INTRODUCING ROTHWELL words Sophie Emmett - photography Filipe Phitzgerard - fashion Aisha Jimoh
F Word Magazine had the great pleasure to catch up with Bristol-born, London-based artist ROTHWELL whose musical talent comes to add to the new wave of powerful female artists taking charge of the music and entertainment scene. With lyrics that encapsulate honesty and soulfulness, Rothwell isn't shy to speak up her mind and heart. We sat down with the young artist to find out more about her creative beginnings, what inspires her as an artist, and much more.
Sophie Emmett: Hi Rothwell, how are you? Rothwell: I’m very well thank you!
S.E: You’ve got a performance tonight at Hoxton Bar and Grill, what do you prefer performing on, the main stage or in an intimate setting? Rothwell: To be fair, I love both but I get way more nervous in an intimate setting and love the vibe you can create on a bigger stage.
S.E: Your recent release, Velvet Heart is a great love song. Is it based on a personal experience? Rothwell: Well, it is and it isn’t; it's more about friends and what you see them going through when they fall in love. I’m sure they’d say the same for me but it was written from the perspective of me watching my friends being foolish in love.
S.E: You wrote your first song at the age of 12, right? What was it about? Can you share an original lyric with us? Rothwell: (Laughs) I so wish I could! All I remember is going to school and asking the head of music if he’d record it onto tape for me at lunch break. I WISH, I had that recording somewhere.
S.E: Writing lyrics from a young age, how did you go about finding your unique sound? Rothwell: I think I’m definitely still learning what my style and sound are. There’s an aspect of having to live life so you have stories to tell but also having to write shit songs to get the good ones.
S.E: You are from Bristol, right? How was it growing up there? Rothwell: So much fun. My childhood was awesome and I’m so lucky to have grown up in a place like Bristol. Plenty of Cider was consumed and we had plenty of house parties.
S.E: Can you share a memorable or funny moment from your childhood? Rothwell: Apparently, I used to go into the garden, hunt out the snails and suck the slugs out of the shells and eat them. Not much has changed. (Laughs)
S.E: You were originally discovered through YouTube; is it intimidating to put your music up on such a big platform or is the community supportive? Rothwell: I think it’s amazing to be able to record something in your bedroom knowing there’s a possibility it could reach thousands of people. There has been the odd comment that’s made me wonder what people get out of being mean but then you have to remember they’re probably sat in a basement eating moldy nachos and don’t have anything better to do with their time. Most people have been lush though!
S.E: What was it like having the infamous Jazz club Ronnie Scott get in touch with you? Rothwell: (Smiles) I remember where I was at the time I got the email. I was sat in the library at Uni doing some God-awful essay on Madonna and I leaped out of my chair like a bloody buffoon in this silent Library.
S.E: How did your stage name ROTHWELL come about? Rothwell: Rothwell is actually my surname but it's what I got called at school so I’m pretty used to it.
Rothwell wears jacket URBAN OUTFITTERS; trousers MISSGUIDED; top and trainers FILA; rings CHUPI, SIF JAKOB JEWELRY
S.E: You supported Justin Bieber on his UK leg of the Purpose Tour. What an experience that must have been. What was the best thing about the whole experience? Rothwell: Yeah it was mad. I think the best thing was playing to that many people. The screaming girls were insane. I heard decibels I never knew existed.
S.E: Lots of female musicians have spoken up about being in such a male-driven industry; do you feel there is any disadvantage of being a young up-and-coming female artist? Rothwell: Of course there are disadvantages, it's tricky being a girl in this industry, full stop. It is interesting because as soon as a man becomes successful he is the ‘Boss’ yet when a woman takes charge and succeeds she’s often deemed a ‘Diva’ and a bitch because she takes charge and knows what she wants. Being an up-and-coming female artist has its tough moments but I’m actually really lucky to have a team made up of lots of strong-minded and strong-willed women who’ve helped me a lot.
S.E: Who would you love to have an ultimate ‘Girl Power’ track with? Rothwell: Oh my god, Beyoncé…Obviously!
S.E: Who are you currently most inspired by? Rothwell: I’m really inspired by Billie Eilish, Vera Blue, Emily Burns, God just all the galleys at the moment.
S.E: What summer festivals are you most excited to perform at? Rothwell: I’m really excited to be playing the Isle Of Wight festival and also I’m heading out to Switzerland to play Blue Balls on the main stage which should be awesome.
S.E: You have a great selection of tattoos if you could choose your favorite, which one would that be and why? Rothwell: I think my favorite one is my new wrist piece; it was a freehand design by an artist I’ve been following for a while. It's safe to say I’ve definitely got the bug.
Rothwell wears top URBAN OUTFITTERS; jeans BDG by URBAN OUTFITTERS; rings CHUPI, SIF JAKOB JEWELRY
S.E: A perfect day in Bristol consists of ... ? Rothwell: Okay so, brunch to start with, followed by a long old walk with the dogs, then obviously a pub lunch followed by a big old pre-drinks and a night out. Food and booze, food and booze.
S.E: If you could pick a country or city you would love to perform in, where would that be? Rothwell: Anywhere in America, literally I’ll sing anywhere. I’m desperate to get over there.
S.E: Three things your ride must have: Rothwell: Hummus, wine and whiskey. I’m very sophisticated.
S.E: Favorite food? Rothwell: Peanut Butter, hands down.
S.E: Favorite F-word? Rothwell: FANNY
To find out more about ROTHWELL's concert dates and latest releases, visit ROTHWELL.
Word: Sophie Emmett
Photography: Filipe Phiztgerard
Fashion: Aisha Jimoh
Hair and Makeup: Monnie K
Rothwell total look URBAN OUTFITTERS; jewelry CHUPI, SIF JAKOB JEWELRY
Rothwell wears jacket URBAN OUTFITTERS; trousers MISSGUIDED; top FILA
Rothwell wears top and trousers PLT; coat ASOS; jewelry CHUPI, SIF JAKOB JEWELRY