Baby Rose is coming home.
She spent summers and holidays in the city, soaking up the culture of the area and the musical knowledge her family imparted to her. “Music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s something that runs really heavily in my family,” Baby Rose said in a Zoom interview with The Washington Post.
Coming from a musical household that explored genres and hosted talent shows, Baby Rose developed a wide-ranging musical ear. Her sound spans genres but lands somewhere on the R&B, soul and hip-hop spectrum and is rife with emotion. In “Stop the Bleeding,” from her April album “Through and Through,” she coos, “Pain is at my window / The storm is at my door / Your sorry is my weakness / Leaves me wanting more.”
Baby Rose uses her music to release her pent-up emotions and wants to help her listeners realize that they’re not alone. “I love that my music is cathartic. I love that it’s a process,” she said.
A voice like Baby Rose’s demands attention. Her low timbre commands a stage that feels littered with the echoes of soul musicians who have walked her path before. But the reaction from her peers was not always positive. “I’ve always appreciated my voice. I’ve always loved my voice. But I don’t think my voice was always appreciated,” said Baby Rose. “As a kid, I felt like it was more of a thing that people laughed at.”
The schoolyard snickers did not lessen Baby Rose’s ambition for her voice. “In my mind, I’ve always felt like it was amazing to have that unique thing that set me apart. Especially after finding different musicians and artists that had unique tones and textures,” said Baby Rose.
Artists like Janis Joplin and Nina Simone embolden Baby Rose’s confidence. These were women who didn’t “shy behind” their voices, according to Baby Rose; they used their individuality “as a weapon.” Like Baby Rose, they were determined to be themselves.
June 25 at 8 p.m. at the Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW. thehowardtheatre.com. $22.50.