This is a transcript excerpt from the beginning of Episode 1 in The Digital Coffee Date podcast.
INTRO: Welcome to The Digital Coffee Date, created and hosted by Jessica Rosado- writer, producer, content creator, and entrepreneur. This podcast is your weekly inspirational dose of incredible women who are making a powerful global footprint. Our conversations feature different women from all walks of life who share their experiences through both successes and failures alike. These stories empower and encourage the female footprint in a society originally structured for them to fail. Whether it be through philanthropy, entrepreneurship, or even the corporate ladder, women are creating a global footprint that will impact the future.
SECONDARY INTRO: This week's digital coffee date is with R&B and Soul artist, songwriter, and domestic violence activist, Rozen.
JESSICA: Hey Rozen, how you doing girl?
ROZEN: What's up, what's up! I'm doing so good. Thank you so much for having me on here.
JESSICA: Yes! I'm so excited to have you on A Woman's Worth podcast. We have some really great things to talk about today.
ROZEN: Woop, woop!
JESSICA: Yes! So, you are an incredible R&B and Soul artist but your music serves a deeper purpose and comes from a deep-rooted experience. Can you talk about that?
ROZEN: Yea so...the deep-rooted experience. Honestly, my mom hates every time I talk about it but I'm like mom I have to talk about it, it's my truth. It's something that happened to me and it happens in one in four people in the United States, it happens every nine seconds, but that's domestic violence. So, I left that relationship six years ago now, that's crazy to say that out loud. Like six years ago, I left that relationship and it started off like verbal abuse but then it quickly spiraled into mental, emotional, gas-lighting abuse, and especially physical abuse by the time I moved in with him in 2014. It was just, it took over my whole life. It ya know, pushed me away from everyone. He completely isolated me. He was the perfect abuser. The textbook abuser. If you googled it, that's what it was. That's the scariest part is that people are like that and sometimes it only comes out once you meet that right person and unfortunately, I was the trigger. So, it was a dark chapter in my life.
JESSICA: Wow, so your music sort of serves that purpose right? So with what you've gone through, your music kind of translates. I think I saw a quote that you had and it said, "I believe that my purpose is to heal through my music."
ROZEN: Exactly. So right before Pages came out, that's the title of the two-part EP. It's called Pages because it was inspired by the page of my journal and even though no human being close to me knew what was going on with me- nobody knew- the only entity that knew all of my secrets was my diary really. It was the only place where I could spill my truth without the fear of judgement and it all resided right there in those pages and I was like you know what, I have this strong passion to turn my diary into lyrics. I want to take journal entries and turn it into music and make it a whole confession of something that I had not revealed to anyone and that was my way of coming out and sharing my truth, sharing my story. I believe that my purpose was to ultimately share what happened to me because I have a voice and I never really knew what to do with my voice. I knew I could sing, I always knew I had something to say but what was it. It became really really clear to me...what sets you apart from everyone else is your story and your willingness to be vulnerable and talk about something that is really really dark. It's not sexy. Talking about domestic violence is not sexy at all but i'm willing to talk about it.
JESSICA: Yeah and I think there's power in that. I myself, have survived through a domestic violence experience and when you dig deeper and you peel the onion that is domestic violence and you see how things can evolve to get to those certain places. You know, we talk about the verbal abuse and then it's emotional, or it's emotional and then verbal and then it just escalates into what it is. I remember really struggling with is this something I want people to know? Is this something I want to talk about? Because what are people going to think? What are people going to say? What does it say about me? You know, the first thing you think of is people are going to wonder well why were you in that to begin with? Why did you allow those things? So you have all these different things that often times it seems like it's so much easier to keep it to yourself. It seems like, oh I should just keep this a secret, I don't need to tell anyone. But the truth is, I found that is was just as liberating and just as necessary for healing to be able to work through it and talk about it and share that with other people. You never know what anyone else is going through and I think when people see that you've overcome something like this, they go, if their going through the same thing, they go wow, this [overcoming] is possible.
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ROZEN: Exactly, I am right there with you and that's exactly the why behind all of it. Why are you saying all these things? Why are you owning this truth and making it essentially a part of who you are and a part of your brand as an artist? As an R&B artist, I basically came out as a soloist by saying, hey what's up my name is Rozen and yeah I survived domestic violence. You know what I mean?
JESSICA: Yeah, and that's powerful.
ROZEN: Yeah, and I did that on purpose because I wanted my fans and my listeners to know one thing about me which is I'm always going to keep it real with you. I'm always going to tell you exactly where I pull my inspiration from because it's life. What is our biggest inspiration? What drives artists? And the answer to that question is really, pain and darkness. And a lot of beautiful things come from artists diving into their truth and diving into that darkness. It's a weird, crazy, beautiful twisted circle of life. You know what I mean?
JESSICA: Yeah and truly I think it's art too. Just even being in theater and having that Performing Arts background, a lot of times to do something like a specific role that requires a lot of emotion, you've got to tap into some dark places to get there. So, it's interesting to be able to use those kinds of things like music, like theater, just art on paper, on canvas, and you're just talking and feeling those things through that and turning it into something creative...I think the whole process itself is beautiful.
ROZEN: Yeah. It's like therapy. It's your own therapy and I can honestly tell you that it was three years before I was finally like, oh crap, I need to come out and talk about this because people would ask me what happened with my ex and I wouldn't be able to say words. I just couldn't talk about it because I was like, oh my God, I can only think of one thing that you don't know that I know very very well. I would have panic attacks and I was like okay, this is a problem. I would smell cologne that was his scent or I would see someone that looked like him or that dressed like him and it would break me down. I ran out of this cafe one time because I literally thought I saw my ex and I ran out on a meeting. It was a meeting between me and someone else and I literally ran out. So, I was like okay girl, this is bad. Let's asses. Like what's going on.
JESSICA: Right, let's process.
ROZEN: Yeah, exactly. Honestly no books, no amount of conversation helped as much as literally going through the creative process of turning that pain into art. Coming up with the melodies to articulate the way I said this in my journal. It was a whole beautiful process and it took the pain out of it and replaced the pain with art and creativity and it allowed me to address what happened without feeling any of the pain. It's beautiful. I was like oh my God, I can't believe I actually curated this healing process for myself and it freaking worked. Like what?
JESSICA: Yeah and that's so true. You know, no matter what the trauma is, I think everyone's healing process is different depending on the person and what their process is going to be like to be able to overcome their challenge or their experience of what happened. For me, it was talking to other people. It was therapy. It was processing through a lot of different things. To be able to come to a place where you look back and go, oh my goodness, like you said six years, right? You look back and you go wow. It almost gives you this- not almost- I would say it absolutely gives this sense of power, like I came through that. I walked through that fire. I think it's a beautiful thing and with you, music came from it? I think it's so so amazing.
ROZEN: Thank you...thank you.
JESSICA: Yes, so what sort of impact have you seen your music have on other women?
ROZEN: Oh my gosh. Every time before a show and after, I have to seriously tap in and do a mental check with myself and remind myself like, you're going to hear some stories after you get off that stage, by the time you get to sit down and have a drink to celebrate, you're going to hear a dozen stories and I have to mentally prepare myself because...
Like what you've read so far? Click here to listen to Episode 1 of A Woman's Worth: The Power of the Female Footprint on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
This episode covers heavy topics such as Domestic Violence and other forms of abuse, please read below if you or someone you know needs help.
Path to Safety:
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline or view their Path to Safety guideline here.