We had the opportunity to talk with Ivy Rosenauer about her emotional journey, being a trans woman in the music industry and her sage advice to the people.
Tune in, one and all, to the latest from Ivy Rosenauer: a stunning new release called “Born to Be Free”, an intrinsically heartfelt and epic song about embracing the excitement of rebirth. The accompanying music video is an authentic and life-giving jam with a strong 90s hip-kick and a meaningful message to raise more than just your mood. We were able to chat to Ivy herself about her transition journey, the ups and downs of her struggle for identity and her true opinion on the LGBTQ community in the music industry.
So. What’s the inspiration behind your latest single, ‘Born To Be Free’? We love it!
Thank you, that means the world to me. I love this one myself, this one is my heart and the first time I show who I am. I wanted to create something uplifting and encouraging that is positive (in the times the world is facing at the moment), but also fun and personal… I wanted to poke some fun of the social media-dominated society we are living in, too, so it has a part of some good old self-irony in it, too. But mostly, I want to share the state I’m in, in my life and my joy of getting older and feeling strong as a woman. It’s about the self discovering journey we go through as people but on a deeper note, it’s about the internal struggles of figuring out who you are and what you want from life. Once you find that and figure that out it’s more powerful than anything and that, to me is our freedom.
I wrote the song with the Swedish producer and my dear friend Leyla Ek – and it was actually sent in to Melodifestivalen in Sweden, but didn’t get picked, as the majority from the competition are people with labels’ support behind. Not bitter – just spilling the tea. The song is a celebration of overcoming the hard times in life and daring to live free and follow your heart. Take it from me, I was laying down on the ground, thought I’d never be standing again yet here I am singing about it on the other side.
The music video is awesome. What was the concept and how did it come to be?
The concept was that I wanted to share my personal journey in my transition, and the internal battle and fight of becoming me, against all odds. How I survived the darkest of times, and now celebrating the most glorious ones.
What was the journey like, getting it all together? Are you happy with the end result?
The journey was pretty quick – when I heard the beat, I fell love and the lyrics came to me right away. I co-wrote this one with my producer and it took us two weeks to finish it, as we had a deadline to reach in September.
I actually tried to re-record it five times (as I’m extremely self-critical) with different approaches but ended off where I started every time. It was all recorded in my home studio and I have the best guy mix and master and voila. That’s the beauty of music these days everyone can do it and you can do it from anywhere in the world. I am extremely happy with the outcome, it turned out like I wanted – a fun pop beat with a fun 90s touch to it.
Have there been any big moments that have surprised you over the past year or so? What’s one of your highs and lows?
My lowest points in my life were definitely after all the years of being confused and not daring to live authentically and having to numb myself with drugs and alcohol to navigate – and being left for my best friend after spending my last savings on buying an apartment for me and my ex. I lost everything and it nearly killed me and I was heartbroken for three years but I’m finally over it and this song is an ode to that. My highest point has definitely been all the opportunities I have been given the last couple of years and the people I have gotten to meet – being invited to Jakarta by the Swedish embassy and getting to meet my community down there and share some love and hope with them was probably the most fulfilling experience I ever had. Not to mention I have two awards for the TV shows I have done, which to me is the hugest accomplishment as it has helped putting focus and spreading awareness to my community. I moved last Summer to a beautiful home out by the nature in Vestamager, it reminds me of where I grew up and has given me a calm and let me feeling more inspired than ever. That beats out everything else.
What is your opinion on LGBTQ people in the music industry?
Where are they? I haven’t heard of one single LGBTQ person making it to the mainstream crowds – maybe it’s too big of a risk for the big labels? I feel like we as people in Scandinavia in general are so quick to take credit for how well we have it here and how the acceptance is so real – if you are mainstream, yes. Where are the voices of diversity and the risks taken? But funnily enough, these mainstream artists and labels love to take inspiration from our colorful communities in LGBTQ – to shine brighter themselves and for no credit and later on use it as a promotion tool.
How beautiful would it be if 2020 would be there year where we the Danish music industry dared to take some chances and let more color into peoples’ life and not just sign another Danish rapper. I haven’t seen or heard of one other transgender artist in this country yet – have you? What a beautiful world it would be if we started to include everyone equally and look beyond the fact that we are a different package that have so many stories to tell and energy to give. We can not just say we are inclusive until we actually include. Let’s break the tradition, Denmark.
Is there any advice you would give people – girls and women, fellow creative people or IDK, everyone?
I would say to stay true to exactly who you are and not be afraid of the public and how people perceive your artistry. Stop playing it safe and dare to stand out in whichever way that, I think first of all we need, as people, to appreciate the arts a little extra in days like these