Currently on repeat on my playlist is Singer/Songwriter Lluvia Rosa Vela better known as Via Rosa. Residing in Chicago, Via Rosa is part of the production / artist collective THEMPeople and has collaborated with artists such as Vic Mensa, Mick Jenkins and Jean Deaux on her debut EP “DeathViaLove”. Creating beautiful sounds inspired by a mixture of the trials and tribulations of love, life and fairy tales, Via Rosa wants people to hear her and “come back to reality a little less empty.” Did I mention she also is a Chef?
Can you introduce yourself and where you are right now?
My Name is Via Rosa, I live in Chicago IL and “at the moment I’m in my room” lol.
What did you grow up listening to and who are you listening to at the moment?
Eh, I wasn’t allowed to listen to a lot of music when I was younger. There was alot of Sade and old 1960’s Reggae, Ska, Afro Jazz, then I of course was an idiot and l fell in love with NSYNC, Papa Roach, Linkin Park and Fast Ball. . . I liked Ludacris haha and Brandy. She was cold back in like 95.
Right now I’m listening to Lee Fields and the Expressions, Drake, Amy Winhouse, Michael Anthony – MOXINE GEORGE!
What gave you the drive to create a mixtape with fellow Chicago artists?
It kinda just happened. I made friends with THEMpeople over the internet and when I moved here to take care of my grandma and started going to the studio to record, everyone kinda already knew each other. They introduced me to alot of people and I met alot of people just going out and being friendly and we all became friends and made music together.
With the success of your music – is there anything you would change?
Ummm maybe. I wish I would of listened when my dad was teaching me how to play the drums.
How does the city influence your current work ethic?
The sky line is beautiful but I mean honestly I don’t get out enough for the actual CITY to inspire me. I think it’s more the people here who I’ve met and who have changed my life. They inspire me more than anything else in life.
What do you think it is about Chicago that makes homegrown talent?
I’m not really sure. Maybe its the water. . .
With guest appearances on your mixtape DeathViaLove from Vic Mensa, Jean Deaux and Mick Jenkins – who can we expect on your next release?
Not too many actually. The only people on this tape are Jean Deaux and The Mind. I got some co-production on there from Ambi Lyrics but I didn’t work with too many people this year outside the squad for the next tape.
Any female artists in Chicago we should be looking out for in 2016?
Everyone lol. They’re all more famous than me though! My sisters of course – Jean Deaux and Drea Smith got some heat they finna drop. Eryn Allen Kane is AMAZE BALLS. Noname Gypsy is killing it. Ravyn Lenae is COLD as hell. MOXINE GEORGE!!!!!! SHES THE HOMIE!!!!
I mean I don’t really think I can name a girl I don’t know who’s not killing the game right now in Chicago.
You’ve said that you never initially wanted to get into music but rather open up a restaurant – where is the dream in 2015?
Lately it feels like the dream is just that, a dream haha but I mean you know life goes on.
Right now I’m managing this apartment complex that’s been in my family for four generations that’s being stolen by some unknown faceless person and you know dealing with squatters. I’ve just been working, trying to get this place up and running while making music to keep me sane. Got some ideas for some tours coming up and about four tapes I wanna put out this Winter/Early Spring.
Theres so many things that you can do within the food industry I haven’t figured out how I can piece everything together but maybe some day I’ll open a restaurant. For now I’m just living the dream man.
If your mixtape could be a three-course meal what would it be?
Damn this is a good question, it would be:
Appetizer: Sweet potato coconut ginger fritters with pineapple curry sauce.
Main course : Hot pan fried noodles with ginger and garlic, topped with a raw cabbage coleslaw with jalepenos basil and sesame oil.
Dessert : Pineapple sorbet with hibiscus syrup
Yeah. . .
Any hidden spots for food that you’d recommend in Chicago?
My job! My job Uptons Breakroom has some good food and the owners are awesome. Come through and tell them to give me more hours haha. Also check out Middleterranean and Rio’s Addison, they are both in Addison and my best friend owns both of them!
Interview: Mary-Jane Gotidoc
Photos: Kevin Barrett