The sun is beating down on Hyde Park and the main stage is really heating up as American singer/songwriter Rozzi opens the show for Duran Duran, who are headlining a day of music that includes Nile Rodgers and CHIC, together with Aurora and Laura Mvula. In perfect harmony with her backing singers (who Rozzi tells us she only met three days ago) the songstress takes us on a journey of honesty and unmatched vocal ability. Not only a vocal powerhouse, Rozzi is quite the charmer, pausing between songs to tell the audience to spread the word that her performance is the best thing they’ve ever experienced. Laughing, Rozzi says, “tell all your friends who missed my show, that this has been better than your wedding”. Straight from the stage and to to her dressing room, Tallulah Syron caught up with the superstar in-the-making about her heroes, pre-show nerves and what she has planned for the rest of the year. With all the ingredients to take over the world, Rozzi is one to keep on your radar.
Tallulah: Rozzi, you’ve just come off stage, how are you feeling?!
Rozzi: Well, that was just so much fun! I didn’t really know what to expect, that was my first show in London. When you’re the first artist playing at a festival you never really know what you’re gonna get but I loved the energy. I just feel grateful.
T: The stage was HUGE, where you expecting it to be quite that big?
R: [Laughing] HUGE! I knew it was that big because I saw Adele on it last Friday, she was amazing. I’ve just seen a couple of photos of the band and I and we look so tiny on that massive stage.
T: But your voice sure was big enough to fill it! What was going through your mind just before?
R: I was nervous; I always get really nervous. Honestly, since I’ve been in London, I’ve been anxious leading up to the show. Just because I care so much, I always get obsessive about wanting things to go well but once you’re up there it’s just fun and I forget that I was nervous.
T: Do you have any pre-show rituals?
R: [Laughing] Other than anxiety?! I like to have some alone time, if possible, a long walk and a soothing vibe but frankly that’s not always possible so if not, I try to mentally give myself that.
T: So, this was your first London show, how did it compare to LA shows?
R: I have to say, the audience here was lovely! I could feel the crowd giving, when I made a joke or asked a question, I could feel the audience - who may or may not have had any idea who I was - eager to respond. I’ve opened for a lot of people and sometimes the crowd’s like, who’s this bitch, get off stage, you know? This wasn’t like that. I love English people, they always want to have fun, so I wasn’t surprised.
T: You did a cover of Alanis Morrissette “Hand in my Pocket”, I love that song. What made you choose it?
R: I just love Alanis Morrisette so much. One of my goals as an artist, perhaps my biggest goal as a songwriter is to tell the truth and to say the things I’m afraid to say. I like to be vulnerable and open; I don’t know any other way to write. I think she [Alanis Morrisette] is the queen of that, she’s inspired me since I was a little kid and made me feel understood. My biggest wish would be to make anybody else in the world feel understood through my songs. She’s a hero. I also feel like the world needs that song right now, to me it’s an anthem of optimism when optimism is not particularly popular or reasonable. The world is in flames, literally but there’s something about that song that’s like; we’re gonna be okay, everything’s a mess but we’re gonna be okay.
T: You really did it so well. Going back to heroes… you had Nile Rodgers on your EP!? You said on stage you guys have not actually met in person yet, so how did the collaboration come about?
R: My manger sent him [Nile Rodgers] one of my songs, he really liked it, so we started a friendship. It really was a lockdown friendship, we’d text, he’d call me, we’d talk and FaceTime occasionally.
T: Well, that must have been crazy, like one sec Nile Rodgers is just FaceTiming me!
R: Completely surreal! But also, incredibly validating. You know the movie ‘tick, tick BOOM!’ – it’s about the story of Johnathon Larson when he wrote the musical ‘Rent’, there’s this scene at the end when no one has picked up his musical and he feels like he’s a failure and then Stephen Sondheim leaves him a voice mail telling Johnathon how great he thought ‘Rent’ was. That moment in the movie wrecked me because as an artist there’s a lot of ups and downs and a lot of rejection and a lot of disappointment so when a hero of mine acknowledges me it just gives me a whole boost of belief. So other than it being an absolute honour and creatively so exciting it just felt so validating that he likes my music.
T: He’s obviously here today playing the Main Stage later, so will you be nervous to finally meet him face to face?
R: It will be kind of funny to meet him in person for the first time. I feel like I’ve already met him, also he’s famous, so I feel like I’ve known him forever.
T: That’s going to be super exciting. So, what’s next for you?
R: I leave tomorrow and I’m home to LA for 30 hours and then I go to do three dates for Joss Stone in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and San Diego. I did a show with her [Joss Stone] in Atlanta last month and it was a dream come true, I love her, she was my idol when I was in high school. I also have the deluxe version of my album coming out, I have another feature on there which is a surprise. I’m super excited about that, it’s out in August.
T: Amazing, well thank you so much for chatting with us! Finally, what’s your favourite F-WORD?
R: If I’m being honest, it would be the word, Free.