Artist You Need To Know: Khloe Rose

emilytreadgold #9, Features

If you tend to spend your evenings curled up on the couch and scrolling tirelessly through TikTok (as we all do, naturally), then I've got a sneaking suspicion you've already come across this next artist.

Khloe Rose is a rising singer/songwriter who found herself catapulted into a viral moment on TikTok after teasing a brief clip of her song, "Fictional," – which ultimately led to her teaming up with Columbia Records/Medium Rare Records/RECORDS.

"Fictional" resonated with a wide scope of listeners, who found solace in the song's meaning – about preferring the fantastical thrill of a fictional romance over the real thing. Khloe then followed up with her next release, "The Other POV," another heartbreakingly relatable track inspired by an iconic love triangle in a 2000s teen TV show. Her unwavering ability to bear her heart on her sleeve through her authentic lyricism makes her a force to be reckoned with - and she's only getting started. 

First, can you tell us a bit about your music background and journey? And what led you to start writing your own stuff?

Khloe: I was really young when I started singing. I kind of decided as soon as I made my way onto the earth that that was my career path. I kind of just started as a toddler…I remember there was a Taylor Swift performance at, I think, the American Country Music Awards or something like that. She performed Should've Said No, and the rain was pouring down, and I was like, that is the most outrageous thing I've ever seen, and I loved it. That [performance] changed the trajectory of my entire mindset.  

I went into singing lessons when I was probably seven or eight, and I started doing community theater as well. When I was probably 13 or 14, I started writing my own songs. But I never showed anybody; I was dead set against it. It felt so embarrassing to me - that's too much of my own stuff. When I was probably a junior in high school […] I ended up showing [my music teacher], and she was like, "I really think you should start showing this to other people." We were in the middle of quarantine, so I started posting on TikTok, and that kind of all went from there.

Who are some of the artists who have inspired you in the past/continue to inspire you to this day? And do you have any dream collaborations with singers, writers, producers, etc.?

Khloe: I'm so in love with so many different artists and forms of art. I think the best way to improve yourself as a songwriter and as a performer is to admire the work of artists - so I could name a bazillion people that I love. Obviously, Taylor Swift has been my longest-running inspiration. She and Avril Lavigne were really pivotal to me when I was younger. And these days, I'm such a big fan of Gracie Abrams and Maisie Peters. I love them so much as songwriters and performers.

I mean, dream collaborations are a crazy idea. I feel like it'd be really cool to collaborate with people in my realm like Olivia Rodrigo, Sabrina Carpenter, Gracie Abrams - that'd be amazing and seems very unrealistic, I understand. I also think it'd be really cool to collaborate with somebody from BLACKPINK. 

Congratulations on all of your success with "Fictional" and "The Other POV." I love "Fictional"; I relate so much to it. And so do so many other people. It's such a good concept for a song. I can't imagine what it must've been like for you when it blew up. What was that moment like for you?

Khloe: It was really crazy. It's hard to predict the flow of the internet. So, when I posted it, it was at a really obscure time. I feel like I posted it [on TikTok] at midnight. My friend was urging me to post it. And it was the next morning I woke up and had 20,000 new followers. A lot of opportunities have come from that one video of me singing two and a half years ago [when] I was sixteen years old. It was absolutely insane. And just to think of how far that song has come from that little demo in my room to the version that's out now is crazy. 

Since then, what has been your biggest pinch-me moment?

Khloe: Every moment since it came out has felt super unreal - a lot has changed since then. My main collaborator with all my music right now is Alex Hope, and they are incredible. They've worked on so much music that I love. 

I think the most insane feeling is to be in the studio with them. When I was in Nashville a few weeks ago, we were recording, and they [said], "You have Hayley Williams-level vocal cords." For someone that is such an inspiration to me to say that about me and compare me to somebody who I also look up to so much was insane. And I think the entire studio process has been such a dream. It's been crazy. Alex Hope is the best. 

Following the success of your recent singles, do you feel like there's this newfound pressure when it comes to writing and releasing? Has your writing process changed now that you have a wider audience?

Khloe: I don't think it's so much that my songwriting process has changed, but definitely, the way that I have thought about putting together music has changed. 

It was really stressful for me when "The Other POV" came out following "Fictional" because now I had to live up to this thing that had two years of hype around it. So it's definitely a bit of a stressor just trying to put out music that aligns with that kind of narrative right now. 

But I'm lucky enough to have a pretty solid team around me that can give me a level head on what fits and what doesn't fit. And I also have such amazing supporters online, [who] have been around for so long, and they've shown me it doesn't matter what concept I'm edging into, they're really in love with it all, and that's really special to me. 

I love the love triangle story in "The Other POV," so I was wondering what inspired this song.

Khloe:  I made it up in my brain. I think I was watching One Tree Hill. And I was really young when I wrote this song, too; I think I was sixteen. There's this love triangle in One Tree Hill between Brooke, Lucas, and Peyton. I am an avid love triangle anti - I think they're the worst trope. There's always that one person who's in the way, and they're obviously not gonna end up with the guy or the girl. 

I was watching One Tree Hill, and it dinged the lightbulb in my brain, like. It kind of sucks to be that other person who's getting pulled into this relationship unknowingly. They're making you all these promises, and, in reality, there's someone else they're waiting on. 

When you write, do you typically look elsewhere for inspiration, or do you draw from personal experiences as well?

Khloe: I think I mainly draw from personal experiences. I take a lot from my own life and my friends' lives - they're a very big inspiration for me, but I also think it's a really cool thing to be able to attach yourself to a situation that you're not in. 

It's a weird thing that I do; I write about people I don't really know and what's going on in their life. Or any point of fiction. It's fun to open up all the different avenues of writing. Because sometimes, when you're writing so much about yourself, it can get a little exhausting - especially when you're going through a romantic hassle yourself, writing about that same thing can be super draining. But I definitely do draw from a lot of personal experience as well. 

Can you give us a little insight as to what we can expect from your upcoming single, "The In-Between"?

Khloe: I love "The In Between." I'm so excited for it to come out. It's definitely a change in pace and sound compared to the other two. I wrote the demo for it a lot more recently. This is something that I wrote back in February. Alex Hope and I revisited and recorded [it] three weeks ago. So, it's very, very fresh. It's a total sound change; it's a concept change as well. 

It's kind of sitting in that idea that you're used to the gray area in a relationship. I have a problem where I can't like anybody who likes me, and I only like people who don't like me back. So, you're getting used to that non-commitment type of thing. And then when somebody all of a sudden comes to you with this confession, it's like, well, I liked it when you didn't say that, and now that you've said it, I don't wanna be in it anymore. 

Any other exciting updates or announcements you can leave us with? Any tour dates?

Khloe: There's a lot more music coming, for sure. I can say that. I'm taking another trip to Nashville here soon, so there's definitely more music that we can look forward to. I know nothing about any tour dates, but that is the dream. I can tell you that right now. If I ever got a tour, you'd find me on the floor sobbing about it. But there's more music coming, for sure, and I'm very excited about the next few releases. 

"Fictional," "The Other POV," and "The In-Between" can be listened to on all streaming platforms today. And Khloe's debut EP, also titled "The In-Between," will be released on August 18th! And be sure to give Khloe Rose a follow on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the latest releases and exciting news!

Grace Kuraska

For as long as I can remember growing up, music was constantly blasted throughout the house. My parents’ love of music introduced me to pop and rock idols and icons of the past, setting me up for a life of fangirling over a confusing range of artists, from Fleetwood Mac to One Direction (still mourning the loss of the latter). I could spend hours at a time binge listening to albums, and researching new artists. Follow me on insta @gracekuraska.