Hi guys! Welcome to our second piece in our Not-So 9-5 series, a series where we give you a behind-the-scenes look into what it's like to work jobs other than a typical 9-5 desk job. We feature people who pursue side-passions outside of their regular 9-5, those who have managed to turn their passions into their income source and left their 9-5 completely, and those who have jobs you might not even know exist.
Today on Not-So 9-5 we are talking with pretty-world famous singer Rosemary Joaquin. If you haven’t heard of her, you probably will soon enough. She’s got listeners from all over the world (Norway, Canada, Germany, The Netherlands and more), though most come from the US, but this girl is on the rise.
When I first heard Rosemary sing I knew she was destined for success which, pretty amazingly, she is already starting to see. This gritty and soulful-voiced singer has released songs all with tens of thousands of listens with one, "Bad Song," reaching over 894,000.
You don't really know Rosemary until you've seen her perform. I've been lucky enough to her twice and it is a show. January 17th, Rosemary released her song "A Little More" and I can tell you that despite success of her other releases it is definitely my favorite. Rosemary wrote this song about falling for a girl after thinking she was straight her whole life and is, in her own words, a song, "she would happy to be known for."
What makes “A Little More” different from other songs you’ve released?
It’s the only song I sing where I am like, “yes this shows my full potential!" It really capitalizes on the uniqueness of my voice. It was the first song that sounded like Rosemary Joaquin. And it was also the only song I have ever written about myself. The only one that follows my story.
So, we know this song is about your girlfriend, and that she’s the first girl you’ve ever had feelings for. It must’ve been hard going through that alone and especially not knowing how she felt back. How did all of that influence the writing of the song?
I’m not a journaler. I’m not someone who needs to talk in depth about my feelings, but of course when I was going through this thing I journaled so much because I felt a little lost. I had no one to talk to so I had to just write to myself. Its honestly the funniest journal because it's just me ranting and freaking out.
So, what was nice about this song is that I got to work with other writers (Chelsea Balan, Brandon Meagher and Tebby Burrows), people that were outside of my bubble, that could hear the story with fresh ears. They helped me take all my thoughts, joys and worries about the whole situation and put it to a melody. Now when I listen to the song today I’m like, oh my god, this is so accurate.There were so many times (and still are) where she’d come into the room and I’d literally light up and I’d hate when the party was going to end because we wouldn’t be leaving together. I didn’t want to leave the room because I didn’t want to not be with her.
So working with the other writers was very therapeutic.
Even though some of your feelings of “wanting a little more” aren’t so relevant now that you and your girlfriend have been together for a while, are those more anxious thoughts about your sexuality in general still there?
When you find out your sexuality in your mid-20s, and it takes you totally by surprise, you feel lost. I felt like there were literally no role models for me and I felt so dead-ass alone because most of the lesbians I knew, knew they were lesbians their whole lives.
That’s the one thing I was kinda mad about with my [instagram] post (check it out here). It was a little too flashy for me. But, I did it so people would hear the song the way I wanted them to hear it. You just wouldn’t hear that song the same if you didn’t know the story behind it.
For the role model aspect, if I had been bi-sexual my whole life I would’ve already found girls that are like me. Girls that thought one way about themselves and now think another, but I only really knew people who had been out for a while and always knew their sexuality.
Did writing your song help you work through the stress that came with falling for your girlfriend?
Yes, it felt so good forming my emotions into lyrics. My mind was spinning and it helped me focus my emotions so I could really understand how I felt about them. Listening to the finished product helped me see how far I have come. Right now I’m over the hump so it’s almost bittersweet. I wrote it when I was confused and crushing hard, now I'm dating the girl and my mind is clear. It helps me remember how lucky I am to be with her and that now I always get to have “a little more.”
Do you remember when the idea for this song came to you?
I’d never written a ballad before and I was desperate to write one just because I feel like my voice would do well with a ballad. My voice was meant to be cried to. Also at the time I was constantly thinking about my girlfriend. Writing this song helped me stop thinking about it so much because I had a song for it.
So where are you right now work wise? You recently quit your job right?
So when I graduated I knew I just wanted to be in the music city, so I moved to Nashville. I just wanted to be working on my music and making money. So for a year I was a leasing consultant, which didn't allow me enough time to work on my craft. Then for a moment, I thought I wanted to work in PR so I interned for a little bit at a small music PR firm on music row.
After all that, I realized I work better on my feet than in an office so I ended up quitting that job and becoming a waitress. All that being said, now I am a waitress second, musician first. That way I can support myself financially, but still have a lot of time to give to my music...and I never have to dress business casual.
And what’s next?
With this song I found my sound. I hope to keep releasing music that I am proud of and makes me as happy as this one does.
I like to finish my interviews with some fun questions from my one of my favorite books, Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss.
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
I am obsessed with making homemade pizza for every meal. I make them on a tortilla and make it with whatever is in my fridge. An egg pizza, your classic red sauce and mozz pizza, BBQ sauce and chicken, anythinggggggg. I can't be stopped!!!!!
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively influenced your life?
PF Flyers. I love wearing them. They make me feel like I’m doing what I should be doing. Athletic, stylish, artsy! I love putting them on! I feel more like me.
In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
I've started focusing on positivity, especially towards the music industry, because the music industry is daunting and the more I learn about it the more daunting it becomes especially as a new artist. So I think I have to be positive and remember why I like it. Another way I’ve been trying to live my life, especially because of this song, is even if you don’t expect something, lean into it, let it happen, trust the uncertainty. This is the first year I literally shocked myself so I’m so ready for these next five years for literally anything to happen.