Featured Influential Individual - ROZEN
Ever since I could speak all I could think about was being a singer. A star.
It's safe to say that music has its way of making us feel some type of way. It's even more of a trip when a specific genre or a certain style can bring you back to some point. R&B is one of those music genres that can take you back in time, bring you down memory lane and just have you reminiscing.
Our featured Influential Individual does exactly that. She's one that shares her life's experiences through her lyrics. There's also a certain soul to her voice that allows her audience to go deep in thought while listening to her songs (I know it did for me!). Growing up in multiple places has given her much perspective on different things, and it shows through her music. Being a huge advocate for raising awareness against domestic violence is something that you'll definitely hear throughout her work as well.
We introduce to you, ROZEN.
The basics: Who is Rozen? Where did you grow up and where do you currently reside?
Rozen is a multi-talented artist; an independent R&B singer and domestic violence keynote speaker. Rozen is an artist, a sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, a Virgo, a dog mom, a creator, a child of God, world traveler, a foodie, a human. I’d say I’m an empath who loves human connection & thought provoking conversation. I have a very unique upbringing and story which I believe comes out in my music and artistry. I grew up in multiple places, I was born in the Philippines but moved to Africa when I was three. Then move to Bombay India followed by New Delhi India, Thailand, Nigeria, London, Michigan, and now Los Angeles, CA.
It’s hard to imagine you having any spare time. You seem like you’re always on the go. But when you do, what are some things you enjoy doing?
I definitely don’t have a lot of free time on my hands but when I do I run away to the closest beach. I can spend hours on a beach. There’s something so soothing about being on the sand and listening to the waves crash. Traveling became one of my first loves because of how frequent we moved as a family. Marveling at the history & culture or different countries is my favorite. I love traveling the world, sightseeing, taking my dog to the park, watching movies, eating exotic cuisine, spending quality time with friends whether that’s grabbing a drink or going to an “escape room.” When I want to relax, I’d get a Thai massage, eat some food, read a book & listen to bossanova music.Congrats on everything that you’ve accomplished so far! You had quite the upbringing, having studied in multiple countries! Was it a hard transition going from one place to another?
It actually was not hard transitioning from one country to the next simply because it was all that I was used to. I never knew the life of living in a country for more than two years. It was always something in the back of my mind – I knew that I would be moving soon, don’t get too attached. It wasn’t hard at the time but this has had an after effect on me as an adult.A lot of the Influential Individuals we interviewed in the past had a different career path before being where they are now. Was sounds and music always part of the plan? How did this come about?
Ever since I could speak all I could think about was being a singer. A star. My dreams never consisted of anything other than being on stage in front of thousands of people, my name in lights, having adoring fans, having my parents in the front seat of my concerts. I literally never dreamt of anything else – no nursing caps, no briefcase, nothing else other than the stage, lights, and the camera. It all began when I was three years old and I picked up my first microphone. Apparently I let out a few notes good enough to convince my father that we had “a singer in the family”.
If anything, music was always a part of the plan and is still part of the plan because I definitely see myself expanding outside of my musical talents.Did you ever come across certain family members or friends who criticize your career choices? What were their objections and how did you handle it?
To be honest I haven’t had any family members that despised my career choices. If anything, they expressed concern about how I would struggle financially but no one ever doubted my capabilities as an entertainer. I have been blessed with a family that has always cheered me on since day one and always only provided constructive criticism that I gladly take. Despite a few of my family members worries, I advised them that there would be no other way to live my life other than through my talents & with a purpose. I’d be forever unhappy otherwise.
What did you have to give up/sacrifice to follow your dream? If you could go back and change one thing, knowing what you know now, what would you have done different?
I constantly have to sacrifice quality time and/or big moments with loved ones in order to be present in my career. This can be big moments in life/events or simply time in the day spent on my career versus FaceTime calls to family members. If I could be the perfect artist and perfect family member and girlfriend there would need to be 50 hours in a day in order for me to accomplish that.
Honestly, I think about that sometimes but I might rethink going to university and move straight to Los Angeles after high school. I believe that I learned a lot at Western Michigan University but I lost key years of my youth studying about a major that I don’t even apply to my life when I could’ve been getting a head start on my music career. But everything happens for a reason.Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Five years from now, I see myself established in every way. A house, engaged or married, traveling, going on tour, acting in movies/TV, and definitely being a TV personality. I see myself being at the top of my game in 5 years alongside artists like Jhene Aiko, H.E.R., Kehlani, Ella Mai. Performing at award shows, being nominated for best new artist, and sharing all my blessings with my loved ones and family. No matter what, I know I will be doing what I love through whatever creative avenue speaks to me at that given point in time.
Define a go-getter.
A go-getter is someone who paves their own way and doesn’t wait for anyone else to tell them what to do or how to do it. A go-getter doesn’t know the answer, but will find the answers it takes to accomplish any dream aspire to have. Go-getters are people who pull their greatest inspirations from their greatest “why”. We are the ones that do not conform. We find ways to propel forward and keep moving past every obstacle. We are the ones that already have the work done and the preparations ready for whenever “that opportunity” arises. We are the ones who don’t wait.
What (or who) is your greatest inspiration?
Aside from my father, honestly, it’s other people. Other artists. I love hearing every artist’s story of struggle; how they got there, what they’ve lost, what they’ve had to sacrifice. When you stop and listen to the amount of heart people have for their artistry, it inspires you to keep going and to meet them at the top just so you can one day look to them and say, “we made it.” Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, Jhene Aiko, the list goes on. Other than artists, I’d definitely say my father. He is a go-getter and has shown me the definition of what it means to be a go-getter throughout the course of my life. He showed me that no matter what upbringing you had, you can always make something of yourself. He created such a beautiful and blessed life for my and my siblings with the hope that we wouldn’t have to grow up in the same situation as him. He was a man of his word and I hope I can deliver on my hopes and dreams the same way he has.
You’re talking to a group of admirers and people who find you as an inspiration. What is the best advice you can give them about following their dreams?
The best advice I can give about following your dreams is this: First, have a dream. Dream big but with a purpose. Find your “why”, find the reason that gets you up in the morning and use that as creative fuel to drive you all the way to accomplishing that dream. Study the greats of your dream. Be great at what you do and always know that you have endless amounts of room to grow, so don’t get too comfortable in your craft but push yourself to be better than you were yesterday. You are your greatest competition.
And there you have it. As Rozen says, never settle, even in your own craft. Always be a student and strive for greatness. Figure out your "why" and keep your eye on the prize.
Follow ROZEN on Instagram: @officialrozen