Rodes Rollins: The Cowgirl Poet

emilytreadgold #2, Features

I love a Spaghetti Western vibe, and Rodes Rollins has that in spades, but what I love more is a story. Rodes has a beautiful way of turning her songs into little stories that come off as dreamy little morsels. We talked to her about cowgirl poetry, her song "Mystery Man" and her best advice for young women.

First off, how did you get started in music?

Rodes: I've been making music since I was a little girl. I have writings and recordings from age 8, which is pretty crazy! I had an amazing mentor and guitar teacher growing up, Liza Oxnard, who always pushed me to write and supported me when I wanted to record my songs. 

What is “cowgirl poetry” and what drew you to that idea?

Rodes: "Cowgirl poetry" was actually a term that someone else once used to describe my music and I loved it. When I'm writing, I truly do envision cowboy, western stories. I feel like a lot of my songs are simply western tales told in a poetic fashion.

Tell me about your song “Mystery Man,” what’s the backstory?

Rodes: Mystery Man is literally a cowboy tale I wrote as a short story first. It's about a fugitive who is on the loose. He's running through an abandoned desert town, and every person who he comes in contact with ends up falling under his spell. He's able to seduce and enchant everyone in his way. 

What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?

Rodes: I'd say one of the biggest challenges I've faced is working with people (or trying to work with people) who don't follow through on their word. I think this is a challenge that mostly everyone faces - being let down. They always say that 90% is just showing up, and I'm always surprised how hard that can be for so many people. I think I've learned over the years to proceed with skeptical optimism 😉 

What else has been inspiring you lately?

Rodes: Someone just introduced me to the music of Sybille Baier - a german folk singer. She was only active for a few years in the 60s & 70s, but her songs are really magical. 

What’s your best piece of advice for young women?

Rodes: Move forward with confidence in all that you do. Trusting yourself is the most important part in your movement. 

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram to stay tuned and listen to Mystery Man and Velvet now.

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