(Photos by: Gabriel Gomez & Quyn Duong for Crooked Letter)
“It is not loneliness that I am obsessed with, it’s solitude,”Rosehardt uttered.
When was the last time you sat in solitude, alone with only your thoughts? Sometimes we find ourselves without headphones or sitting in the darkness because of a power outage. In those moments are we distracted by the need to get back to the stimuli that validates our busy world? Do you wonder if being alone is the same as embracing the solitude?
And how do we contend with all those “likes” that are gathering momentum on Instagram or a tweet that’s suspended in time waiting for a response. Distraction, like a svengali, disconnects us from ourselves and foolishly, we allow minutia and weightiness of the outside hijack our solitude once again.
As a society, we are afraid of separating ourselves. We are afraid of being alone. We are afraid of those who are isolated. We are afraid of solitude. In his first solo LP under Brooklyn-based Styles Upon Styles Records, Rosehardt’s, Songs in the Key of Solitude, stares loneliness in the face and sets forth on an auditory journey towards solitude.
“I wanted to find a way to be myself and happy. [I wanted to] feel as though I didn’t need something else to make me feel complete even if I ever found something like that [love] again, I had to know that I could also be cool by myself,” Rosehardt explained.
Rosehardt, born Caleb Eberhardt, is a self-produced R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Hip-Hop artist. Songs in the Key of Solitude shapes the identity of an artist and individual. The album is the product of a self-imposed isolation during New York’s frigid winter months, following the slow and painful loss of his father to Alzheimer’s while subsequently ending a long-term relationship.
These personal life events that were out of his control and the classic album, Stevie Wonder’s, Songs in the Key of Life (1976), created the think tank emotion that gave way to his album. Combining a Stevie-inspired range of musical styles and personal hardships, Rosehardt’s narrative leaves no room for an impetuous key or lyric.
“I was in a relationship for three-and-a-half years and it abruptly ended. That was rough and it almost immediately spawned the first song for this record, ‘Fall Into You.” Bursting with melancholy, “Fall Into You” embraces loneliness, manipulation, and blissful detachment that follow heartbreak. The bridge before the third verse reads:
“She’s got a love I can barely remember / And we’ve got a night that’s gone by morning / I don’t need love / And neither do you / I’m done wasting time playing the fool.”
The complexity of life, the expectation of loss and the anticipatory grief that accompanies this is a bridge we all must cross. Conversely, that which we least expect to happen occurs without preparation or foresight. What results is the veil of youth being stripped from our vision exposing lamentable roots. While some seek traditional counseling after life-altering incidents, Rosehardt turns to his audience as a source of therapy.
“I never liked [traditional] therapy. It was given to me as an option [when] my dad got really sick,” Rosehardt continued, “With this [music] it felt like a good way to creatively express myself and make what I wanted to make, but also release any demons that I might be keeping inside.”
Sonically, Songs in the Key of Solitude naturally fluctuates similar to the grieving process. By not limiting the sound of varying moods to one genre, Rosehardt’s equanimity brings authenticity to his music while exercising his demons. Many musicians stray from experimenting, boxing themselves into a single genre because they believe their success and talent lies within one specific area. However, in a token of candor, growth occurs when artists are cognizant of their truths and willingly step outside of their comfort zone to create an honest identity by exploring different sounds.
“The album goes through a bunch of different moods. It’s sad, it’s angry, it’s happy, it’s horny, it’s gross at times, but I think through all that I want people to feel unashamed and connected to things that are real. There is no gloss over this record,” Rosehardt shared.
Creation derives from life’s energy. Rosehardt’s self-imposed isolation is indicative of a man in pain and turmoil committed to self-healing. A therapeutic masterpiece created from the ashes of life-altering events, Songs in the Key of Solitude, weaves a narrative of loneliness, uncertainty, faith, love, and ultimately, solitude.
Watch the full interview here:
Songs in the Key of Solitude is out now. Listen Below:
Songs in the Key of Solitude
Songs in the Key of Solitude, an album by Rosehardt on Spotify