Michelle Rose Exclusive Interview
Q: What's it like growing up in Mpls?
Does the city have interesting stories about Prince?
A: I only lived in Minneapolis until I was three, but I have fond memories of it. Even now that I live in a suburb of Minneapolis, I still feel like I'm a part of Minneapolis. I think a lot of Minnesotans have "Minneapolis Pride", even if they don't live in Minneapolis. Minneapolis has so many fun things to see and do, and the arts are very important here, with so many theaters and live shows.
Prince put us on the map for music. I hear Prince stories everywhere I go in Minnesota. I've met so many people who were associated with Prince, including one of his dancers, and even a former Paisley Park employee working as a cashier at the local grocery store, so I've heard many Prince stories. I wish I could've been a Chanhassen resident when Prince was still alive, because I know that many Chanhassen residents saw him casually riding his bike around town and driving his luxury cars.
I'll share one of my favorite Prince stories. I attended a family reunion a few summers ago, where I met his costume designer. Her name is Francine, and she's from France. She told me that one day, she was babysitting her eight-year-old grandson when she received a call from Prince's assistant. His assistant told her that Prince wanted her to come in right away to work on a costume for him. Francine told the assistant that she was very sorry, but that was impossible, because she had her grandson with her and had already promised to babysit him for the day.
A few minutes later, Prince's assistant called back told Francine that Prince REALLY wanted her to come in right away to work on the costume, and that she could bring her grandson along. So, off they went.
Francine was having a difficult time keeping her very bored grandson out of things. At one point, he started opening the door to Prince's closet. Francine immediately told him to stay out of there. Her grandson looked at her and said, "Why??" Prince answered for her. He looked at the grandson and said, "Because there's a BEAR in there!" The grandson stopped and got very quiet and somber. He looked up at Prince with big, serious eyes and said, "Is it a big bear, or a little bear?" Prince cracked up laughing!
Q: So how did you first meet Dr. Fink? What was the experience like working with him?
A: I told a mutual acquaintance of Dr. Fink's that Prince & The Revolution was my favorite band, and she decided to send him my music. I was ecstatic when he called me for the first time to tell me that he wanted to work with me. I actually saw The Revolution perform live at First Avenue before I met Dr. Fink. I clearly remember thinking to myself, "This is a once in a lifetime experience. This might be my only chance to see this band". It's crazy to think back to that memory, because now I gossip with Dr. Fink, attend parties with his family, and I feel like his friend. It's really cool to be friends with someone you were a fan of before you met them. Working with him has been great. He listens to my ideas and gives me honest feedback. He is one of the most talented musicians ever, and watching him improvise on the piano and create a full production out of thin air has been inspiring for me as I learn and grow as a musician.
Q: I have heard quite often from people who have graduated from music school that they wish they would've obtained hands on experience prior to going to school, because nothing beats getting active in the studio with a expert! Was Berklee College a great experience? Do you equate your skill level to being in college for music?
A: Berklee College of Music was a great experience. I learned so much about music theory, songwriting, music production, and ear training, as well as singing. The professors at Berklee really care about preparing the students for the real, harsh world that is the music industry, so it's really hard work, but enjoyable. I do equate my skill level to being in college for music. It taught me skills much faster than I would've learned on my own at home, and it was great to meet other musicians my age from around the world.
Q: I understand you have been working on music since you were 12 years old. Where did you first obtain the inspiration?
A: I did pageants, and I actually wanted to dance for the talent portion of the local pageants. However, I turned out to be a horrible dancer at the time, so my family encouraged me to try singing instead, so that I could still do pageant talent competitions. I would often sing along to Sarah Brightman's CD's in the backseat of the car when I was little, and some people thought I had some natural talent and potential for success in singing. So, my family had me try a few voice lessons. I instantly fell in love and never looked back, and I started training classically in singing when I was six. When I was 11, I started co-writing and recording songs with producers, and in my late teens, I started to really focus on Pop music and also Opera.
Q: Who are some of the notable people that have added a boost to your musical wisdom and direction?
A: Dr. Fink, of course, as well as Chris Moon, who discovered and developed Prince here in Minnesota, and the many amazing teachers that I've worked with over the years to grow my singing and musicianship skills.
Q: Could you tell us about your latest projects?
A: My latest project is my song and music video called "Last First Kiss". It's very romantic and has a 90's R&B/Pop crossover feel. The song is about adoring your new love interest so much that you hope you will share your last "first kiss" with them. It's about wanting to be with this person forever and being excited for your future with them. The song was composed and produced by Dr. Fink and written by him and his wife, Andra. They asked me to sing the song after waiting several years to find a singer they thought would fit the song the best. I was very grateful that they wanted me to sing it. Also, I recently released a cover video for "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas".
Q: If you were not in the entertainment business what would you prefer to do?
A: I don't see myself doing anything other than the entertainment business, whether it be as a singer, songwriter, producer, actor, or TV news anchor. I feel like I've been in the entertainment business since I was a child because of always performing in talent competitions, pageants, and musicals, or acting in movies, commercials, etc. But, if I absolutely had to give up on the entertainment business, I think I would become a real estate agent or a lawyer. I have an entrepreneurial mindset that I inherited from my parents, and I also love to be studious and learn. I work hard at everything I set my mind to.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
A: You can expect more songs and more videos. I have some EDM/Dance Pop songs that I want to do, as well as some Country songs and more Christmas songs.
Any last remarks?
A: Thank you so much for this interview!