interview: rosie catalano
Rosie Catalano possesses an air of ethereality that many of us can only derive from films or fairytales. Her hauntingly beautiful songs and whimsical video clips transport you to an Alice in Wonderland-esque world – where everything beautiful has something to hide. Rosie’s combination of dreamy vocals and gentle guitar work captivates the listener alone, but it’s her lyricism that really captures you, proving there is more to her than meets the eye.
The singer-songwriter from Sydney has this year released her sophomore EP Dreams Are Just Movies, a beautiful collection of songs that emphasise her gift of storytelling.
Haunting tales of loss, the demons in your head and rundown villages in Italy are among the tales Rosie has told the world. And it’s the breath of fresh air we have all been longing for.
‘It does take you on a journey, so I’m hoping people enjoy that journey and also kind of get the range of emotions that come through with the different songs, because they all tell very different stories.
‘When I usually write,’ she says, ‘it comes from how I feel about something and it kind of builds on itself. [The song] ‘Dreams Are Just Movies’ is mostly based on the idea that ghosts come to the end of your bed and watch your dreams that are projected above your head as you’re sleeping. Ghosts going to the movies and eating popcorn’.
With a history in creative writing and a collection of published work up her sleeve, it is easy to see how the song writing process seems so effortless for Rosie.
‘Sometimes I’ll be playing something and it builds this kind of emotion inside and then the lyrics kind of come out and, if it’s interesting, then it might spark an idea. I think sometimes my subconscious is more clever and creative than I am.’
Rosie burst onto the scene in 2009 after winning a song competition that gave her the chance to join forces with Little Birdy and create the single ‘Where Did I Go Wrong?’ – a collaboration that helped kick-start her career. Although storytelling may have been a natural process for Rosie, playing the guitar was, surprisingly, a different story. Having never visioned music as a future interest, it was during her last year of high school that a friend taught her a few chords to play a Bob Dylan song.
‘It was pretty much an amateur level of playing until I performed and then you really have to kind of get into gear, so it was only really 2008 that I got more seriously into playing music, playing the guitar and working on my vocals.’
Before Dreams Are Just Movies was even an utterance on our lips, Rosie set up a Pozible campaign in a bid to raise funds for its creation. Rosie offered rewards as a gesture towards her supporters, if the target was reached. Among her variety of rewards were hand-written and illustrated colouring books, intimate home performances, her guitar, and scones baked by the singer herself. ‘I’m a terrible cook but for some reason scones always seem to come out really well.’
The collection of colourful, deep, and, at times, haunting songs will make their mark on you. So when you’re sitting down with your cup of tea listening to Dreams Are Just Movies, realise that a lot of love, thought and baking went into this EP. That the woman behind it has a passion for everyday people, forgotten villages, and has seen the ghosts that watch you as you sleep.