Brittany Rose is experiencing a minor identity crisis. The 22-year-old R&B singer (born Brittany Rose McKay) and Las Vegas Academy graduate who performed at 2016’s Life Is Beautiful festival, has since welcomed an onslaught of fans more familiar with her online moniker, @beerosemusic, than her actual name. “People call me B. Rose so much,” she says, “I’m starting to wonder if I should go by that.” Getting recognized is a good problem for a performer to have, but it’s something Rose has to figure out before releasing her second EP, Homegirl, this July.
Last June, Rose entered Life Is Beautiful’s Battle of the Bands contest at the urging of one of her band mates. “I had applied every year since the beginning of the festival, submitting to all of the local showcases. [We lost] every time,” she says. “But last year, my drummer said, ‘It’s Brooklyn Bowl! Erykah Badu plays there. Why wouldn’t you try it?’” On July 10, after three weeks of competition against 16 other local acts, Rose and her band mates were selected by a panel of judges and fan votes to earn a slot on the lineup with acts such as Mumford & Sons, J. Cole and Major Lazer.
“My social media following went up after winning the Battle of the Bands,” Rose says modestly. This victory thrust her into the local spotlight. Just days after the win, Rose was asked by Craig Nyman, head of music and live performances at Life Is Beautiful, to appear on KTNV channel 13’s The Morning Blend for her television debut. “I was so nervous that I said the name of my song was ‘Life Is Beautiful,’ instead of ‘More than Beautiful,’” she says.
Beyond the local attention, performing at the festival gave Rose a platform to reach thousands of potential new fans. “After we performed, we were hanging out by catering and a girl came up and said, ‘Oh, my gosh, you guys were so amazing.’ I [said], ‘Oh, thanks!’ She introduces herself as ‘Bishop.’ When we were walking away, my friend says to me, ‘That was [alternative chart-topper and Island Records’ recording artist] Bishop Briggs.’” Rose says she and the “River” singer have kept in touch since, and Briggs praised Rose’s performance that weekend on Twitter: “You are crazy talented. Still blown away.”
Rose says that her Life Is Beautiful experience has shaped her future goals. “The most amazing part of [performing] was just feeling like talent,” Rose says. “Being respected as talent and seeing that all these other bands get treated like that all the time me think, ‘Wow, maybe this is what I am meant to do.’”
She and her bandmates hope to work with a festival agent to secure a spot on another lineup, then play a handful of shows in surrounding cities. She says her biggest goal for her music is to be able to share it. “Everything that I write is very personal. I want to be able to perform for people around the country and around the world.”
For now, Rose is working with engineer Josh Connolly, whose credits include Carlos Santana, Jodeci and Justin Bieber, to finish up Homegirl. She’s also performing at Vinyl for singer-songwriter Cameron Calloway’s EP release on May 19 and planning her own EP release show for July. Rose made her return to television recently to promote the April 23 Battle of the Bands contest at Bunkhouse Saloon.
Rose is a testament to what a slot on the lineup can signify. “It’s definitely hard building from the ground up,” Rose says. “But being able to say, ‘I performed at [Life Is Beautiful]’ has helped achieve things that I couldn’t do before. People believe [in] me because [my band and I] have that behind us.”
Check the Résumé
Here’s what five other local acts have been up to since playing Life Is Beautiful
The Dirty Hooks (2013) The rockers played the 2014 Wine Amplified Festival alongside Violent Femmes and Blink-182, opened shows for acts such as Surfer Blood and Eagles of Death Metal and headlined their own show at Brooklyn Bowl. They have been featured performers on Sofar Sounds and BalconyTV and worked with producers Kevin and Kane Churko, whose credits include Ozzy Osbourne and Shania Twain.
Ekoh (2013 and 2014) One of only a handful of artists chosen to play the Red Bull Sound Select Stage year one, the “heart-hop” rapper has found success with a string of singles amassing more than two million combined Facebook views in the last year. He’s packed several headlining shows at Vinyl, his “Let me Down Easy” video, which premiered on the Huffington Post, boasts cameos from BMX Rider TJ. Lavin, and he released a “Vegas” rework of The Chainsmokers’ “Paris” in April.
Sabriel (2013 and 2014) If you’ve tuned in to BET’s Rebel or Fox’s Star, odds are you’ve heard songs written by the rising songstress. In addition to releasing her shä brē el EP last August, she was asked to perform as a guest singer during DJ Gryffin’s Life Is Beautiful set. She’s following-up her recent single “Sound” with another project this summer.
GoldBoot (2014) Last year, the electro-rock outfit’s song “Everytime I Come Down” was featured in the premier episode of Fox’s drama Pitch. They recently signed with entertainment law firm Reed Smith (clients include Roc Nation and Beyonce), and were asked by the Elvis Presley estate to cover one of his classic tracks for a May release.
Brumby (2016) Since September, the alternative rock quartet has focused primarily on writing new music and recording at Battle Born Studios (owned by The Killers). They’ve recently released two singles, “Leave a Light On” and “Peace” and performed at The Smith Center for the Heart of Education Awards gala on April 29.