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INTERVIEW - Rozette’s Fallback Plan

Calgary Singer On The Love of the LGBTQ Community And What Alberta Means To Her

Celebrity Interview by Jason Clevett (From GayCalgary® Magazine, May 2020, page 0)

When talking to Calgary’s Rozette, whose currently creating YouTube "Quarantunes" and her latest single "Bite," one of the topics that she is passionate about is the LGBTQ community. As Jenn Beaupre, she performed for Jay Brannan in 2010.

"My life is lit on fire by my LGBTQ+ people, it is more colorful and louder and humorous. It almost makes me emotional. A friend of mine got me to open for Jay Brannon about 10 years ago and I hadn't heard of him. I listened to his song Housewife and I was like, this is so good. I love the words. I love his voice. I love his face. I just think he's the coolest. I opened for him in Calgary and Edmonton and the response I got from those crowds was not parallel to anything I had experienced before. I just realized like these kinds of are my people, not exclusively obviously, but they get me. I don't know how or why that works. I've always had a large contingency of LGBTQ friends in my life, I just love them so much," she said.

"When it comes to my music, they really show the love back. I've never signed so many really chiseled abs in my life as that night with the Sharpie because they're just so passionate and they're just there for whatever you need to say. And especially a singer like me that is just big and blonde and loud and wants to cover all the diva songs, they were just there for it. That's why when I put out a song like Bite, they're there for it too. I just, I'm so grateful for that color in my world.".

She’s discovered a love of drag as well, which like her, often involves big, brassy, fun bright personalities.

"I never understood Drag Queens till embarrassingly recent years. I am hitting RuPaul's Drag Race on my second round cause its quarantine. I never really understood cause as a singer I was like well they're obviously not singing and some of them don't even know the words. What the hell is this? And then I started watching higher end drag stuff and it is fucking incredible. There's so much performance and I am fucking here for it."

There are many ways that musicians make a living. For Rozette, the corporate world has been her main source of performing along with voice coaching.

"I've been really, really focused on serving my clients with my voice coaching business.  I didn't do this on purpose, but my artistic career kind of took a lengthy hiatus accidentally when I wasn't looking. So, I pivoted to playing a lot more corporate stuff. The pay structure is a little bit different in the corporate world. So I got to work with artists that are like the Canadian or international beatbox champs where they, the corporate company would throw us both in a room and be like, we want you to do, Hello by Adele with only a beatbox in your voice.  I would get to do things like that, or I would get to work with a really fabulous digital team who would project imagery on my dress like Carrie Underwood at the Grammy's. What I've got to do more of is experience really neat high-end production and collaborations with artists that are maybe aren't known but are just top of their game. It's not the same as public shows, but that's that kind of how my journey went.

It’s a way for an artist to make a living and perform, but doesn’t get the same respect as artists out recording and touring. Many artists have made a great living as impersonators or through corporate gigs. Even mega-stars like Jon Bon Jovi do corporate events.

"I played an event last year and the company wanted me to play a couple of dinner sets and then introduce a surprise artist. They couldn’t tell me anything other than he was a famous guitar player from the states.  We’re in Banff and it was fucking John Mayer. Wow. I just about pooped my pants. That's the cool thing with corporate events is they have these budgets to provide their staff. Well, we'll see after quarantine what anyone has the budget for, but they have the budgets to make really cool curated performances. So, I think a lot of people that speak about it don't necessarily get to attend a lot of corporate performances cause they're really cool." She recalled.

"I’ve played corporate events in Toronto and Vegas. The industry frowns on that shit because "you're not building, that's not necessarily going to translate into people excited to stream my sexy single." But it's the thing that pays for me to make that sexy single and I love playing corporate events. That's something again like I'm coming out of the closet with, I fucking love it. People think that it's shameful. I know sometimes it is background music if you play it that way. If you play it like it's a show it’s not background music. Then I get asked to play other events. I get asked to do spotlight pieces. Performing it like a show changed everything."

Rozette’s next single Fallback will be released in July and is dedicated to the LGBTQ community.

"It's a dance track as well, or like a pop track. When I got into this writing session, they said, what are we writing about? And I said, we're writing about such an important piece of my life and of my audience and I want to write about how they need to be seen and we got to keep just fighting to push forward. Always. I'm really excited to put this one out, I think it's important."

Calgary and Alberta has had some amazing artists come from it, such as Jann Arden, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Paul Brandt and kd Lang. Living in Alberta has given her a unique perspective and career.

"The oil and gas industry has allowed me to live in a city with such rich corporate event industry that if I lived somewhere else, I don't think I would have been able to build my chops and budget. Playing those events has allowed me to make art. Playing those events has allowed me to stand on larger stages in front of people that have handed me high end microphones in front of really beautiful gear in thousand dollar gowns that have allowed me to find a piece of my diva. It’s a piece of my art that I'm not sure I would have got to experience. Because Calgary had that kind of economy as I came up, I felt like a really lucky musician to be one of the chosen ones led into that circuit. It gave me the confidence to thin I am valid, I can make art, I can play shows. I'm valued on stage. This city and this province and country has really allowed me the possibility to be on those kinds of stages when a lot of people at my level, they're playing at low key shows. You don't always get to play that kind of venue so that's been amazing. "

Related Articles

Contributor Jason Clevett |

Locale Calgary |

Person Rozette |

Topic Celebrity Interview |


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