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ROONIE on writing 'The Way It Should Be'

14 October 2022
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Ōtautahi-based songstress ROONIE on her real and vulnerable new music, developing her original singer-songwriter style, and moving to the South Island. Interview Hannah Brown

Congratulations on the release of your new single ‘The Way It Should Be’! How does it feel to be releasing it to the world? 

Thank you so much. I'm feeling incredibly excited about 'The Way It Should Be' being released! It’s a real and vulnerable song, and I think it best reflects my songwriting too.

Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind the track? 

'The Way It Should Be' is very much about letting go of a relationship and moving on. The song is super self-reflective and honest. I wanted to write a song that felt like ‘looking back’ on a relationship, and how it can be easy to only remember the good times, when reality may have been different.

Walk us through your song-writing process, what did it look like? 

This song was partially written when I was out walking near the beach, I wrote the entire first verse into my notes on my phone. It kinda has this ‘word vomit’ feeling to it. When I got home I played around with chords and a melody on my MIDI keyboard. The next day I had a session with my producer, Will Henderson, and played it to him. We didn’t change anything from the original first verse notes in my phone (which is quite unusual in a session!). The writing process for this track felt authentic and genuine, which is definitely some of the reason I feel super connected to it. 

How did you and Will collaborate together on this project? 

I absolutely love writing music with Will. We have a great dynamic in the studio, where we bounce ideas off each other and also create a safe space to share vulnerable stories such as this song. Will and I have collaborated for my EP project for 2022, including the three singles already released and the EP to come in November. 

How does ‘The Way It Should Be’ feel different to your previous works? 

I think this song feels more like my ‘true’ songwriting style. It has moments of my original singer-songwriter style, which I played for a long time. I’ve really enjoyed taking a moment and step away from the dance-pop style songs and for everyone to hear a bit more of an emotional song! 

You are from Taupō, but have moved down to the South Island. What drew you to Ōtautahi Christchurch? 

Yes that’s right! I absolutely loved growing up in Taupō and will always be incredibly grateful for the community support I received there. I have been living in Auckland for almost the last four years, before moving to Christchurch in July 2022 for work as a journalist. I studied journalism at university, and a job opportunity came up in Ōtautahi.  

What do you like about being a part of the local music scene in Christchurch?  

As I have only recently moved to Christchurch, I feel like I’m yet to fully experience all the local talent down south! I’m super excited to get out there and see more live shows, but from what I have heard it’s a pretty cool scene where local acts get behind each other and support one another.  

Tell us about your upcoming EP and any other projects in the works? 

I am incredibly excited for my EP to be released in November. It feels like it has been a long time coming. I can’t wait to have a body of work out under ROONIE. It feels like the next step in the right direction. There definitely will be more music to come in the future! 

What’s next for you both personally and for your career? 

I’m really looking forward to performing and hopefully doing some live shows soon. Songwriting and performing has always been my favourite part of being a musician, so leaning into these aspects of being an artist more, is something I’m really looking forward too. 

In terms of personal, I’m excited to keep developing as a journalist too! I love both of these jobs, but music has always been my biggest passion. 

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