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by Sophie Mashlan

Q & A: ROE

by Sophie Mashlan

Q & A: ROE

Auckland songwriter Bianca Erceg aka ROE impressed us earlier this year with her debut indie electronic pop single Fire Walk, which the prolific MAINZ student followed up with the equally catchy Nobody a few weeks later. Part of a new breed of young songwriters using electronic means to create their sound, we invited ROE to perform at the inaugural NZM Presents gig in April where she continued to wow us. With new single I Know out now, we sent Sophie Mashlan her way to find out more about the person behind the music.

You’re pretty new to the music scene, and you only recently released your debut single at the end of January. What’s been the most exciting thing to happen to you along the way so far?

I think one of the most exciting things for me was seeing people respond to my music. My first single Fire Walk was a song I wrote in 30 minutes sitting on my bedroom floor, so it was amazing to see people genuinely connect with it.

Where does the name ROE come from, could you explain the meaning behind it?

Haha the name Roe originally came from a band I was in called Girls On Row. I thought it had a ring to it, so I changed the spelling and it stuck.

You’re currently studying music at MAINZ, how do you think this is influencing your personal writing?

It has opened my eyes to a lot of different ways of writing. Along the way I’ve been able to find techniques that work for me and methods that don’t, and i’ve been able to form my own way of doing things.

How long have you been writing music for? What originally got you into writing and performing music?

I’ve been obsessed with music since I was about five, and started playing guitar at eight. I only got into song writing when I was about 16 and had to write a song for a school project, but it’s taken over my life ever since.

When you performed live at NZM Presents in April, you played your songs acoustically, however, your online recordings are electronic. What made you decide to perform these songs acoustically?

I wanted to perform them acoustically as it felt more intimate and personal to me, and hopefully the audience. I wanted to challenge myself as it’s a bit more scary performing without a band supporting me, but I had a lot of fun!

And when you go about constructing the electronic versions what’s your process? What programs and gear do you use?

All my songs start different, whether it be lyrics melody or instrumentation first. After a while I developed a pattern in how I produce and record the tracks. I’ll usually lay down some chords first and play a melody over it, later adding more instruments to support the vocal line. At the moment I’m using Logic and a midi keyboard, and recording my vocals on a dynamic mic. Nothing fancy, but that’s student life. It’s also been fun teaching myself how to get the best sound out of what I have.

You’ve just released your latest track I Know on Soundcloud. Could you tell us a little bit about the inspiration for this track?

For me the song was about not being able to emotionally connect with someone and them getting hurt by it. It’s your typical liking someone who doesn’t like you back scenario but this time I’m on the breaking hearts side.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

I’m really focused on developing my songwriting and production at the moment, working toward releasing an EP. Also, I am currently constructing a band to do more live work. Definitely some exciting things to come!

Thanks so much for chatting! Looking forward to hearing more from you in the future!