Our latest campus celebrity is a sophomore hailing from Grand Forks, North Dakota. You may recognize her as a member of Agnes A Cappella, but you may also recognize her from her Facebook page “Rosie Lorraine” and YouTube channel featuring her own works!
Rose Dennis ’15 not only sings, but also plays guitar and piano. Two of her songs on her YouTube account, including an original cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” and a self-written song titled “Settle”, have already garnered nearly a thousand views each. It is no secret this girl has talent, cultivated by four years of experience writing her own songs.
“I wrote my first song when I was a freshman in high school. I had been complaining to my dad about wanting to be a singer but knowing that it was unattainable, and he said ‘You know, writing songs could really give you a unique skill. If you write your own songs, you will have a power that not a lot of other singers possess.’ About 20 minutes after, my first song was finished. It was really really bad, but the first one is always the hardest! It was like opening a floodgate, and I have been writing ever since,” she said. “I also started playing piano when I was in kindergarten up until my senior year of high school and have played guitar since the beginning of my freshman year in college.”
Rose draws inspiration from every aspect of her life as material for her songs, but some are stronger factors than others. “The topics of my songs really depend on what is going on in my life or my friends’ lives — they are like my family, so what they feel, I feel too!”
Perhaps the ingenuity in Rose’s acoustic sound stems from her refusal to be locked into a specific genre.
“This sounds so cliche, but I really love every type of music, except screamo (or whatever they call it). I think the top five artists that you would find on my iPod would definitely be Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Sarah Bareilles, Mumford and Sons, and Passion Pit or Walk the Moon,” she said, all of which span various genres and musical styles. She hopes to create her own sound someday and work and produce music with others who are musically inspired. “I just want to create music that people can really relate to, but also really enjoy listening to. I guess I would want it to be described as “real” – real music that has a meaning and a purpose. It is guitar based and has a more acoustic, Ed Sheeran type feel,” Rose said.
Rose is adamant about making her dream of creating music a reality, claiming that her “ultimate (and very unrealistic) dream” would be to live in Nashville while writing songs and working closely with other passionate artists to create music that is relatable and will inspire or heal in some way. Her biggest aspiration would be to win a Grammy, but for now she would be content being paid to inspire people with her music. “The best part of the songwriting process is that feeling when the lyrics really click – when you know that you conveyed exactly what you were/are feeling in those two lines of words,” she said. “It’s like finally finding a puzzle piece after you’ve been searching for a long time. So satisfying!”
In order to make it in the music industry, artists must have a significant amount of courage, which is why her friends’ and family’s support is so important to Rose. “They are the absolute most important thing to me in my life,” said Rose. “I turn to my family and friends for honestly everything, and I’m so thankful to have those people by my side!”
For inspiration, Rose lives by a quote that she carries with her in her notebook everywhere she goes to help her through difficult situations: ” ‘Be not afraid of life; believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create that fact.’ A lot of the time, I feel like humans can be paralyzed by fear or anxiety, whether it be about a test or a performance, or even trying to make a tough decision for the future. If you let your fear control you, then you stand immobile and unable to see the small joys in life. So I just try to believe that life will take its course and also believe that if I work hard to make my dreams come true, good things will come.”