Joe Ulrich / WITF
Joe Ulrich / WITF
You know that conversation in which you tell your parents you want to drop out of school to be a musician?
“I was just like, ‘Mom, I’m thinking of taking a year off to really work on my music,'” explains Philadelphia musican Liz Mencel, better known by her musical alias ROZES.
To be fair, Liz had good reason to want to take a break from school. She was the vocalist on a song by The Chainsmokers titled “Roses” which blew up into a radio hit in 2015 and had her playing some big shows including The Tonight Show and The Late Late Show. So she had a real plan to work hard on music in lieu of going to school.
“I’ll work every day. I will never complain,” she told her parents. “And I think they kind of believed in me. Hearing your daughter on the radio probably helps a lot and they just had faith in me I think.”
Liz is 24 now and released her own full-length album last year, Burn Wild, which is also one of the songs she performed in the studio for us.
“My boyfriend, we kind of dove into this long-distance relationship. We met on a holiday break. We were across state lines and it was like, ‘How can we do this?’ Every time we said goodbye it felt like it was eating at me but I couldn’t say anything. So that’s really what it’s about: I can’t keep this a secret anymore. It feels like we light this thing up and then we just let it burn wild.”
Earlier this year saw the release of another collaboration for ROZES, this time with electronic group Cash Cash.
“It’s not like an I-miss-you song. It’s an I-can’t-believe-at-16-I-thought-my-world-was-over.”
“I look back and I realize all these things…’I’m gonna miss your parents. I’m gonna miss your family. I’m gonna miss just sitting in the basement watching movies.’ And then you grow up and you realize there’s so much more to love and to life than that. So that’s kind of just my wrapping it up in a bow and putting it away.”
Liz’s plans for school and a career included something in the mental health field.
“I’m very interested in mental health. I think that’s a big reason why I got involved in music. I pondered nursing, psychiatric nursing. I really wanted to do anything that could help people who felt helpless.”
Since people often turn to music to help them deal with their problems, Lis is still pursuing that goal of helping people, just in a different way and under a different name: ROZES.
ROZES will be performing at the Firefly Festival which takes place in Dover, Delaware next week, June 15-18th.