In recent months, rising Nashville singer-songwriter Emily Rose has been spending much time in her kitchen. “There is so much going on in the world these days,” Rose tells American Songwriter. “We are social distancing, isolating from others, and staying indoors. There is no question that more and more of us are spending more time in the kitchen. One of my favorite date nights is actually a night in. I put on some of my favorite records, open a good bottle of wine, and dance away like no one’s watching. I especially love the classic country two-step songs that you just can’t help but get up and dance to. I wanted a song like that of my own. You know, a song that makes people smile, feel good, forget their worries, and yes, dance.”
For Rose, a SESAC writer, the kitchen has taken on added meaning as it features prominently in her next single, “Dance in the Kitchen,” which arrives May 22 via the artist’s Growing Rose Recording Company imprint, with Symphonic handling distribution across all digital and streaming platforms. Rose co-wrote the playful song with Ed Hill and Donnie Skaggs last year; it was inspired by her own home life. Emily co-produced the track with the Shuffle Brothers and chose to release the single early because, as she put it, “I felt we could all use a fun, upbeat song right about now.”
In the weeks leading up to the single’s release, Rose’s kitchen has also been centerstage for “Emily in the Kitchen,” a weekly live series she is hosting on her Instagram. It is equal parts storytelling, fan interaction, and unplugged performance.
Country music is in Rose’s DNA. The singer-songwriter’s childhood in New Jersey was filled with the sounds of banjos, peddle steels, dobros, harmonicas, fiddles, and acoustic guitars. “My mom and dad were and are country music fans. So, growing up, country music was always a part of my life. It is something I simply gravitated towards; I didn’t give it much thought.” Her first “live” music performance was at a very young age. “I performed ‘Any Man of Mine’ by Shania Twain at my kindergarten talent show. I know, I know, singing ‘Any Man of Mine’ at that age!”
Rose’s parents listened to local radio station WDVR, which was her father’s favorite. Rose recalls the station playing a lot of classic country music. WDVR also had a live radio show that Rose eventually got to perform on. “That performance gave me the extra push into country music, and I never looked back,” the singer fondly recalls.
Miranda Lambert, Shania Twain and Loretta Lynn all had a deep influence on Rose at a young age, and as she grew and discovered more music, she also found herself drawn to other strong iconic female artists including Linda Ronstadt, Sheryl Crow, and the Dixie Chicks. In fact, it was a Miranda Lambert concert in Reading, Penn., which Rose attended for her 16th birthday, that truly inspired her to become a country music singer.
Her first professional gig then laid the foundation for the career Rose was about to embark on. “It was during my time with the Conway Twitty cover band Twitty Fever that I learned the ins and outs of being a performer,” Rose says. “I was very lucky to play with such professionals and learned how to be comfortable on stage, play the acoustic guitar, and hone my craft as a performer.”
Rose’s path eventually took her to Nashville, where she has lived since 2012. She co-wrote her debut single, the heartfelt “My Way Home,” with Donnie Skaggs and Tony Paoletta, and released it in May 2019. “The song is about how sometimes you lose your way, get lost in the shuffle, or caught up in the rat race, but how you can also find peace by taking a step back and putting the pieces back together,” explains Rose. “It’s easy to lose yourself, but if you just remember to take a minute and listen to your heart, it always knows the way.”
Rose followed that with her sophomore single, a cover version of Joe South’s 1969 Grammy-winning “Games People Play.” Says Rose, “Not only was it a timely song to record, it was also an homage to my roots. I loved this song from the very first time I heard it on my dad’s radio.”
As 2019 came to a close, Rose released her third single, “Go to the Moon,” which she co-wrote with Tori Tullier. A triumphant tale of determination and grit, “Go to the Moon” found Rose singing, “I take my chances/I’m a little bit reckless/This fire burning/It just won’t go out/I see the top and/I wanna go get it/Maybe it’s crazy that I won’t back down.” The anthemic “Go to the Moon” was accompanied by a music video, which was a first for the artist.
Rose credits the Nashville music community with helping her expand her creative horizons. “The best thing about Nashville is all the talent,” says Rose. “I am so lucky to have so many great people to work with and to help me craft my songwriting and sound. You can either let the competition intimidate you or excite you. I chose to let it inspire and push me. At the same time, I’m able to support my fellow artist friends while learning from them, and ultimately, we grow together. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together.”