Rozie Ramati is a success story in using social media as a multimodal creative tool

The Los Angeles-based musician cultivates a world where Greek gods play among us, flowers grow and wilt with our love, and grape vines wrap around our ankles and choke us.
Hannah Calistri
Hannah Calistri
Hannah is a graduate student at California State University, Los Angeles, studying Anthropology and Archaeology. She was Poetry and Copy Editor at The Rational Creature (https://www.therationalcreature.com/) from 2018-2023. Hannah continues writing whatever she can, from short-fiction to music reviews and anything else she's in the mood for. Contact: hannah.calistri@gmail.com https://www.instagram.com/_hansah_/

I found Rozie Ramati’s music, or perhaps it found me, the way most people find new music these days—on TikTok. The video was a selfie format clip with cute Twitter text: i’m so norm-core rn now no one would suspect i’m an experimental electronic musician that has a vocal vibrato akin to snow white. Though her concise little bio drew me in, it was the audio that pulled me out of the monotony of my doom scroll. It wasn’t the same few songs I’d been hearing over and over again, nor was it some canned, catchy lyrics written for the sole purpose of starting a trend. The soft blend of strings and electronic beats was the first few seconds of her single, Grapevines,” an instant earworm. “You’re too fast and sweet, I’m waiting for your lies”—an opening line projecting us straight into the singer’s prophetic heartache. You could say it’s a lamentation of a romance gone sour, in other words, a magical reimagining of getting the ick.

Ramati’s sound is defined by her soprano vocal range suspended in an electronic soundscape, which she has compared to FKA Twigs and Grimes. However, her vocal styling is uniquely fairytale-esque: sometimes like a princess singing to the bluebirds tying up her dress and other times haunted—more of a Brothers Grimm vibe rather than Disney. This vocal style and her enchanted forest-meets-Sylvia-Plath-lyricism create Ramati’s ethereal world. Ramati, alongside her producer Cowboy Lansky, blends her delicate vocals with electronic instrumentation and glittering beats to launch her into a genre all her own. Her cover of “Bésame Mucho,” originally written in 1932, captures the thesis of her sound. The song begins with pure vocals seeped in emotional vibrato plucked straight out of the early 20th century. As the song progresses, so does the instrumentation, reflecting the evolution of musical genres since the original was released. By the bridge, alien strings and ecstatic vocal layering reaches heartbreaking, Twigs-esque highs. The result is a work that ties Ramati’s indie electronic style and feminine longing to classic Latin music. Hearing it performed live had me tearing up.

Ramati’s most popular single, “Clouds of Dew,” blends her love-lost melody with a quick beat produced by Sega Bodega that makes you want to dance in an early 2000s club. At her first show in Los Angeles at 2220 Arts, she explained that she wrote the song from the perspective of flowers dying in a vase. “I reach for you,” the flowers say—“drown in the clouds of dew /  petals crumble and fuse into the walls / wilted sisters shedding like the last of our love.” Her distorted, angelic voice obscures the lyrics from the listener. It wasn’t until I looked up the lyrics that I appreciated her clever imagery. With heartbreak projected onto the wilting flowers, the wistful melody stuck in my head like the singer’s own sorrow. Similarly, “Puppets for the Gods” continues with themes of love and longing that tie through all of her music. The subtle piano intro is gilded by her elegant vocal runs—again, like the musing of a fairytale creature. The sound immediately grounds us in Ramati’s mythical daydream. “I’m fiending for your kiss / melt deep in peachy mist.” She suspends us in a world of vapors, flowers, fog, and winged gods. The singer cannot act on her desire, but perhaps Eros, the god of love, could shoot Rozie’s crush with his arrow.

As a new artist, Ramati’s aesthetic cultivation is promising for the future of her music, and her latest single, “Blank Page,” did not disappoint. The song opens with her trademark vocals, a nymph luring us deeper into their forest. Building on “Clouds of Dew,” “Blank Page” captures us with a dense dance beat reminiscent of PinkPantheress. I find myself playing Ramati’s discography of singles on loop, immersing myself in a world where Greek gods play among us, flowers grow and wilt with our love, and grape vines wrap around our ankles and choke us. In the less dazzling real world, the trend for shorter and shorter, TikTok-friendly songs sucks the artistry and authenticity out of music. Impressively, Ramati has managed to create her own sonic world within these confines, using social media to illustrate her captivating, silly girl vibe and offer glimpses into her songwriting process. Ramati’s growing portfolio of work, whether it be a complete song or a TikTok, is a success story in using social media as a multimodal creative tool. She definitely has me yearning for a full-length album—and luckily, Ramati specializes in music for the girls who yearn.

Read More