my life. Although I’ve started listening to a lot more experimental RnB and Afro inspired tracks lately.
What are you currently listening to?
James Blake. Always James Blake. But also a lot more from artists which blend genres such as Jaz Karis, Sevdaliza, Yebba, Kyson, and The internet.
Lately I have the tracks “Soweto Blues” by Juls, Busiswa, and Jaz Karis and “Fuck yo feelings” by Robert Glasper and Yebba on repeat. I’d definitely recommend listening to those two tracks if you haven’t already, they are incredibly smooth and have some stunning vocals on them.
What else can we expect from ROJAZ in 2021?
So much. I really took a step back this year to try and define my sound more and play with creativity. I have been working on a conceptual EP with raw lyrics and an increasingly suave sound which heads in a more experimental electronic direction. I’m currently aiming to make it an audio-visual project with music videos that integrate the concept and depict the connecting narrative. In fact I recently shot the first of the music videos in my home town of Barcelona and the visuals are looking stunning. In short, expect more creativity and experimentation, honest and silky vocals, and an overall step-up in my image and sound.