Since releasing her first single “Everything” in September of 2014, Elizabeth Mencel, better known as ROZES, has seen immense success which typically takes longer than three years to achieve. Less than a year after her first release, she was reached out to on Twitter by the internationally successful duo The Chainsmokers. They heard her song “Limelight” with Just a Gent and were looking to collaborate. Since then, Mencel became a sought after name in EDM, eventually going on to collaborate with the likes of Big Gigantic (the song also featured Logic), Galantis and Cash Cash to name a few. “Limelight” has been remixed by many artists, the most notable being NGHTMRE. Mencel has a phenomenal voice, work ethic and dedication to her music.
The honesty in her lyrics is uncommon to see among popular artists these days. Thanks largely to technology, pop songwriting has largely been industrialized with teams of people crafting songs solely for the purpose of creating hits. (John Seabrook’s book The Song Machine goes into great detail about this phenomenon) which is why it’s surprising that for someone with over half a billion streams to her name, she could not have been more humble and kind.
When I arrived for the interview at The Larimer Lounge, Mencel was going through a soundcheck for the show later that night. Once she finished, we sat down in the back patio of the venue for a brief interview.
MR: Is this your first U.S. tour?
R: Yeah, it is actually. My longest way away from home so far.
MR: How’s it been going so far?
R: It’s been good.
MR: Any crazy stories?
R: Yes definitely, I have two. In San Fran we came out to a smashed car window and all of our stuff stolen. And last night, we were driving and we ran out of gas. So we were on the side of the road on this [winding] road in the middle of the mountains, and it was rough. It was very rough
MR: Would you say your musical taste or your influences have changed at all since entering the EDM world?
R: Yeah, I mean I think so. I would have never found myself in the EDM world had it not been for the Chainsmokers. I originally wanted to go an alternative route, but you know, it’s OK cause I found my path through here and I’m so blessed for it. And it’s opened me to a whole new world of writing and creativity.
MR: In an interview with Fuse, when talking about “Roses,” you mentioned that when you wrote that song with The Chainsmokers, ‘It was like people actually understood what you were saying, they liked what you were saying and they liked how you were saying it.’ What exactly did you mean by that?
R: I guess what I meant by that was that it was relatable. You know when you’re in the beginning stages of a relationship you’re trying to slow yourself down when you’re going in full blast. And I think that’s what was relatable about it.
MR: You’ve mentioned also that you want to be very honest in your songwriting — which is so awesome by the way — and seems very rare these days. But how does it feel to be so open with your life and your emotions? Especially on songs like “Under the Grave.”
R: Sometimes it’s hard to throw myself under the bus, or somebody else, but I do want to be there for people who are kind of putting themselves down and see that it’s a human emotion. I guess it’s just human to do that. But sometimes it gets hard, sometimes I wish I could close that window, you know. But I do like having my emotions out there so I can’t really say I wish I could shut it off. I guess that’s the biggest downfall, that I can’t shut it off. And I’m constantly looking towards my fans and followers for that help I need when I’m having a bad day.
MR: So you released your first solo EP, Burn Wild, back in 2016. Is there a studio album on the way?
R: There’s an EP on the way. Another EP. But, yeah, I’m excited.
MR: Is there a list of your ideal collaborators? People who you want to work with?
R: I think I want to start branching out of the EDM world. I wanna collaborate with Fetty Wap, Eminem, Post Malone, things like that. I think it would be really cool to do like a hip-hop collab. I’m so interested in that world. I would love to collaborate with Nicki Minaj —keep the girl power in. I think her artistry is so amazing.
MR: After the tour, what are you planning on doing next?
R: Writing. I’m actually moving into my new house that’s actually being built as we travel. And then I’m gonna take a little break for the holidays. And then I’ll be back out in LA writing.
You can contact CU Independent Arts Writer Max Rothstein at email@example.com.