Artist: Esther Rose
Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana, and sometimes Taos, New Mexico
Latest album: How Many Times
Personal nicknames: Dayfire, Wild Rose
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
Seeing as how there haven’t been any stages as of late, my favorite recent performance was singing “Handyman” with my nephew Cedar. Cedar is three years old and he knows every single word.
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
The moment that I knew I wanted to be a guitar player/songwriter was on my 28th birthday when I wrote a song called “The Game” on piano. ‘Til then I had been a supporting member of my partner’s band, but that morning I wrote a breakup song. I remember thinking I need to learn how to play the guitar immediately and I did.
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
In the studio I set up a good-luck altar with little treasures from the past year; pretty rocks from significant places, jewelry, photos, whatever has been close to me for the past year of songwriting I will take off and turn it over to the altar. It is grounding to look over and be reminded of why I wrote the songs, or where I was, or who I was with. I keep a candle burning the entire time. It gives me great satisfaction to blow out the candle at the end of a long day, signifying that the work is over.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
Writing “When You Go” was tough. My songwriting golden rule is “no bullshit.” I will write and scratch out lines to get closer to what’s really going on. With this song, I wrote the first verses and then froze. The song starts as this kind of self-assured, “I’m getting over you” song. I was scared to go to the no bullshit place to see what was below the surface. I sent it to my best friend and songwriter soulmate Julia and she urged me to finish it. The next day I wrote the chorus and I remember crying, crying, crying and then crying some more. It’s a very primal feeling; please take me with you.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
I want to have a glass of wine and a cigarette with Joni Mitchell. I don’t even smoke anymore.
Photo credit: Akasha Rabut