Interview with Singer/ Songwriter and Playwright JB Rose
The music industry has changed beyond recognition and South London born JB Rose is once again navigating her way around this ‘new look’ music scene. “The music industry is like a giant monster with many, many arms attached to it. As soon as I think I’ve got my head around what’s going on, some new thing happen” cites JB.
Not only a singer/songwriter but also a playwright, JB owns and runs a successful theatre company called Tell Tarra.
With a publishing deal under her belt with Brixton based Westbury Music, JB comments, “In the past before this New Age music industry, my publishing deal enabled me to collaborate with great producers and artists including drum and bass and dance pioneers such as Swayzak, Daz IQue and Kaidi Tatum along with the extremely talented 4 Hero team of Marc Mac and Dego.” JB teamed up with Marc and Dego to form Maximum Style, a group that were signed to RCA/Sony Records and released an album which received underground success in the US, Europe and Japan, for its jazzy drum and base style rhythms accompanied with JB’s sweet soulful vocal.
“It was really good working with Sony on the album and releasing the tracks ‘Admit To Love’, ‘Wake Up’ and ‘Waste Of Time’ but I never thought that we would end up in a world where you can interact and sell directly to fans and really get to know your audiences in a way that wasn’t really possible back then. It’s really exciting to think that I can write and release product quite easily direct to my fan-base”.
Other highlights of JB’s singing career includes being the warm-up act for Chaka Khan at the Hammersmith Apollo, singing on BET (Black Entertainment TV) in America, and performing on Top of the Pops backing Coolio’s ‘Gangsters Paradise’.
More recently, JB is enjoying much affection for her YouTube vegan vlogs as JB Rose Singing Vegan Mum – where she bakes and cooks inspiring vegan food and opens up her busy family life for all to enjoy.
JB is currently writing and recording a batch of new songs mixing her older work in too. “I have written a lot of material with some really talented people that has not yet been released so I will be mixing some of my older titles with the new and can’t wait to get everything out there”.
It’s a pleasure to interview the talented JB Rose here.
Describe a typical day for you?
I can’t say that I have a typical day because I have two boys aged 11 and 7 years old who are just great big, giant, energy balls from the moment they are awake ’till they go to sleep- my youngest in particular has ‘ants in his pants’ so life is busy. That being said, in the morning I always try to go for a quick run or do a Zoom aerobic session with two of my girlfriends who are also mums and entrepreneurs. We encourage each other to keep fit.
The boys have unusually still been going to school during this Covid time so I make their packed lunches and we bundle out the house with me usually shouting and asking them why they’re take so long in the shower.
After they have gone for the day, I check in with my Dad who is recently widowed (my Mum passed away last March) and I make sure that he doesn’t need anything. If he does need anything, then I Whatsapp my brother or his neighbours (who are brilliant) to help him out.
Meditation is important for me to keep focused and centred so I always put on my CDs and have 5 or 10 minutes to myself.
My bread and butter work as a Singing Tutor/Arts Facilitator has now moved over to Zoom where I lead vocal sessions at about 11-12 pm with various community groups. I work for some brilliant charities: Heart n Soul which is a disability organisation, Clean Break Theatre Company who work with ex-women offenders, and Second Wave Youth Arts Group to name a few.
In the afternoon, I try and fit in some singing, songwriting, or vlogging for my YouTube channel and before you know it, it’s 3.15 and the boys have to be picked up.
I love cooking my vegan food so I always cook something from scratch while the boys do their homework. Usually while they practice their instruments and watch a bit TV before bed, I sneak in time to answer emails and calls which doesn’t always go to plan because my children never like to see me talking on the phone as they like my undivided attention 24/7. I know I’m not the only parent in this situation. My typical day is subject to all kinds of curve balls.
What do you feel are your greatest achievements?
I have always been very driven and my singing, playwriting and business ventures have been all-consuming. However, I love children and I have many g_dchildren, nieces and nephews and when I was younger I was desperate to have my own children but with my busy schedule, it didn’t seem to be likely. Now they are here, my two boys, and one of my greatest achievements. They have given me a real purpose to succeed in all of my endeavours.
Another of my greatest achievements was being able to be there for my mum when she was sick, giving her the care and support that she gave my siblings and I when we were growing up. Mum was my hero: loving, kind, wise, fair and strong. She had diabetes which ended up giving her multiple organ failure. It was awful watching her pass away in such pain over a protracted amount of time. That experience eventually gave me the impetuous to do my regular sugar-free challenges on my YouTube Channel in order to help people and myself, cut down on sugar. I spent a lot of time with the doctors last year and I learnt so much about how our food choices affects us so when mum passed, it really gave me new purpose.
Thirdly, a few years back I got the opportunity to be the warm-up act for Chaka Khan. It was amazing! The show was at the Hammersmith Apollo and I was particularly proud of myself for landing the gig, negotiating the terms and organising my band. The icing on the cake was Billy Ocean being in the audience. He was really complimentary.
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
My handbag is a mess. It’s usually full of crumbs from the kids’ biscuits and whatever else they get me to carry for them. It also holds antihistamine tablets, headphones, make-up bag, mini umbrella, phone charger, throat sweets, bamboo fan, shea butter hand cream, Versace perfume, vlogging camera, mini camera stand, mini jacks, equipment connectors, guitar tuner, eye drops, my son’s broken prescription glasses (they need repairing) and much more. My handbag is like Dr Who’s Tardis!
What are your ambitions in life?
I love supporting people and helping them reach their goals. My ambition is to continue to serve and offer my talents in order to help others. As you probably guessed, my children are the loves of my life and one of my greatest ambitions is to raise my two boys to be smart, kind, loving and decent young men who are able to reach their full potential and give back.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
I wish that I had learnt an instrument fluently as a child. When I was a kid, my mum paid for piano lessons which I didn’t follow through with. When I realised how male-led and chauvinistic the music industry was, I regretted not spending the time to become a proficient musician.
That being said, I had studied music and attended a voice teaching course at Thames Valley University but I always wanted to be able to have the option of backing myself vocally and being able to fully communicate with a band using all of the technical musical terms. These past few years however have seen me learn the guitar which has transformed my opportunities and opened up my creativity. I always tell up-and-coming vocalists to learn an instrument.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I see myself doing more of what I do now ie. singing, songwriting vlogging on my YouTube channel, with a couple of albums under my belt and a vegan cookbook on the shelves.
What advice would you give a budding singer-songwriter?
Practise, practise, practise. Work at your craft and have integrity.
What advice would you give to a new parent?
Enjoy every moment because children grow up so quickly. (I know everyone says it, but it’s true. My eldest is going to secondary school in September and it feels like just the other day, I was breastfeeding him).
Don’t allow anyone to criticise your parenting choices and decisions when it comes to your children. I remember when I was a new mum and it seemed that everyone had so much to say about my hypno-birthing and vegananism and my fitness regine. They even critiqued me when I used natural oils and creams on my babies. Mum knows best. Lastly, children develop at their own rate so don’t get hung up on so called ‘milestones’. Your child will reach all of their expected markers and more in their own time.
Finally, happiness is…
…When you recognise that you have all the answers within you just go inside and find peace.
Buy my bestselling book in paperback or audio
My debut book is my guide to surviving and thriving at work and at home and offers insight into how to create a digital business or return to work with confidence.
Mumboss: The Honest Mum's Guide to Surviving and Thriving at Work and at Home (UK 2nd Edition)