“Only love can revive us”, Baby Rose, otherwise known as Jasmine Rose Wilson, sings on the opener Go to her new record, Through and Through. Her low-range contralto voice weaves velvety notes through the instrumentation. Between retro and contemporary, it is soul music at its finest. Thick, honeyed melodies, flowing warm and steady straight to the heart. Through and Through is the second record by the Atlanta/LA-based artist and its sound is addictively profound and easy on the stomach at the same time.
After working through themes of letting go of a dissipating relationship in her 2019 To Myself, the artist with the unique voice now comes back with a different angle. “’Through and Through’ shows different sides of me; pieces that make up a whole. In a cyclical way, it shows steps of a never-ending journey”, she says. Through and Through encompasses that wholeness in its diversity of sound and in the honest lyrics of the artist. Right time, right place, it took a while to get where she is now. Standing confidently after being bullied for her deep voice in her youth, Baby Rose is more self-assured and creatively confident than ever. The record cannot be boxed into one genre, it plays with elements of jazz, of hip hop, of funk, among other influences. I call it soul because of its profoundly personal sound that cannot come from any place else. The singer comments on the diversity of influences: “I learned that I love to stand in the intersection of different genres to convey the intention of a song, rather than staying in a specific sonic space throughout.”
All the Feels
Baby Rose’s main instrument and the silver lining of the record is her voice. It is radiant and deep and evokes emotion that vibrates down to the bones of the listener. Few artists have the power to touch with just a single note. Listening to the record, the vocals make you warm from the inside and they somehow have the power to reach straight for the heart. Artists with similarly unique voices, like Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, and Tracy Chapman, allowed the young Baby Rose to see herself as a singer and pursue a career in the craft.
“I love, and want to remain, being an artist not only with a unique tone but with something meaningful to say.”
With Through and Through, she releases intimate dissections of her emotions alongside songs about spirituality and the healing that can come from community and love. It is a reckoning with emotions and their complete and confusing range. On Nightcap, Baby Rose comes to terms with people taking different paths in life, Dance With Me is a euphoric invitation, Stop the Bleeding an emotive ballad, and Won’t Tell a cheeky funk song. The opener Go is inspired by the artist’s spirituality and the special kind of love that she holds for God and that continues the shape her creative expression. “God is everything to me and what I consider to be the purest form of love. My creative practice is nothing but being a vessel and my life practices operate solely on having faith and showing up.”
All Music is Black Music
On the record, Baby Rose teams up with Georgia Anne Muldrow and Smino – two artists she has admired for a long time. “They both have unique cadence, sonic worlds, and energy that set them apart, so it felt very aligned to work with them,” she says. This creative connection that the singer found with them is essential for creating a space of intimacy and trust in the recording process. Living in Atlanta, a city that the singer described as a “Black mecca” in the otherwise hostile south of the United States, she found a place in the local Black music community. Known for its diverse output ranging from trap to soul and RnB, Atlanta has raised many interesting talents over the years.
“I found my community in a natural way by being of service and showing up for people,” Baby Rose says about finding her place in the local circles and creating an atmosphere of support among one another. The artist describes that she has been outside a lot and is expressive about her “heart’s desires”. The singer has also been active and performing at many local venues. She says that “coming through to parties, art shows, and more, helped me find my tribe of folks I hang with”. Through collaborating and through music Baby Rose found a place in the scene and describes the feeling of solidarity among the artists.
“We’ve gotta continue to stick together and celebrate our differences. It feels good to support friends like Q Marsden, who I’m touring with soon, Annahstasia, Umi, Foushee, Jordan Ward, and more who are not only excellent but are expanding the realm of how Black art is categorized. After all, all music is Black music.”
Spirituality and Love
On Power, Baby Rose sings about the love that is found in community and spirituality. It has the power to change the whole wide world. “Music has a beautiful way of offering understanding”, the artist comments. The song is one of the most striking on the record. It simultaneously criticizes societal structures with lines like “the teacher needs a lesson, so the children get the message” and spreads hope with its catchy hook. Through the song, Baby Rose hopes “to build a sonic wall that feels warm, like you are not alone in what you are going through”. And backed by a choir of voices, the song transports exactly that; the healing that lies in solidarity, community, and empathy.
Through and Through is a record soaked in emotion. Most prevalently, love and passion radiate from its songs and soulful instrumentation. The singer says: “What is life without love? The answer is nothing”. She describes both places, love and passion, as natural places to tell stories from. What Baby Rose feels and observes shapes her creative output and flows directly into the music making as dense with feeling as it is.
Through and Through is out now via Secretly Canadian.
Every Monday, the NBHAP staff brings an exciting new artist to your attention alongside a 30-track-strong Introducing Playlist on Spotify. Feel invited to follow the playlist and give these talents a spin. Sign up for our Newsletter to receive monthly updates about new music.
This time, we curated the playlist featuring Baby Rose. Along with tracks from her new album, this week’s update includes Georgia Anne Muldrow, Durand Jones, ENNY, and more. Tune in below.