Rose Cora-Perry! Musician, Media Personality and Model
How did you end up doing what you do? Did your journey end up reflecting what you thought it would be?
I often joke that I didn’t pursue music so much as it “found” me and wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. While my parents enrolled me in classical voice lessons at a very young age and I had my first performance at four, I didn’t pursue the “industry” seriously until I formed my first band and founded my own record label at 15.
When I was initially approached by the guitarist with whom I co-founded my first band, it was honestly not the direction I had envisioned for myself whatsoever. In fact, prior to our chance meeting at a talent show at which I was performing, I had dabbled in the study of dance and acting so that I could potentially pursue things on broadway. My voice teacher at the time thought I should lean toward jazz. She’s actually the one responsible for the love affair I developed for Sinatra and Fitzgerald.
Though I had tried my hand at a variety of different instruments in my youth, I hadn’t found anything that resonated with me the same way singing did and so, during this time, I was still exclusively a vocalist. The reason I picked up guitar and further became the rock singer/songwriter I am today? Honestly, it was entirely the result of being “challenged” to do so.
I encountered a naysayer who told me I would NEVER aspire to anything more than a “mere singer”. Six months later, after practising my heart out for six hours a day till my fingers bled, I penned the entire album for my first band.
I relay this story because its lesson has proven impactful in my life time and time again, especially with respect to working within the music industry. It goes without saying that the “biz” is a treacherous place to navigate and it’s difficult at times to remain motivated because you have to undergo so much struggle to try and get anywhere.
What I learned from being “challenged” however is that there is always a POSITIVE to every negative experience and I try to instill that lesson as a consistent theme within my songs. In other words, while my music is often times inspired by difficulties I’ve undergone in my life, my aim is to leave listeners with a sense of hope that they too can overcome their crises as I have and that they are not alone in their dilemmas.
And so, while being told “I could NOT” very much hurt at the time, it also motivated me to prove “I CAN” and “I DID”.
Are there any significant challenges you had growing up – that you wish to share – and what helped you through?
Indeed – numerous ones. I was bullied throughout elementary and high school, so my self-esteem was extremely low for the vast majority of my youth. It is not an overexaggeration to say that I hated myself. I did. I struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts and an eating disorder.
My parents also got divorced when I was very young and their less than ideal marriage left me with little knowledge in terms of what constitutes a “normal” romantic relationship. This, coupled with my low self-esteem, led to some unfortunate choices in boyfriends which only made my view of myself worse.
While I had friends and family there offering me support – trying to help me get through it all – I honestly didn’t cope well (or really at all) until I found music.
It really helped just to put my feelings and experiences down on paper and be able to read them back and reflect. While many of my early “lyrics” remain without melodies, I needed to find a healthy and safe way to vent/express myself.
When I began to add the musical element to my words, my coping improved even further because I could “feel” the emotions I had experienced and was given a safe/healthy (that’s key!) venue (ie: on stage) to let it all out.
What’s even more powerful is when you discover others can relate to how you’re feeling and that your music has helped them get through their own difficulties.
Confidence doesn’t happen overnight and as women ours can still be shaken. What helps keep yours strong?
Like most women, I have my good and my bad days. Us artistic types are particularly sensitive and so a bad review or criticism still very much stings because what I do is so personal. With that said however, what I do also takes a great deal of courage and bravery – to write songs about my inner most thoughts, to wear my heart out on my sleeve, to perform my original compositions in front of crowds in an attempt to win them over – the likelihood of failure is far higher than the likelihood of success. And so, in times when I’m feeling down, I remind myself why I do this in the first place: love.
How one spends their time reflects what they truly value the most in their life. I LOVE being on stage. I LOVE singing. I LOVE writing. I LOVE connecting with people through the power of music. All of these things provide me with joy. And so, while I may not win over everyone (hey we’ve got a variety of genres for a reason!), that shouldn’t ever stop me (or anyone else) from living a life that provides fulfillment.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
The only person holding yourself back is YOU! Cheer up buttercup. It’s all a journey.
What FABULOUS words from Rose! Thank you for your honesty and words of wisdom. We can’t wait to see you at Bring It this year!
Rose Cora Perry / Musician. Media Personality. Model.
HER Records Inc.