At AWAL, we love sharing our artists’ stories so their paths — as individual and unique as the music they make — inspire others to pursue their own music-career goals.
Here in our “My Journey” series, our members share their stories — the challenges they’ve faced, how they’ve overcome them, the milestones they’ve achieved, and where they hope the future leads.
This week, we’re speaking with Los Angeles-based electro-pop trio RÓSA.
Can you tell us a bit about how you got started as an artist?
I [Will Winters, singer/songwriter] grew up in a house full of music. My dad would play the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, and so much more all throughout my childhood.
However, I didn’t start playing until junior high when I wanted girls to think I was cool at my church’s youth group, so I picked up a guitar. While I did learn how to play church music, I also started writing my own songs immediately.
I just kept going and tried to play in front of people as much as I could and the more music I discovered, the more expansive my vision became for what I could do.
I’ve spent the last decade figuring out who I am and who I want to be! It’s incredibly exciting but also frustrating. While I hope I always feel the freedom to change and be whoever the fuck I want to be and do whatever the fuck I want to do, I believe I have discovered something core to who I am as an artist.
I am a young man narrowing in on who I am and I’ve never been more excited and afraid as I am right now. I hope I’m at the beginning stage of my creative journey.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced so far?
The biggest challenge by far is my propensity to allow my culture to alter my vision and creative spirit. While no man is an island and everything we do is a part of a conversation with our cultural moment, I feel as though I am often in a house of mirrors and everything that is being done is a slight variation of something else.
I have struggled with my creative individuation, that cliché of struggling to find your own voice. I think I am beginning to move beyond it though. We’ll see.
What have been some of the most rewarding moments of your career so far?
The most rewarding moments are the times of intimacy I experience with our audience. There has been a few moments where I have felt understood and can see that they do as well.
I got a text once from a friend that had a precise time of a song of ours. She just texted me the song title and the minute and second of the moment. When I listened to it, my heart felt so full because it was a very intentional moment that meant a lot to me and that I was so proud of. Times like that are so rewarding.
I think even more rewarding though is when the other guys in the band really understand what I’m going for and really believe in it. I respect them so much that it feels good to be heard in that way as well.
Any major milestones on the horizon?
We are writing our first full-length and recently booked a headlining gig to celebrate our upcoming EP at the Satellite in LA on February 23. Also, our new single, “Stranger,” was just released.
It’s too early to predict what is going to happen and when, but we have never been more inspired and focused to put something out that truly feels like us.
What are your ultimate goals for your music career?
I honestly want to be rewarded for doing exactly what I want to do. That might sound so strange, but I honesty think I’d hate massive success doing something I didn’t feel deeply about. On the other hand, I’d also feel shitty doing exactly what I wanted while no one gave a fuck.
Who we are and what we do is such a conversation with our outside world. It’s a challenging, yet important, reminder. So I want to do exactly what I want to do and I want to be worshiped for it.
How has your experience been with AWAL so far?
AWAL has been an amazing support for our band — shout out, Michele! We like AWAL even more because their business is evolved and accessible on our phones. The App is dope and is always notifying us when we made a new playlist or whatever it may be.
The best outlets for artists to learn from are from other artists! Sign up to the AWAL Weekly and see how AWAL artists like RÓSA are conquering the grind and finding success!