Meet Enrose. Fronted by saxophonist, singer-songwriter and all out creative Gabi Enrose, what started out as a solo project has now become a sonic powerhouse with the addition of the immensely talented Lopardo (drummer), Kit Benz (keyboardist), Mikey Rotunno (bassist) and Will Harden (guitarist). Based out of NYC, the group was born through the love of D'Angelo, Hiatus Kaiyote and Moonchild. They have recently released their debut EP titled 'Wait, Create', a soulful R&B and jazz record that maintains a pop sensibility throughout. Remove the MIDI and programmed instrumentation for Enrose really are the real deal...and thank goodness for that! Speaking on the record, Gabi described that “Most people are juggling a bunch of different tasks. Of course, you have to dedicate yourself to mastering things. I mean, I spent hours learning hours’ and hours’ worth of jazz standards in college—and I’d barely even attempted to solo at that point. But whether you’re an accountant or a stay-at-home parent or someone who likes gardening or all of the above, my whole point is ‘Wait...STOP for a moment and take stock of what you’ve done and then build from there. Sure, there’s always a long way to go, but chances are you’re further along than you thought.”
For Fans Of: D'Angelo | Hiatus Kaiyote | Moonchild
Tell us about your first live performance? What was it like and how did you feel before and after it?
My first live performance goes WAY back to dance recital days probably, but my first performance with Enrose was in the summer of 2020. I was asked by a pretty renowned music venue out here on Long Island, the Paramount Theater, to do an outdoor performance on the street. They had tables set up and were serving outside, because of course back then we were in the middle of COVID. We had lost all our work and any performing I was doing was outside either solo, or only duo- so the chance to play with a band again felt like heaven. I had all these songs I had written and I wasn't particularly ready to "start the band Enrose," but the opportunity was there so we went for it. The guys I called are still my main guys in Enrose now. They were there for that first show- we played a mix of original music and covers, and it just felt right. A bunch of people stopped to listen to us walking by, and the response we got from the audience was very positive.
When writing new material which comes first, lyrics or music?
It can go either way. Writing lyrics is a great way to keep me thinking like a songwriter every day. So even if I'm just journaling, writing a short poem, or jotting down some thoughts, I can do that any time of day no matter where I am. Sometimes it gets turned into a song, many times it gets lost to the abyss. But sitting down at the piano to write a song is a much more intentional thing.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
D'Angelo is definitely at the top. The first time I heard the album Brown Sugar, it changed the way I looked at music completely and led me down a deep rabbit hole of soul and R&B. My other influences are Alicia Keys, Nirvana, Moonchild, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Anderson .Paak.
What’s the best advice you’ve received so far in your musical journey?
I get a lot of amazing advice from my peers and people I look up to. I constantly feel like a sponge soaking in new information and inspiration. I think an overarching theme of advice I've gotten and tried to follow is just to keep going. The most "successful" artists, in my view, seem to have this tunnel vision that keeps them so focused and out of tune with anything that might deter them. It's really easy to get distracted and discouraged. But as a team, we want to keep going and ride this out as long as we can. A music career isn't about a moment of virality- it's about commitment and being in it for the long haul.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
I have a lot of songs like that- lately I've been playing "Summer Breeze" by Seals and Crofts on repeat I also love "Turnin' Me Up" by BJ The Chicago Kid "Back To Brooklyn" by Joanna Teters Throwing it back with P!nk's "Get The Party Started" and "Me And Those Dreamin' Eyes Of Mine" by D'Angelo is one of my favorite songs of all time.
What do you hope people will get out of listening to your music?
I want people to feel good and that like they connected with me in some way- whether it's the lyrics, the performance, or the overall flow of a song or album. I don't just write to show off musically- I want to actually write songs. My favorite songs are the ones I don't get tired of hearing, and that I constantly find little nuggets that surprise me and make me smile. The whole point of starting enrose was to follow the quote "la vie en rose," or see life through this lens of beauty and art.
Lastly, what can we expect for the rest of the year?
We're going to be dropping a live recording and video from our last show opening up for Bilmuri. We're working on our next single, as well some cool collaborations! Our next show is at the Bowery Electric in NYC on May 20th with Will Leet, Sarah Gross, and Harris, followed by some festivals this summer including Maplewoodstock, Harborfest, and Stattfest. We can't wait.