When it comes to music, it’s rare to meet someone who can sing, write, and produce all in one. Insert Idarose, who’s here to tell the world what’s going on in her mind through music. While the rising star recently landed a huge placement co-writing Becky G and Trevor Daniel’s “F is for Friends” for The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run, now she’s focused on her own artistry.
She states, “I’m dreaming. I’m constantly making up stories in my head: things that are real, things that are fantasy. I bring it all together into songs through my writing and through my production. I hope people can relate to them and find their stories within those songs too.”
Following on the heels of her previous single “When I Don’t Have You,” which generated over one million views on TikTok alone, Idarose returns with her latest effort titled “Different People.” In any case, Idarose is here to stand for female empowerment, with hopes of inspiring young girls and women all around the world that they can also sit in the producer’s chair and do the unthinkable.
Flaunt caught up with Idarose via FaceTime, who was excited as hell to be moving across the country from Los Angeles to New York. Read below as we discuss how she got her name, her upbringing in South Florida, biggest influences, the role TikTok plays in her music, “Different People” being inspired by a breakup, being a female producer, studio essentials, how she got to write a song for the Spongebob movie, and more!
Is Idarose your real name?
Idarose is my middle name, it’s a combination of my great grandmothers’ names. One was Rosalind, one was Rose, and one was Id. My parents combined all those names to make Idarose and the reason I chose it is because they were all women chasing careers, at a time where they couldn’t achieve the success they wanted to. I wanted to represent them all in being a woman in this industry.
What was it like growing up in South Florida?
South Florida, it’s funny, definitely you’d think it’s more of the Latin market, and it definitely is. I had a lot of that growing up and a lot of that inspiring my music, but at the same time was getting all this inspiration from my parents, pop music, 80’s rock, Prince, Michael Jackson, all of these different sources of inspiration. It was interesting growing up in a place where I was creating super indie pop music in a Latin world. I learned Spanish growing up, I’ve written in Spanish. Even in the percussion of some of my newer songs, I pull from some of that a little bit, which is interesting. It’s ingrained in the way I grew up, but definitely my music feels different than what you normally hear out of South Florida.
Biggest influences coming up?
I’m a huge Lorde fan. Growing up, Sara Bareilles was big for me. I liked Coldplay, Norah Jones, I was definitely into more of the piano pop thing. Ben Folds. I started to get more into electronic pop: Lorde, Lana Del Ray. In high school, I really liked Young the Giant, WALK THE MOON, more of that type of thing. In college, I combined that with Kanye, Vince Staples, a bunch of different things that I listened to and somehow got the Idarose project. [laughs]
Your 2020 single “When I Don’t Have You” reached over a million plays on TikTok. What role does TikTok play in your music?
It was a crazy moment because at the start of 2021, I was feeling pretty uninspired and defeated a little bit. I wanted people to hear my music, and it just wasn’t happening yet. I wasn’t sure how to reach people. I was trying TikTok a little bit, but finally I’d gone to bed and I had this dream. In this dream I had this melody, I woke up and I recorded the melody on my phone.
You remembered the melody from your dream? That’s impressive.
Yeah, which doesn’t always happen. Sometimes I’ll wake up from a dream, oh I was singing a song in my dream and I’ve never heard it before. This was one of those times. In my dream, I was showing some A&R some song. He said “there’s something there, keep going.” I woke up and did a voice memo of that. Later that day, I turned it into the chorus of the song “When I Don’t Have You.”
I made a little video, I posted it. I remember already, I’d just posted it and was already cynical. “I don’t think anyone is going to see this. Why do I do this stuff?” A few hours later, I felt my phone start buzzing and exploding. It was so cool. It was crazy to see something that literally came to me in a dream, and then the next day millions of people are commenting on my video.
“Different People” out now, how are you feeling?
“Different People” is part of a bigger project. I went through a relationship breakup thing with my friend. Through the whole process, he and I are both songwriters so we’re writing music through the whole situation. I was using the music as therapy. Every time I was happy or any emotion I was feeling, I’d turn to music: write it and create it. Even before I knew what I was feeling ‘cause I was so confused the whole time. I ended up with this album of songs narrating the story from beginning to end.
“Different People” was the end of that story. It’s this celebratory breakup song. I’ve been trying for so long to find a song that felt right to end that whole saga. I’ve been writing all these songs that are really bitter, upset and blaming him. Finally, it came to me that we’re two different people. Maybe one of us has changed, maybe we’re too different. I kept saying “if we could keep playing the blame game, we could be mad at each other. I could keep writing these angry songs, or I can write something that finally feels like the end of the story.”
I came up with the idea and two hours later, had this demo that I was listening to in my headphones, jumping up and down. I’m finally celebrating because I feel so happy. It was this moment of catharsis, this upbeat breakup song. Somebody like the artist Robyn does it so well, “Dancing on My Own” is this happy song about a sad thing. That’s what I wanted to do, create this happy song about a sad moment that didn’t have to be sad.
Where was the video shot? What was the best memory?
The video was really fun to make. My friend Maria Juliah, she’s an amazing cinematographer, photographer. I called her a few days before and said “can you bring your camera? I’m going to bring this mirror, we’re going to go to the beach and film a video.” She’d done my last video which was this really great production, but it was all these people involved and the set. I said “for this video, I want it to be me, the camera and you. Me dancing around.”
It was so fun to make because there was no plan. We honestly didn’t even know we were going to make a video honestly. I’d asked her to come take some pictures and maybe we’ll get some video, but it all came together so wonderfully. There were people watching us the entire time, running around. It was the first time I really felt like an artist. Here I am in the world, singing my song, being Idarose out in the world instead of just Alexis. It was this beautiful celebratory moment with the song.
Talk about producing and mixing the song as well, that’s super impressive!
People are so surprised, that’s why I thrive to be a part of changing and I’m sure other female producers feel the same way. Because we can do it, we have the space to do it. Everyone’s creating music these days from a computer, but it’s still shocking to people. That’s the change we still need to see: if I’m sitting behind the computer, somebody isn’t going “oh you’re producing today?” They’re accepting it. Even while putting out my music, people said “oh, who finished the production for this song?” Or “who mixed this song?” People doubted the credit that I’ve shared already.
It’s a tough line, because I want to celebrate it, but also normalize it. Sometimes celebrating can be counterproductive to normalizing when you’re like “hey, I did all this stuff!.” People are like “wow, women doing cool things!” No, me doing cool things. Also loving me being a woman, but it’s not because I’m a woman that I can do these things. Normalizing it, but also bringing light to it. It’s a tough line to walk but we have to get it to a place that people aren’t questioning it. That’s my goal.
Do you record at home?
Yeah, I’ve got my setup here. [shows home studio] I record everything in my room. I’m in LA right now, but I record with “Different People” in my childhood home in Florida.
3 things you need in the studio?
I need a lot of water. Let’s see, a notebook. I like to have a notebook. Sometimes I type on my computer but I love to have a yellow pad. It’s very business, it’s the business side of my brain that needs the lines. Oh, I have a polaroid that I always have. Whenever I have different artists come by, I’ll have them take a picture so I can remember who’s been in the studio.
How was it co-writing “F is for Friends” by Becky G and Trevor Daniel for The Spongebob Movie?
That was crazy. It was the beginning of the pandemic so I was really worried about leaving in LA and losing the momentum I started with writing with different artists. I got back to Florida and a month or two in, this amazing producer and songwriter named Daramola called me up. He said “I have this opportunity, I don’t know if we’re going to get it. Shot in the dark, but do you want to try writing a song for the Spongebob movie?” I said “yeah, of course I want to try that! That’s really crazy.”
He told me they needed a song about friendship, so immediately I said “okay, well we’re not going to do a friendship song for Spongebob without referencing the Fun song. That feels like it needs to be there.” I don’t know if anyone else has done the Fun song before, but I hadn’t heard anything like that. It felt right, it felt like such a classic emblem of the series. We worked on the Fun song, flipping it. It was so nice to write something about friendship, especially in a time where friendship was getting me through the pandemic. Calls with my friends on Zoom, doing that was the light in the pandemic. It was nice to be able to celebrate that through this song.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
There’s a few things. I’d be screenwriting. I might have tried computer science and engineering. Either staying in entertainment in the film world or taking a left turn and doing computer science and math. I was such a nerd in high school, I loved studying. Definitely had some debate on what to do after, but I knew my love for music was the strongest thing.
Talk about moving to New York from Los Angles.
I’m excited, it’s going to be a good transition. I’ve always wanted to live there so it’ll be fun. I’m doing a Masters program in theatre writing, at Berklee New York. It’s the first year they’re doing a program in New York City, it’ll be right near all the shows which will be really cool.”
Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
I’d like to get an album out to the world. I’d really love to find crossover with film and TV, work on creating a body of work that includes maybe my screenwriting, my love for film, my love for theatre. Bringing it all together, that’s definitely a goal of mine to find a project that can bring all of those loves together.
Anything else you want to let us know
I’m so excited to be sharing more music soon. Thank you for listening so far and giving my story the chance.