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Music Articles

Crushing Hard on Zumi Rosow

Dec 30, 2017

Crushing Hard on Zumi Rosow


Crushing Hard on Zumi Rosow

A rock n' roll dream queen.

Los Angeles based experimental musician, Zumi Rosow, channels equal parts leather daddy and warrior goddess in both her fashion sense and music taste. Dana Boulos asks Zumi how she transforms herself with her unique use of makeup and embellishments and about her latest music project, The Black Lips and Crush.


What is your occupation?


Musician, official member of The Black Lips and Crush, maker of jewels, actress, and model.


Where are you from? 


I was born in New York at the maternity center on 92nd St. then moved to Los Angeles when I was three years old.


How did you get into playing music?


My mom was pregnant with me while traveling all over [the world] with my dad.  He was shooting and directing one of the documentaries called Roots of Rhythm. It was about the history of afro-cuban music so I grew up absorbing all sorts of amazing sonic waves in the womb. That being said, that’s probably where I got it from.


What instruments do you play? 


I mostly play the alto and tenor saxophone, but I also play the saw. However I ended up playing all sorts of instruments that I have no idea how to play. When I play a show with Crush I end up playing saxophone, bass, guitar, drums, and singing in one show. Like a true variety show!
I love having crushes, I crush hard. When I discover music or a group that I'm enamored by it feels like a crush.

How did you come up with the name Crush for your band?

I’ve always been obsessed with adolescent love. Oh the sweet sad sound of young hearts crushing, and blushing! Crushes are kind of like adolescence. Fleeting and painful, lusty, innocent and dangerous. It’s a loaded word. It can be innocent, romantic, fragile, powerful, dangerous, and destructive. I love having crushes, I crush hard. When I discover music or a group that I’m enamored by it feels like a crush. So ideally we are hoping that our band will convey that same feeling to our audience. Not to mention the band itself was born out of an insane wild crush that the two members have on each other while they were creating the music. So between the band members crushing and the audience, were trying to turn on and ignite it’s incestuous sick cycle.

You have an amazing look and presence! What are your inspirations? 
Oh wow, thank you! But that’s an impossible question to answer. I have many inspirations, can’t give away all my secrets.


When it comes to beauty, what are the products you use on your skin? 
Coconut oil which I use for everything. Heritage Store Rosewater, (it’s more than water, its Vor-Mag water!) it is the one thing besides black liquid eyeliner that I must have with me at all times. The other product I think is endowed with special powers is Dr. Alkaitis nourishing treatment oil…mmm delish.


What is your favorite smell? 



Tell us about your jewelry line. 

I make mostly one of a kind pieces, there are a few pieces I replicate but even those have some kind of variation. I don’t use a pattern so really no one piece is the same. I have a painterly way of working. It’s not a very efficient way to work, but I’m not interested in efficiency. I guess I tend to do things sort of upsides down and backwards, make Z’s instead of straight lines! When I come across an object that has an effect on me, that I feel connected to, be it jewelry, clothing, perhaps an old horse tack that I used to make jewels with, these things have power, they are magical. That’s the intention I have for my jewelry. They have their own life, and resonate differently. I personally am not interested in having something that everyone else has. Perhaps I am overly protective of my individuality, but sameness is of no interest to me.

I don't like it when I don't feel a little nervous at least nerves are exciting, you can use them.

When it comes to getting dressed, how do you describe your personal style? 

Like a leather daddy and Zarina and Sekhmet spooning.

Do you ever feel nervous on stage when performing? Any tips on how to get over it?

I don’t like it when I don’t feel a little nervous at least nerves are exciting, you can use them. And once I’m on stage, they sort of evaporate or get absorbed or something. Oh and there’s, “Whiskey, whiskey! I love you!” That’s from a song by Whiskey David