Blake Rose is your new favorite artist, all the way from Australia. The 22-year-old arrives with a refreshing new sound, influenced by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, and The 1975. A creative in his own right, he writes and producers all of his own music — a rare sighting in today’s oversaturated music industry.
With the guitar being the driving link between all his songs, Blake prides himself in his sonically-appealing, soulful ballads, inspired by real-life experiences we all face in this thing called life. Not only are the lyrics profound, but they’re relatable to the masses with inevitable healing power.
So far, Blake has yet to miss. His new release, “Ordinary People,” follows the success of “Gone” and “Lost,” the latter of which has been streamed over 35 million streams since its release and continues to climb. The visual was filmed in his hometown of Perth, with his bandmates being friends from his university. Now, he returns with a live rendition of “Ordinary People,” which hails 2 visuals.
Currently under the same management as Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, there’s no doubt in the world Blake is on his way to be one of the greats. Flaunt caught up with Blake via Zoom, who was on his hotspot located in a country town in Perth, Australia. Read below as we discuss his upbringing overseas, the creation of “Lost,” the “Ordinary People” visuals, and more!
Being from Australia, what were you seeing growing up?
My parents were super supportive of me the whole way through. A very supportive household, they’re always encouraging me to try new things. Whenever I was doing something out of the ordinary, they didn’t care. They weren’t worried about my future and how this would look when I was 30 years old and still trying to make it. They were letting me be a kid, letting me explore my creativity which I’m really thankful for. I used to want to be an actor or a film director when I was younger, so I’d be making these films at home. That was the first “dip the toes in the water” of being a creator. They were used to that feeling so when I decided to be a musician, it was a little less of a shock.
What were your aspirations in film?
For a good 2 years, I wanted to be at first a film director, then an actor. It faded very rapidly actually. As soon as I discovered music, my passion for that wasn’t even there. It’s very interesting because you come around filming music videos, and it all reconnects.
When did you realize you could do music for a living?
As soon as I started making a decent amount of money busking. Until that point, it was very up in the air. To be honest, I really wasn’t thinking about turning it into a career at that stage because I was only 14, trying to make some poppin’ money. I started to go busking, making $300 dollars a time. I quickly caught on if I was to do this a lot, I could definitely sustain myself if I needed to. That’s all I really hoped for: to be able to sustain myself at home, afford to travel and progress my career.
Talk about creating “Lost,” that was a big record for you.
That was a fun one. I was in LA, chillin’ on the bed. My roommate’s sitting there with me, we’re having a conversation. I was strumming on the guitar mindlessly. All of a sudden out of nowhere, this riff came through the noise of the conversation and I heard it. I wasn’t fishing around trying to find a riff. It was there, I was playing it for a solid 5 minutes before I even realized I was playing it. I loved it, recorded it. The day after, I started producing it. I recorded the riff, the bassline, that kickdrum. My other roommate Joel came home, we started toplining it. Put the recording on loop, got all the melodies in. I took a few weeks sorting out the lyrics, it was quite tricky to lock in the melody and rhythm. It took a lot of different versions and choruses to get it right. We worked on production for a month, and it all came together.
Did you think it would go up the way it did?
No, especially because it was my second single. Premiered by Zane Lowe and the amount of New Music Fridays support was so shocking for the second single, I was blown away. It definitely set this weird expectation in my head. “Oh shit, what happens for all the next singles? Do we need to expect this support if it’s any less or the song’s worse?” [laughs] This weird mental game after that.
What’s your love for guitar?
Everything music-wise really started around the same time, when I was 14. Guitar, I went over to my friend’s house. He liked to sleepover, he‘s not a musician at all. He’s sitting on his top bunk playing guitar when I walk in, I’m like “what’s going on here?” He said “my dad’s been teaching me a few chords.” He taught me 2 chords: G and E minor. I went home and legit played those over and over again for so long.
6 months later my family and I went on this long road trip for 3 months around Australia. I took a guitar with me and honed in on that skill. I sat in the back of the car and strummed away while we’re traveling. I was songwriting and producing on my laptop. Guitar’s definitely the first main instrument I was able to incorporate into songwriting and music I was doing at that time. Obviously, that’s Ed Sheeran’s first core instrument. Watching him play live had a huge impact.
“Ordinary People” was inspired by a female you fell in love with, has she heard it?
I hope not. [laughs] We haven’t talked since that whole thing so I have no idea.
Bring us back to when you wrote it, what was the vibe?
I started it a good 6 months before I finished it, the bare bones of the song. I’d been bouncing back to that idea a lot over the last 6 months, decided to sit down and crack it. Production-wise by that stage, I had this vision in my head. I know how I wanted the vocals to sound, how the guitar to feel. Everything apart from that was experimenting. It didn’t take much for it to figure it out because it’s a pretty minimalist track, but I love that anyway. I love new production, swimming around the software trying to find these different sounds accidentally. Throwing a plug-in here, a plug-in there. Trying something on this note, with no real intention and seeing what happens. That’s a real fun song because there’s a lot of room. Chucked some ambient vibes in there, then mainly the vocals and guitar. Getting that sound really nice.
One thing you want fans to get from the visuals?
One is on the official video on Youtube which is a Google Maps video. That’s going from this old apartment I used to live in — not the exact apartment because that’s weird, but I was around the area of my old apartment. I went up the streets to where me and that girl went on our first date. That’s literally it, the exact trip I took that night. The live acoustic video if I was in LA, I would’ve done it on the lookout, but I couldn’t because I’m in Australia. We wanted to replicate that as close as we could. Shot in the Kalamunda Zig Zags, a really good vibe. Great view, I loved it.
3 things you need in the studio?
Interface, microphone, guitar. I don’t drink alcohol. To be honest, I don’t really need anything. A glass of water, package of chips, and an apple.
Are you super healthy?
Not all the time, it’s a facade. [laughs] I’ll eat one apple, then my friends will come over. Come nighttime, it’s McDonalds. I’m recently trying to be vegetarian so I’ll get that veggie burger thing they do. It’s pretty average, but it’s McDonalds so you don’t expect much more.
Goals for yourself at this point of your career?
I’d love to make a really solid album. As simple as that sounds, just the process of it. I’ve never made an album before. I can’t wait to do that, be fulfilled and feel accomplished by it. I’d love to play some bigger shows, festivals. Whether that’s local or overseas, eventually when COVID’s over. Festivals are the funnest thing ever. Performances on TV would be mad. One day I’d love to play arenas, that’d be crazy.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
I’d probably travel. Get some sort of job, make enough money to travel overseas to Europe. Find myself and figure out what I want to do that way. There’s no specific thing I‘d do other than music, no second passion I have apart from random things like kitesurfing and snowboarding.
How would you describe your fashion style?
Thrift shops, as cheap as possible. [laughs] I’m getting really into the top shirt and overshirt type look.
What can we look forward to?
More music on the way, the next one is pretty upbeat. I have a show coming up on the 16th of October in Perth, it’s not that long away. My first show with a band I’m playing with. I’m getting that together so it’s stressful and exciting, but I can’t wait to play. Going to be really fun.