In just the past year, young pop singer/songwriter Rosa Linn has emerged as a talented artist to watch. Originally from Armenia and now living in Los Angeles, she’s had a breakthrough hit with her hooky, distinctive song “Snap,” which is still on the charts. She has also signed with Columbia Records and she’ll be releasing her debut EP on June 22.
Rosa Linn, who is 23, made an international impact in 2022 when she entered “Snap” in the Eurovision Song Contest as Armenia’s representative. Although she wasn’t the winner at Eurovision, she has become one of the best known artists to emerge from Eurovision because “Snap” has become a worldwide hit. Impressively, “Snap” has been a Top 10 hit in many countries including Germany, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland. “Snap” has also reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart and has been certified gold in the U.S.
Recently, Rosa Linn has released two new songs: the joyful, uplifting track “Hallelujah” and the heartfelt ballad, “Never Be Mine.” These two songs, along with “Snap” and three new songs, will be released on her debut EP. These songs demonstrate that Rosa Linn has a strong, soulful singing voice, and she writes unique, thoughtful songs.
Rosa Linn was born in the small town of Vanadzor in Northern Armenia. She began playing piano and guitar at a young age, and she started writing songs a few years later. She’s been inspired by such favorite artists as Sting, Adele, Norah Jones and Coldplay.
When she was a teenager, Rosa Linn formed a band in Armenia, and she also spent a year in Wisconsin as a foreign exchange student when she was 17. It was after she returned to Armenia that she started developing her career as a singer/songwriter. In 2019, she met music exec & artist Tamar Kaprelian of the record label, Nvak Collective. They have now been working together for four years, and Kaprelian helped guide her with the success of “Snap,” competing in Eurovision, and eventually signing with Columbia Records.
Here’s the video of Rosa Linn’s hit, “Snap.”
Last September (2022), Rosa Linn moved to Los Angeles after she signed with Columbia. She has since been writing with many top songwriters and producers, including Rick Nowels (Lana Del Rey, Stevie Nicks) and Michael Pollack (Miley Cyrus, Lewis Capaldi) and the writing/producing team, TMS (Lewis Capaldi, Bebe Rexha).
In coordination with her upcoming EP release, Rosa Linn will be playing live and going on tour. She’ll be opening shows for Ed Sheeran’s stadium tour, and for rock band Young the Giant’s arena & theater tour. In addition, she’ll be headlining her own shows in smaller venues.
We are pleased to do this new Q&A interview with Rosa Linn. She tells how she got started with music in Armenia, how she co-wrote her hit “Snap,” and she discusses her new EP.
DK: I read that you were born in Northern Armenia. How did you get started with music, playing piano & guitar, and writing songs?
Rosa Linn: I’m from Vanadzor, a small town in Armenia. I started playing piano when I was 6, and I first played classical music. I don’t play classical music anymore, but I’m grateful that it gave me a good introduction into music. Then when I was 10, I told my dad that I wanted to play guitar and be in a band. So I was playing classical music, but I was dreaming about rock bands (laughs). My dad found me a guitar teacher and that’s how it all started. I fell in love with music and writing songs.
DK: I read that when you were a teenager, you lived in Wisconsin for a year. Is that correct?
Rosa Linn: Yes. When I was 17, I graduated from high school in Armenia, but there was a foreign exchange student program at our school, so I applied. I had dreamed of experiencing high school in the States, and then I won the program and lived in a small town in Wisconsin for a year.
DK: When you were in Wisconsin, were you already making connections with U.S. record labels?
Here’s the video of Rosa Linn’s song, “Hallelujah.”
Rosa Linn: Oh no, not at all. I didn’t do anything music-related the first half of the year in Wisconsin. But in the second half I joined the show choir, and I got to sing solos and we did some competitions that were fun. I grew a lot as a singer, and it helped me to spend time in the music department at the school. But it wasn’t until I went back home to Armenia that I played live again with my band and met people in the music business.
DK: How did you meet music exec (& artist) Tamar Kaprelian and sign with her label, Nvak Collective?
Rosa Linn: Representatives from Nvak told me about this songwriting program & camp that Tamar was doing in Yerevan (in Armenia). I heard that producers from the U.S. were going to come and work with people, so I knew it was a huge opportunity. It was at this camp that I met Tamar and wrote “Snap.”
I started working with Nvak in 2019. Tamar invited me to Israel to do a writing camp, and I started working with them and I signed a record deal with them. We’ve been together for four years and now we have Columbia on our side too, and it’s wonderful.
DK: You wrote “Snap” with some other writers. How did you and the other writers get together and write “Snap”?
Rosa Linn: It was during the first week of the writing camp (in 2019), which was basically a class for songwriters. But I was a songwriter already, and I kind of got lazy (laughs). There was a day that I didn’t do my assignment and I was like…I’m just gonna show one of my songs and say that I wrote it yesterday (laughs). I chose “Snap” to show them and they really liked it. And Larzz (Principato), Allie (Crystal) and Jeremy (Dussolliet) were the songwriters who came to do the master classes. So we went into the room together and we finished the song, and then we recorded a demo in a hotel room. And we ended up using the demo vocals for the master version, because there was something magical in the original vocal.
DK: You entered “Snap” in the Eurovision Song Contest. What was it like to be in the Eurovision Song Contest and represent Armenia?
Here’s the video of Rosa Linn’s song, “Never Be Mine.”
Rosa Linn: Eurovision was a huge break for me. I’ve been watching it with my family since I was 8. It’s still such a big deal in Armenia. And every year I would tell my mom, that “I’m going to be on that stage one day.” And she would laugh, because even for me it seemed impossible. But I knew…I’m going to be there. I don’t know when and I don’t have a plan for it. But I know one day I’ll be there. And surprisingly for me, it happened fast. I thought it might take me until I’m 45 (laughs) but it happened sooner.
DK: I read that “Snap” went viral on TikTok. How did TikTok play a part in breaking “Snap”?
Rosa Linn: I think Eurovision fans and people who loved “Snap” started tagging me on TikTok and saying “Happy Snap Day” and “Happy Rosa Linn Day.” A lot of people made videos on TikTok, and their algorithm picked it up. It went viral in Spain and in Italy, and it was crazy how many videos were made. For me it was like, “Oh my God, thank you!” (laughs).
DK: When did you sign with Columbia Records, and move to Los Angeles?
Rosa Linn: I signed with Columbia Records in August 2022. It was crazy times, and things were changing quickly. It was something new for me and for Nvak. We would get a lot of emails from all over the world from labels, and we would talk to everyone. Then we signed a deal with Columbia and I moved to L.A. to write my album. And I’ve been writing every day since.
DK: I like the song you did with Duncan Laurence, “WDIA (Would Do It Again).” How did you write this song and connect with Duncan?
Rosa Linn: I wrote it on Zoom with the wonderful songwriter, Chloe Angelides. It was when Covid happened. I was supposed to come to L.A. in 2019, but then everything shut down and we wrote it on Zoom. We had a couple versions of the song, but it didn’t feel complete and fully right. So we waited on that song. Then after “Snap” started having a buzz on social media, Duncan (who won Eurovision in 2019) was the first artist who reached out to me and said, “Hey, I’m really happy that someone from Eurovision has this much success again.” He was really sweet, and I’m a huge fan of his song, “Arcade.” We started chatting and became friends.
Here’s the lyric video of Rosa Linn’s song, “WDIA
(Would Do It Again).”
We met in Sweden, and I asked Tamar, “What if we do a duet with Duncan on “Would Do It Again”? So we went to the studio, and as soon as I heard his voice with my voice on the song, I was like, “This is complete now. This is what we needed for such a long time.” I loved it. It’s kind of an epic collaboration of the artists who have two of the most streamed songs from Eurovision.
DK: I like the new songs you’ve released, “Never Be Mine” and “Hallelujah.” Can you talk about writing these songs?
Rosa Linn: These are newer songs. I wrote “Never Be Mine” with Michael Pollack, SXSSY and TMS. It was a wonderful day. We wrote it in Calabasas…what a great place to write a song. We had fun writing it. I’ve written a lot of love songs, but I always write about an unrequited love. It’s a huge theme in my songwriting because I can relate to it. And I told them about my unrequited love and we ended up writing that song, which I think is a wonderful ballad. I’m such a big fan of Adele, and I’m always craving to write a strong, beautiful ballad, and I was happy that we finally did it.
“Hallelujah” is another song that I’m really happy about. I wrote it with Romans and Lost Boy. “Hallelujah” is about this euphoria moment of pure joy and happiness. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be connected to a story. Of course I have a story behind it, but what I love is that this concept, and “Snap” too, is about feelings, and not necessarily about the story. That’s why I think a lot of people relate to “Snap” and hopefully to “Hallelujah,” is that they know the feeling of the song and not the story necessarily. For example, everyone has these pure joy moments. It doesn’t matter what the story behind “Hallelujah” is…they can connect to it. And I always do that in my songwriting. When people ask me, “Okay, what should we write about today?” I always talk about a specific feeling that I want people to feel when they listen to the song. And then we dig deeper and discuss the stories.
DK: You’re now living in Los Angeles, and you’ve been writing a lot of songs. Will you be releasing an EP or album soon?
Here’s the video of Rosa Linn’s song “KING” feat. Kiiara.
Rosa Linn: Yes, we are releasing an EP on June 22. It’s going to have “Never Be Mine,” “Snap,” “Hallelujah” and three new songs that I did with the wonderful (hit writer/producer) Rick Nowels. He’s the best. Then I’m going on tour with this EP, and we’re also going to release a couple singles during the tour. After the tour, I’m planning to release a full album or another EP.
DK: This year you’ll be playing a lot of shows, opening for Ed Sheeran, and for Young the Giant. Plus you’ll be doing some solo shows. Can you talk about these shows and your tour?
Rosa Linn: The tour with Ed Sheeran is making me very excited and nervous at the same time (laughs). I love big crowds, and it’s my first tour ever. And as the opening act, we’re going to play the EP material and a couple of other songs that are not released yet. I will have a band with me which I love. I started with a band in Armenia and I’m really happy that I get to do it again.
For the headline shows, I’m going to do a more intimate show. I’m going to keep it acoustic and more one-on-one. We want to make sure that everyone in the audience feels like I’m singing for them, to make bonds and connections with people. And I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to do this.
I love that the whole tour is going to have contrasting shows, because one day I will be opening stadium shows for Ed Sheeran, and then another day I’ll be doing theaters and arenas for Young the Giant. And then the next day, I’m going to do my own little show. So I’m excited about all of it.