Heartbreak and healing inspire Rosie Darling

Rosie Darling sings her heart out, bathed in smoky pink lighting during her show at Aisle 5 on Feb. 1. Her complex experiences with love and friendship shape the aura of her music. // Photo by Caroline Betz Student Publications

On Wednesday, Feb. 1, at 8 p.m., Rosie Darling took the stage at Aisle 5 in Little Five Points. 

Little Five Points is known for its eclectic atmosphere and artsy aesthetic, and Aisle 5 fits right in. Nestled into the row of independently owned thrift shops, restaurants and bars, it was the perfect venue for such an authentic performance.

Darling’s style of wistful indie pop complimented the intimate venue perfectly, creating a palpable energy within the crowd that could be felt throughout the entire building.

Following the show, Darling sat down with the Technique to talk about the show and her music career as a whole.

A lifelong lover of music, Darling has known that her calling was within the world of music from a very young age. Darling said she has “always been passionate about music, so that path has always been clear to [her], that [she] was going to do that no matter what.” 

Her passion really started to take shape in middle school, when she learned how to play the guitar and Taylor Swift was popular. She was “super inspired by that and the artist’s whole world.” She started writing songs when she was around 12 or 13 years old. “It’s been with me for a while but I’m finally getting to do it and tour and experience the other side of it too as more of like a business, which is really cool,” Darling said. 

This love of music and songwriting transitioned into her career today, as she writes or co-writes all of her own songs. She notes this particular facet of her music to be what drives her, saying that “I write all my songs … well, I co-write them too so sometimes there is more than one writer, but I definitely am more of a storyteller, and I love lyrics and rhyming and finding a cool way to say things.” 

Darling’s repertoire of songs leans heavily into the universal experience of heartbreak; she noted that she draws “inspiration from both my relationships but also [her] friends’ relationships” for the stories her songs tell. 

Darling also often takes inspiration from her surroundings. If she sees a cool phrase, she immediately thinks, “Oh, that’s cool, maybe I can put that in a song or like make it part of a chorus of a song or a passing lyric or something. I try to keep my mind open at all times.”

The sound of Darling’s music is unique, inspired by an eclectic range of sources. 

Her interesting approach to sound curation is centered around “experimenting a lot of the time, figuring things out” and listening a range of other artists, such as Gracie Abrams and Julia Wolf. 

“[I’m] just kind of always listening,” Darling said. 

Darling has been focusing more on her live music and all of the ways that it motivates her to keep singing. 

Darling described her Atlanta performance: “there were people lined up out here and we got to come and say ‘hi’ and take a few pictures and meet people.” In particular she noted that “some people got here like a few hours early, which is like a big commitment […] so that was pretty special.” 

Darling reflected on her mentality towards being a performer. 

“I’m still new at performing so I get super nervous before, like right before I go on, but once I’m out there I feel like I just kind of look at the crowd. Every crowd is different, but usually, there’s usually a few people in the front who are super excited to be there, so I feel like that is what motivates me,” Darling said.

The interaction with her fans that happens at live performances is something that Darling is driven by, saying that her favorite part of shows is getting to meet people after the show. 

“I think it’s really nice getting to hear the unique experiences everybody has or a unique experience they have with a song of mine … seeing it in the moment is really cool, that people will go out of their way to go to a show and just give you their undivided attention,” Darling said.

Darling’s passion for her music and performing on-stage is undeniable. She finished by saying, “I’m just excited to be here!”