Erika Rose
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Erika Rose

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE | AFTRA

Brooklyn, New York, United States | INDIE | AFTRA
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Erika Rose: Beautifully Thorny"

By John Murph, Staff Writer

Posted Aug. 9, 2007 — After one listen to Erika Rose’s exquisite and daring debut disc, Rosegarden, you’d never guess that she was once a reluctant artist, too shy to share her beautiful voice and sensual songwriting. But, indeed , she was. And she consistently put her artistic goals on hold to be Alicia Keys’ devoted personal tour manager.

But once she stopped suppressing her talent, a rich sonic bouquet bloomed with the help of Om’Mas Keith of SA-RA Creative Partners.

On Rosegarden, Rose superbly blends girl-next-door sweetness with an edgy, gully-punk attitude as she sings about betrayal (“Backstabbaz Bounce”), addiction (“I Can’t Save You”), inner demons (“The Darkness”) and unbridled female sexuality (“Rosegarden”).

:: AD ::

She told about her trajectory from Keys’ personal assistant to being one of the most talented new voices in R&B that’s steadily winning accolades from such artists as Common, Erykah Badu, Lenny Kravitz, and of course, Alicia Keys.

BET J: Tell me how you advanced from working as Alicia Keys’ personal assistant to songwriter and eventually a solo artist?

Erika Rose: Basically when I found the courage to step out and embrace the fact that this is really what I wanted to do with my life, my uncle, jazz percussionist Norman Headman, advised me to work with Alicia. When she had gotten her record deal, I didn’t ever want her to think that I was trying to ride her coattail; therefore I never said anything about wanting to sing. But it was my uncle, who arranged a three-way call and said, “Erika wants to sing.” She said, “What do you mean? All these years I’ve known you, I never knew you wanted to sing.” That’s how shy I was. Then she said, “Get your ass up here, girl!” While she was working on her first album, she asked me what song would I remake if I had a choice. I answered, “At Last.” We went in and totally flipped the song. She was so impressed that they started developing me as an artist too. That’s when I co-wrote “A Woman’s Worth” with her.

Once I finished Boston College, she’d just released the album. So I moved to New York to work on my album. But Alicia asked if I would come on the road with her as her personal assistant for three weeks. I agreed. After three weeks, her road manager left. I was the only person who could fill those shoes at that moment in such a short notice, so three weeks turned into two years. Soon after, I became enmeshed in management, doing like four or five jobs.

There really wasn’t much time for me to be creative. I felt a little bit lost. I literally woke up one morning and just couldn’t do it anymore. I called and said, “I can’t come to work today. I’m done.” I left and finally began putting all my energy into my own project. That was two years ago.

BET J: It’s interesting to hear that you were so shy in asserting your own interest, because on the disc, you display such a brave creative spirit. What did you want to say with Rosegarden?

Rose: I really didn’t want a formulaic approach to this album. The concept behind this album was freedom. I didn’t want to fit into any particular genre or format. From a lyrical standpoint, these songs come out of pages from my journal. I wanted to create a personal album. I’m a very complex, deep, analytical person. And I didn’t want to go so deep that people wouldn’t be able to feel me. So I did try and make it a little more simplistic in terms of communicating deep feelings. I’m someone who also loves to speak about social issues. But I also made a conscientious decision not to go too deep into that either. I just wanted to start on a level ground then progress as my albums go on.

BET J: Talk about the title track. That’s a very naughty song! It ranks up there with Sheena Easton’s “Sugar Walls.”

Rose: [Laughs] It’s naughty in a very classy, poetic way. I feel that sexuality has been really degraded and objectified in music. That’s such a shame, because sexuality is something that’s so beautiful and something that can be really close to God when it’s expressed right. I wanted to bring it back to that essence – its purity and beauty – and not make it feel dirty. Minnie Riperton sang, “Will you come inside me.” It didn’t get any more blunt than that. But the way that she sang it, you wanted to eat it up.

BET J: So are you writing any more for other artists, or are you solely concentrating on Erika right now?

Rose: I’m really concentrating on my own thing now. I’ve lived for so many other people for so long that I’m finally focusing on myself. I’m enjoying that moment right now.

- John Murph,

" Album Review: Rosegarden"

Released: 2007
Record Label: Infinity Le Monde

Album Review

As Erika Rose asserts early on in this debut, Rosegarden is a "longtime coming, dreams deferred are now realized," as she put off her pursuit of a music career acting as childhood friend Alicia Keys' road manager for the early part of Keys' career. She did find time to co-write "A Woman's Worth," and a few other tunes sporadically spread throughout the Grammy-winner's two albums; but, for the most part, Rose tabled her artistic aspirations and through on a business suit. But after a career-epiphany in Spain and a chance encounter with Sa-Ra's Om'Mas Keith, Rosegarden finds this singer-songwriter focused on self. This could be fertile soil for an overly self-indulgent album, making up for lost time spent aiding someone else's endeavors; or it could be the type of path that leads to self-doubt and unsure, trepid music. Instead, Rosegarden<I/> is a solid, well-directed album from a promising artist and a talented musician-producer (Keith). Keith's production is less probing and risky than the work he does with his Sa-Ra partners. But, though devoid of Sa-Ra's peculiar and entertaining eccentricities, Keith mixes rock and 70s R&B, which Rose -- a talented singer -- uses as a canvass for her diary-like lyrics. Whether it's dark paranoia ("The Darkness"), coy sexual boasts ("Spell On You") or quit-hatin' anthems ("Backstabbaz Bounce"), with all her attention focused on building her own career, Rosegarden is a conspicuously personal work. The title track submits imageries of what seems to be her own fantasy-world. And while Rose and Keith tend to aim for more edgy themes and sounds, songs like "Black Gold" and "Fairy Tales" lead one to think that Minnie Rippertonesque R&B might be her best match. Rosegarden is worth the wait for the artist and listener.

~ Vincent Thomas, All Music Guide - Vincent Thomas, All Music Guide

"vVideo: Erika Rose, "The Darkness""

vVideo: Erika Rose, "The Darkness"
POSTED: 12:24 EST, May 30, 2007

Co-writer of Alicia Keys's "A Woman's Worth" gets in a kinda gothic funk.

New Yorker Erika Rose, co-writer of three tracks off The Diary of Alicia Keys and AK's former personal assistant, has her own total flavor going on, and we're not mad. From her album Rosegarden, which hits July 24. -

"Erika Rose: A Rose that Grows from Concrete"

Written by Todd Davis
Wednesday, 08 August 2007

For someone who literally just released her highly touted debut, Rosegarden, which has already drawn a great deal of praise from music critics alike, Erika Rose has already accomplished more in a relatively short time span than a lot of artists do in a lifelong career. Born to a Jewish mother and Jamaican father, the bi-racial singer/songwriter began learning dance and piano at the tender age of three. She later went on to study at the prestigious Alvin Ailey School, and eventually would meet and befriend another aspiring musician by the name of Alicia Keys. Erika and Alicia soon began crafting works together, one of which, ’A Woman’s Worth,’ helped propel Keys’ Songs in A Minor [2001] to well over ten million copies worldwide. She has since written three additional tunes for the equally successful, The Diary of Alicia Keys, and also spent two additional years on the road with Alicia as her tour director, and project manager. In 2005, Erika linked up with producer Om’Mas Keith, from the group Sa-Ra, and the two began collaborating on what has become her impressive collection, Rosegarden -- And to think, it’s really only just begun…

The Industry Cosign: When did you first become interested in music??

Erika Rose: I was born dancing and singing. It's just something that was inside of me from a child.

T.I.C.: You are from Brooklyn, New York, right?? So, growing up, who were some of your strongest musical influences??

E.R.: I am actually not a native of Brooklyn, I was born on Long Island, and lived in Manhattan and Queens before moving down to Florida. My strongest musical influences are those that my father and mother played growing up; Led Zeppelin, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon, Carole King, Santana, (and) Bob Marley.

T.I.C.: When did you realize that music was your true calling??

E.R.: I was in college studying economics at the suggestion of my parents, and I was very depressed. I had an epiphany and realized I could not live a happy life without music. I left the school I was in, auditioned for the University of Miami’s School of Music, I got in, got a scholarship, and began the Jazz Vocal Program there. That is also when I began writing songs.

T.I.C.: How did you first come to the attention of Miss Alicia Keys?? And, why did you opt to release Rosegarden independently versus that of a major label??

E.R.: I have known Alicia Keys since I was a little girl. And, when I decided to dedicate myself to music, we got into the studio and the vibe was amazing, and the rest was history!! Because I spent four years on the management side of the business, I have a very deep understanding and knowledge of the ins and outs of the business. Therefore, I decided to create my own imprint, Infinity Le Monde, to make the record my way, and maintain the creative integrity of the album, with the confidence that I knew enough people and enough about the business to make it happen on my own. My partner, Om’Mas Keith has also been in the business for a long time, so together we have all our bases covered.

T.I.C.: Define your sound

E.R.: I would define it as freedom. It is a cross genre album that includes; Rock, pop, Soul, Jazz, and Funk. But, (it) is synergized through me, and so in that it is cohesive. There was no formula in making this album it was about absolute freedom, and creating what we wanted to create in each moment.

T.I.C.: You titled your debut, Rosegarden -- Why??

E.R.: ‘Rosegarden’ is the title track on the album. It is descriptive of the magical enchanted fairytale land that is a metaphor for my spirit.

T.I.C.: Did Om’Mas produce your entire project??

E.R.: I am involved with the entire creative process, top to bottom, (but he) produced the entire album.

T.I.C.: Do you have a favorite track on the LP??

E.R.: I love all of the tracks for different reasons. My uncle played percussion on one song, and Om’Mas’ mother sang background vocals on another. Both of them are brilliant musicians, and it was an honor to have them both on the record.

T.I.C.: What are you future plans for longevity??

E.R.: The key to success is a combination of my determination, dedication, commitment, ambition, intelligence, and talent coupled with the ingenuity of the music itself. If people feel the music it will live on through them. In terms of what sustains me, it is my connection to spirit and the love of my family that sustains me in life, period.

T.I.C.: What else are you interested in getting involved in??

E.R.: Yes, I plan to own a multi-media entertainment company that seeks to bring authentic inspiring media to the masses. I will author several books. I will write, produce, and star in a Broadway show, and, perhaps, some fashion and politics down the line.

T.I.C.: What do you think about the current state of urban music??

E.R.: There are some people that are doing very positive things. Anyone who puts themselves out there and gives it all they got has courage and should be commended. Unfortunately, I think big business is ruining music as a whole.

T.I.C.: What do you do for fun??

E.R.: Reading, dancing, meditating and traveling.

T.I.C.: Futuristically speaking, where do you see yourself??

E.R.: Making more music, traveling the world, directing my efforts and name towards notable social issues that need attention and awareness.

T.I.C.: Is there anything that you’d like to leave our readers with??

E.R.: Thank you for your interest in the music, and taking the time to get it out to all those you know. I am supremely grateful!! -


Rosegarden LP



Erika Rose, the prodigious and ethereal, singer-songwriter-musician takes you on a listening experience that offers a musical journey unlike any other. Through her music, with its pulsating drums, catchy hooks and strumming guitar riffs, this bohemian siren’s angelic voice and impeccable harmonic prowess takes the listener on a journey of introspection, sensuality, self-love and service. Rose is a true performance driven artist who is electrifying on stage! Her music is alternative, rock, and pop with an eclectic blend of soul, funk and jazz influences. She is undeniable!

This past year has been an inspiring and challenging one for Erika Rose, as she has taken a grassroots approach to getting her music on the road! She has performed with her band Manifest Destiny at various clubs throughout New York including Joe’s Pub, The Mercury Lounge, Piano’s, The Cutting Room, and The Knitting Factory. After completing a tour in Japan, England, and The Netherlands, Rose is currently performing in key cities throughout the United States and Europe with Alicia Keys “AS I AM” Tour presented by Lexus. With her newly released video Rosegarden airing on TV and making the BETJ Soul Sessions Top Ten Countdown List to working in the studio on new compilations, Erika looks forward to many more live performances throughout the year!

The Blooming Rose:
As the saying goes, a rose that grows from concrete surpasses expectations because one would never anticipate such a beautiful flower to blossom from such a challenged and often uneven foundation. The same is true for Erika Rose. Born in New York to a Jewish mother and a Jamaican father, the petite, biracial beauty with a song in her heart, did not allow anyone to deter her from pursuing her dreams of performing and making them a reality.

Growing up in Manhattan and Queens for her first ten years of life before moving to Florida, the precocious wunderkind graduated from high school at the age of sixteen, and began to express herself thru song, polished her piano skills and picked up guitar. At the age of seventeen she co-penned the yet to be released “A Woman’s Worth” with her childhood friend Alicia Keys, from Alicia’s multi-platinum debut album.

After completing her degree in three years at the University of Miami’s School of Music, having received a full scholarship, she relocated back to New York. Filling an existing void in Alicia’s camp at the onset of both of their careers, moving from assistant to road manager, Erika ascended to tour director and project manager and then transitioned out of her role after four years on the road. At the delicate age of twenty-three, Erika Rose stepped out on faith to fully fulfill her dreams and the result has culminated in an eclectic and melodic tale of passion, love and truth from within entitled Rosegarden.

In November 2005, Erika met producer, musician and executive Om’Mas Keith of the group SA-RA through a mutual friend and the two began collaborating and creating music together. The two are credited for writing the lyrics, music, and production of Rosegarden, which was released in July 2007. Rose says, “Everything I write about comes from what I feel and how I live.”

Reap what we sow…
Erika’s roots can be traced to far away places such as Russia, Germany, Scotland, London, Jamaica and to her birthplace in New York. Her diverse family origin has given Rose a wide screen perspective of the world. Rose grew up having great pride in her multicultural heritage. She has a great humanitarian spirit and looks forward to making her mark on society. Currently, she sits on the Board of Directors for Frum the Ground Up and Keep A Child Alive. In 2002, Rose was privileged to be involved in the planning of Alicia Keys performance for MTV's Staying Alive Concert in Capetown, South Africa. This trip to Africa had a profound impact on her life; the juxtaposition of the devastation and the undying hope of the people she met left an unforgettable image that weighed heavily on her heart. Leigh Blake and Keep A Child Alive provided the vehicle through which she could commit unconditionally to the fight against Aids in Africa. Rose believes through art and music, we find the common thread that links us all as citizens of the world.

Songs in her heart!
Rose simply wants every ear that hears Rosegarden to be “touched and moved because that’s the beauty of art, it’s a personal experience. Whether it’s the melody or the lyrics, the music or the rhythm, I just want people to be taken to some faraway euphoric land. Just get high off of the music and go to a really deep place that brings them joy".