Rorie is a singer-songwriter but at her core she's a story-teller. Her poetic lyrics and heartbreaking voice creates the perfect amalgamation of heartbreak and vulnerability but her music is hopeful. She transports listeners to other worlds while tugging at the heartstrings of what it means to be human.
How did you get started in music?
RORIE: I grew up singing and playing piano and guitar with my church youth choir. It was my absolute favorite thing. I also loved to write and started filling notebooks with poems and short stories at a super young age. When I realized that my love for writing and singing could be combined, well, that was the beginning of a lifelong obsession with songwriting.
Tell me about your song “Dance” – what’s the story behind it?
RORIE: I’ve found that it’s easier for me to write sad songs, so when I wrote “Dance” I was specifically trying to write a happier love song that could be played at a wedding. I imagined the production being very synth-pop, but also wanted it to be a song that would sound good with just piano or acoustic guitar. It was around that same time that all four of my incredible grandparents passed away, not too long after the other. There was one particularly touching story where my Pop Pop was walking down the hallway of the nursing home with my grandma a few days before he passed away. He looked at her and sort of humorously said “let’s get out of here.” They were best friends and their marriage was a beautiful one. I wrote this song drawing from my own experiences while also instilling some of that nostalgia and the magic of their lifelong relationship. I think that at first listen it can sound super sweet and happy, but I also wanted to infuse some layers of emotion, nostalgia, and strength in there, waiting to be uncovered.
How did your family react to it?
RORIE: They liked it a lot. They are getting very used to me writing about real stories from my life that often overlap with their lives, so they know that everything is fair game. I usually try to play songs for them first if there is a special story behind it. They’re honestly awesome and were really excited to hear it.
What else has been inspiring you lately?
RORIE: I’ve been listening to a lot of orchestral and symphonic music lately. Maybe it’s the time of year, but I all of the sudden want to write all sorts of violin and cello parts for my next record.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
RORIE: Moving past “closed doors.” When I started doing music, I knew that it was not going to be easy. The saying “knock on 999 doors plus one more” exists for a reason. It can be really difficult to push past the letdowns, even when other things may be going well. There’s been more than one time when I’ve thought “ok, that’s it, I’m done with this…” but then I wake up the next morning back at it because I love music and songwriting so much and can’t imagine not doing it. It makes the exciting moments all the more worth it, and I don’t take anything for granted.
What’s your best piece of advice for young women?
RORIE: Remember why you started. You are beautiful, valuable, and your life has great purpose. It can be so easy to feel pressured to bend and sway to every expectation and opinion that people will come up with along the way. The crowd is fickle, and “success” is fickle, so you have to remember why you started in the first place. Don’t be afraid to care, to love deeply, to be real, and to keep being real. You never know when something you wrote will touch someone’s heart or soul in a real way, and those are the hidden moments that make it all worth it.