Radio Rose, aka Rose Goossen, is a lifelong musician and committed explorer of time and space. Raised in rural Manitoba, she spent the long winters grappling with the puzzle of the piano in the basement of her family home, and the summers garnering exposure to the sonic wonders of the world at outdoor festivals and concerts. When she came of age, she took her chances on the wind and lived out of a backpack for a period of five years. During that time, she circumnavigated the globe once and performed as a busker and home concert artist in many handfuls of countries across North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Since arriving on the island of Taiwan in 2014, Radio Rose has written and performed as a solo artist and a member of many musical collectives. She has been a participant in presenting cumbia, klezmer, reggae, country, rock ‘n roll, jazz, indie pop, and folk music around the island. At her home in Taipei, she has amassed the components of a functional recording studio known as Simple Minstrel, which now allows her to produce music on her own time and her own terms.
In her own songs, Radio Rose seeks to incorporate elements of many different influences, drawing on her experiences in bands to transcend borders of genre and style. Her recent writing is focused on the exploration of the human experience, especially the emotional and relational elements of life on Earth. In every song, she presents at least one version of the truth, and her lyrics are pared and polished to tell the story clearly, with conviction. Some compositions have their roots in her classical piano training, others are emulations of the wide-open-sky music of her prairie home, others reproduce the pop format of standard radio hits. The common thread across her body of work is her voice, sometimes whispering, sometimes wailing, changing with the seasons, always and never the same.
Asked to describe her relationship with music and intentions for the future, she answers: “First and foremost, music is a method through which I can interpret, understand, and experience life in a way that is honest, honorable, always joyful and occasionally beautiful. It is a useful processing system for complicated emotions and a frame that makes the world appear more orderly, more manageable.
Secondly, music is a discipline. One is always seeking to be let in, and there is always another level of understanding and craft worthy of striving for. I’ve been playing for my entire life, and I know I can continue for as long as I live without ever arriving at the perfection of the practice. It’s a never-ending story.
Thirdly, music is a career. In Taipei, music has become a line of business. There has been a lot of measurable growth and development over the last four years, and I hope that it will become possible to expand that business and give more time to it in the future.”