Levi DaRosa is an American singer and songwriter originally born in Jacksonville, FL but raised in Charlotte, NC better known as the Queen City. Her talents began as young as she can remember, attending the prestigious Northwest School of the Arts, with a major in band and a minor in chorus and theater. After conquering the world of fashion in the QC, Levi found her way back to her first love after writing and releasing R&B buzz worthy singles “Consistency” and “Man of the Hour”. Shortly after, she debuted her highly anticipated EP Memoirs of a Goddess gaining local and international attention abroad. She has a sensual and sultry sound comparable to fellow artists such as Aaliyah, Sade and H.E.R just to name a few. Stay tuned as more is yet to be unveiled about the R&B goddess creating her own wave in the industry.
TERRANCE: Can you give us a brief background when you realized music was your calling and something you needed to pursue?
LEVI DAROSA: My calling to music came rather late in life although I’ve always felt it was foreshadowed to me early on in my childhood. It was different for me back then because growing up I was more known for being an artist into fashion, photography and drawing. Singing for me was supposed to be one of many hidden talents I had. wasn’t until I was on my way to an event after a long drive back home from delivering medical supplies. Instead of listening to the radio I began listening to R&B instrumentals on YouTube for a couple hours. By the time I got to the event I had two songs completed off the top pf my head and the rest was history. I was no stranger to coming up with melodies and lyrics here and there but on that day, it was just me, my voice and the universe telling me that this was it. I didn’t know how I was going to make it happen or who I needed to work with but spiritually I took a chance on faith and here we are now.
TERRANCE: Who have been the most influential artists in your career thus far?
LEVI DAROSA: I honestly have been influenced by the genre of R&B itself, rather than any artist specifically because there are just so many who have impacted me. My mom could sing and so we’d always listen to good music whether it was Kelly Price, Jesse Powell or Maxwell you name it I’ve heard it and loved it. So collectively, a lot of these artists influenced me to tap into a more emotional side of myself and how to convey that in song form. However, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly and Sade really stand out to me as having a direct influence on me wanting my sound to be as timeless and authentic as theirs. For me, writing my own records means a lot to me, so when my local radio station said I have the potential to write for other big artists in comparison to how R. Kelly was a beast at doing both, validated my journey into the industry even more.
TERRANCE: You recently opened for R&B Vet Avant on stage. Talk about that experience.
LEVI DAROSA: That experience was truly a dream come true for me, and to this day I’m thankful for being able to showcase my talent with the very person I grew up listening to. It still feels like a dream how one minute you’re watching someone you admire who has millions of views on his videos, several awards and accolades on top of the longevity to still perform to this day was so inspiring. Majority of people don’t know but that was my very first time performing my music and opening all in the same breath. Watching the crowd get excited to see him and being engaged with his performance and persona was captivating for me. Not many people get to see what it’s like to be up close and personal to a celebrity performing, so from my perspective it was very humbling and taught me a lot.
TERRANCE: What do you think sets Levi Darosa apart from other artists out there?
LEVI DAROSA: What I believe sets Levi Darosa apart from other artists is my spirit. A lot of artists nowadays aren’t singing from a good place and that’s why everything sounds so muddy right now. But not everything sounds bad, it’s just the music industry has turned into a place where greed has replaced talent. So, I pride myself on being myself and I feel that will always make me stand out. I remember when I first start recording I always told my producer to make sure my sound was pure and natural, granted we play around with the composition but the sound remains true and that’s what I love. Someone would have to just listen to my music and let them decide what’s sets me apart.
TERRANCE: Who are some artists you’re currently listening to?
LEVI DAROSA: Current artists I’m listening to right now are Drake, Solange, J. Cole and I really like Jacquees. The majority of what I listen too though is late R&B artists like Jon B, Mary J Blige, Aaliyah and many more. Of course, I’m hip to current artists and all the new popular music that comes out, but I primarily listen to all the oldie but goodies playlists. I’m young but have an old soul.
TERRANCE: What is your songwriting process like?
LEVI DAROSA: I’m not sure what I do is a songwriting process more like a thought process. I usually come up with songs off the top of my head by listening to instrumentals and repeating the lyrics to myself. Majority of my songs were thought of while driving finding random R&B beats that spoke to me. Once I vibe with a beat the lyrics just flow, and an experience is captured. Sometimes I’ll come up with a song in 25-30 minutes others can take up to a day or two, but once I have the foundation of the melody it’s easy for me to come up with the whole song.
TERRANCE: What was it like putting together your first EP Memoirs of a Goddess?
LEVI DAROSA: Creating Memoirs of a Goddess was such a spiritual milestone for me because around that time I was dealing with a lot of stress, and I wanted to revisit moments in my life that made me happy and Memoirs was a result of that happiness. Plus being introduced to my long-time engineer, Asaph Darby and him adding his talents the project overall was invested in from start to finish. We both went into it with no set expectations but more trust in the other to be creative, and I think throughout the EP you can hear how cohesive it is. More importantly I learned so much about myself because music forces me to explore parts of myself I didn’t know existed. It has a smooth nostalgic vibe and people have said it’s reminiscent of 90’s R&B but that was never on purpose. I’m always happy when people find ways to let me know they enjoyed the project because so much love went into it.
TERRANCE: What can you tell us about the name of your new EP Angel of Music and what it represent both to and for you?
LEVI DAROSA: Angel of Music stemmed from one of my favorite films, Phantom of the Opera. Which I love because it’s ironic how when you think of an angel you think positivity and halos; rarely do we think of angels of being more balanced beings capable of both good and bad. So, I wanted to speak to the balance of R&B which I love and Hip hop which I also love especially in “1995” and “Own Lane” you hear me kind of go back and forth. Angel of music for me has meant me using my voice to help expose higher vibration in the world. Since releasing music people have told me that I have the voice of an angel and or an angelic sound and I wanted to pay homage to that.
TERRANCE: Talk about the lead single “Healing” and it’s inspiration.
LEVI DAROSA: The lead single “Healing” was chosen not only because I feel like it’s a beautiful record, furthermore it’s a word we don’t hear too often anymore. The song was inspired by a Facebook post I saw that referred to losing someone and finding yourself and so that catapulted a full-blown song, which still amazes me. As more lyrics came to me the message was made clear, that we are all capable of healing ourselves and one another with love. I tend to stray away from songs about heartbreak because I feel like the industry is already saturated with them. With this record I wanted to stay true to my fans and deliver my signature sound but deliver a message as well.
TERRANCE: Do you have plans of expanding your brand into other aspects of the entertainment industry?
LEVI DAROSA: Absolutely, I can’t wait to expand my talents throughout the business. I would love to eventually get into acting, starring on Broadway and voiceovers would be cool too. It’s a major accomplishment to see musicians cross over and shows me that it’s possible to elevate your career. I’m always going to be open and not limit myself if I’m in a good position in my personal life to do so.
TERRANCE: What's your favorite thing to do when you're not performing or working on music?
LEVI DAROSA: My most favorite thing to do when not working on music related things is spending time with my beautiful two-year-old daughter, Sonia. It’s always going to be her. She’s the sole inspiration behind why I’m living out my dreams, so I can be able to have more free time with her and my family.
TERRANCE: What else can we expect from you in the future?
LEVI DAROSA: Now that I have two complete projects under my belt, fans can expect more visuals and performances which I’m very excited about. Going into music I really wanted to give people a chance to genuinely fall in love with the songs and get to know me as a person before anything. Once you get to know me I feel like you will understand me throughout my career, and that’s so important. I’m also going to start back producing charity fashion events where I am in Charlotte, NC and continue to work on my craft as an artist. I’m contemplating right now if an album is something I’m going to work on right away, but either way it’s on my mind.
TERRANCE: Are there any upcoming shows or special events you have in store?
LEVI DAROSA: I’m interested in going on a press and media tour to continue promoting my music and sharing my sound with others. I also have my own events company called Socialite Charlotte, that I’ll be revving up again in 2019 with a follow up charity fashion show called A Seat at The Runway. Two years ago, it was held in partnership with Peter Thomas’s Club One lounge benefitting Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte and so I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things.
TERRANCE: If there’s three albums people should hear in their lifetime what would they be?
LEVI DAROSA: Three albums that people must hear, goodness that’s hard. I think everyone needs to hear Michael Jackson Dangerous, Big Boi and Dre Present...Outkast and One in a million by Aaliyah.
TERRANCE: Where can the readers find you in social media?
LEVI DAROSA: Readers can keep up with me on Instagram @levimusicoffical and on my Reverbnation profile https://www.reverbnation.com/levidarosaofficial where they can listen to the full EP Memoirs of a Goddess and become a fan with the click of a button, which is greatly appreciated. I do have a Facebook group Levi Darosa Music which they can also follow since I maxed out on my personal page, but I’m very active on social media and try to engage with my fans as mush as possible on all platforms.
TERRANCE: Any final words?
LEVI DAROSA: Final words would have to be for people to listen before you decide you don’t like it, and to remember that genuine artists, especially being that I’m independent right now need all the love and support there is to offer. It’s weird how we are given things in life we just don’t or won’t appreciate. Although life is infinite during our lifetime on earth everything has an expiration day. When we learn to appreciate, value and show gratitude towards our blessings.