STORY WRITTEN BY LEAH PROCTOR-FORD
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Local singer-songwriter Emily “Stetson” Rose will be lending her talents to the Musikfest scene when she performs for the Bethlehem festival on Aug. 16.
“Stetson Rose is the musical moniker of 25-year-old indie/pop artist Emily Rose,” reads the first line of Rose’s bio on her website. Her sound has been described as “kinda like Joni Mitchell, yet stylistically similar to Ed Sheeran or Colbie Caillat.” As the sole writer of all of her songs, however, the music is all her own. (FOR MORE MUSIKFEST COVERAGE, CHECK HERE.)
The indie-folk songstress moved to the Pottstown area – where husband Henry Hood is originally from – two years ago from her native California. Though she’s only beginning to make waves in the Philly circuit, performing is nothing new for Rose.
“I picked up guitar when I was 15, and wrote my first song at 16,” said Rose who continues to rise as a star eight years later. “I still play it at shows, and it’s still everyone’s favorite. People will come up to me and ask where they can get “The Little Song”.
Musikfest will be the final stop on Rose’s regional summer tour that includes venues such as the Firefly Music Festival, the Penn Museum and the Oval Stage on Ben Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. This travel comes after a recent unexpected break from the performing scene.
“My Mother passed away, and everything was shaken up. It was one of those life happens things, and right then I just needed to focus on my family.”
Like many artists, Rose soon found her way back to music after tragedy. The experience inspired her newest song, “It’s California” set to debut at MusikFest.
“It’s exactly where I am in my life. I kind of woke up and found that I had made a lot of safe choices. I haven’t been taking the risks for music, and it’s about getting back to that.”
Naturally, songwriting has been a key element in her return to the stage.
“Sometimes it’ll feel like I just need to get home and get a guitar in my hands, and other times I really have to take the time to sit down and write it out,” said Rose. “What matters to me is that there’s feeling in every song I write, and that I connect with people on that level.”
As Rose continues to grow in her career, she plans on “building a team, little by little” by enlisting friends like guitarist Dan Almond and percussionist husband Henry Hood to enhance her live performances.
The two will play alongside Stetson Rose on the Martin Guitar Stage at 5 p.m. on the final day of Musikfest.
Rose hopes to keep the momentum going post-tour by releasing her very first album in the fall of this year. Visit http://www.stetsonrose.com/ to hear the singer’s original content and http://www.musikfest.org/ for more information on the week’s festivities.