Folk singer-songwriter, Nora Rothman, will debut her self-titled EP on July 21. The EP features a live studio version of her original track "Judy Garland." Rothman is the daughter of Tom Rothman, who is Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and his wife, Jessica Harper, an actress. Rothman laid down her first recording at age three, wrote her first song at age 11, and played her first professional gig at the age of 16.
She pursued a different route in the entertainment world she grew up in, and has found an outlet in music during a time when she was struggling with an anxiety disorder, and completely buried herself in songwriting and vocal studies. She then channeled these lyrics and music compositions into acoustic, 70s-vibe pop arrangements. Rothman graduated from Brown University with honors in Creative Writing, and afterward decided to pick up a ukulele, and also works as an actress on stage and screen. She has collaborated with numerous muses throughout the music industry, including visionary director, Nathan Kim.
Rothman is also a self-proclaimed feminist, and worked as a field organizer for the Hillary Clinton campaign, and returned to music after a six-month hiatus. Discover Nora's music with the premiere for her single, "Truth or Dare," and what makes it special, including her strategy with music. Read our interview below:
AXS: You come from a unique background, one that's filled with film and acting...what inspired and drew you to pursuing music?
Nora Rothman: I was twelve years old and overwhelmed by these monstrous feelings that I could only express through music (yes, I've always had a flare for the dramatic). So, it was really a necessity more than a choice. And then, of course, I discovered: there's nothing in the world that makes me happier.
AXS: Let's talk about your new single "Truth or Dare." What's the premise behind it, and what makes it special to you?
NR: "Truth or Dare" is the first song I ever wrote on the ukulele. It was one of those magical songwriting afternoons when you sit down with a new instrument and three hours later, boom. You have a finished song. It's about that fleeting moment in a new relationship when, at any given second, you could either fall right in or fall right out.
You're getting ready to release your self-titled EP in July. Who all did you incorporate to help with this recording, and what's the most memorable experience you had recording it?
NR: I owe this recording to some very loyal friends. Felix McTeigue, ultra-talented Grammy-nominated producer, took me on as a passion project. My incredible collaborators Drew Guido, Alex DaSilva, John Schroeder, Jessica Apperson, and Brady Waibel fleshed out my arrangements and perfected the sound. Recording the live takes, in this big, echoey converted warehouse that is the Fortress DTLA, was a dream come true.
AXS: What's your strategy when writing and creating songs, and the music to them?
NR: I try not to get too technical...I'm all about learning by doing. I can't write a song without playing it over and over, recording it on my phone, listening to it, vamping the chord progressions and finding new melodies. I always switch up the order of my process to keep things challenging. Most recently, I'm starting to collaborate with a new group of songwriters in NY and loving every minute of it.
Check out the exclusive music video premiere of Nora's new singe, "Truth or Dare." Keep it here at AXS for all updates on Nora Rothman.