We’ve been closely following the climb of Philip La Rosa. From sparkling singles, to blossoming ballads, it seems that there is no melody too ambitious or concept too deep that he can’t tackle.
Upon the release of his soulful track Baggage, he took some time to fill us in on the creative process behind bringing it to life in video.
Light bulb moments, crying in the studio, and an undying love for pop: Philip La Rosa divulges some candid truths behind the making of his latest single Baggage.
HAPPY: Hey Phil, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
PHILIP: I’m great, buzzing with excitement! Right now? Drinking my morning coffee with my partner while the sun shines through our apartment.
HAPPY: Can you tell us a bit about where music started for you?
PHILIP: My journey in music started at 10, got interrupted at 15 when shit kind of hit the fan with life and being a teenager. Then started again when I was 19, thanks to a gentle nudge from a close friend. The last eight years have been a whole lot of writing, learning, and recording.
HAPPY: Your latest single Baggage is an incredibly timely ode to the human connection. Was there an initial spark that ignited its creation?
PHILIP: There was! I was reflecting on the relationships I have in my life and how deep and meaningful they were and why. When I realised the importance of vulnerability and being your truest self, a light bulb went off and I went down this rabbit hole of “why haven’t I been this honest with everyone?”, “why am I scared to be vulnerable?”, “why are my walls up by default all the time?” After digging through past traumas and processing what my life has been for me so far, I found myself feeling a mixture of happy and sad emotions and the next thing I always do when I need to process those feelings and my past is sitting at the piano. And so Baggage was born!
HAPPY: There are so many different genres incorporated in your music. What words would you use to describe your sound?
PHILIP: I feel my music has been evolving dramatically since my first release back in 2016. I’m influenced by so many great artists that I find myself just doing what I love and what inspires me at the time. That’s what I love about Pop, it’s a container for so many different genres and sounds, where I get the freedom to kind of do what you want. I do feel Baggage is the most “me” I’ve felt in a long time though. I feel this is the start of a new chapter. So I’ll let you describe the sound of Baggage and I’ll run with that moving forward [laughs]!
HAPPY: You’ve released a few singles over the past year… did you approach the writing/recording of these tracks differently at all to past material?
PHILP: It’s been different every time. With Baggage I went to the studio with a rough melody, the first verse, the pre, and the start of the chorus, then the Banton Brothers and I had a writing session and workshopped it, shared some tears and recorded it. All done in two days. The recording process was very different. I feel like the Banton’s never stopped recording on the day, even while I was trying to sing through the tears. It was an emotional two days but super rewarding!
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BREAK DOWN YOUR WALLS 🧱 We’re all a little damaged, right? We’d be lying if we said we weren’t. The first step in my healing process was lowering my walls, letting my guard down and speaking my truth. I now find the connections with those around me far deeper and meaningful. Staying on the surface will only take you so far into your own freedom and relationships. The smallest words can lead to the biggest impact, sometimes those words might help your own growth and sometimes it might help the person you’re conversing with. Either way, someone’s walking away one step closer to emotional freedom. ✨ So, I’ll start. Some nights I stay awake wondering if my actions from the day had a positive impact on my own life or those around me. If I had a productive day at work. If I told my boyfriend I love him. Sometimes, it gets a little heavier and lay awake wondering what my life would have been like if I didn’t stop performing when I was 15. If I dodged some of the trauma. If I didn’t bully others when I was bullied. If I didn’t leave high school halfway through year 10. If I didn’t miss all the teenage highlights of house parties, school balls and leavers. If I got handed a different set of cards. Some nights I wish I could just go down memory lane and browse through the thousands of photos I once had of me on stage, backstage, rehearsing, recording or all the catchups with my performance family. And other nights I just cry for the sake of crying. So, tell me, what’s something that keeps you up at night?
HAPPY: Are these singles a taste of something bigger to come? An album perhaps?
PHILIP: A couple more singles for 2020 and hopefully that LP I’ve been working on will be finished early next year. It’s hard to say, I’m a picky creative that won’t stop tinkering with my songs.
HAPPY: What was the creative process like for the video for Baggage?
PHILIP: It was amazing! One of my favourite videos I’ve worked on. I was explaining the idea to the photographer (Angelo Di-Benedetto) who was going to shoot the cover artwork and how I wanted to tie the cover into the video, creating a super simple and symbolic video by wrapping myself up as baggage. He instantly put his hand up for the music video and after two weeks of planning, we shot both the cover and video in the same day. Angelo gave me reign to edit the video myself with his footage and SPX. So what you see today is thirty plus hours of me sitting at my desk making Baggage come to life visually.
HAPPY: What are some of your all-time favourite music videos?
HAPPY: When venues open back up, where would you ideally like to perform your new music?
PHILIP: I haven’t even had time to think about this, everything feels so up in the air, but I’ll get back to you once I know.
HAPPY: Cheers for the chat!
PHILIP: No thank you! It’s always a pleasure!
Dive on into Philip La Rosa’s huge new video for Baggage: