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Rosely Cloake - By Ellie Constantine, Published on the Attitude page in the Timaru Herald Friday May 11th 2008 as part of May Music Month

Artist follows signposts to happiness

30th May 2008 - Timaru Herald


Talented Performer: Roselyn Cloake performing at the South Canterbury Sports Awards
- Photo Courtesy of Mark Lawson


Artist follows signposts to happiness

Roselyn Cloake has a goal of leaving a legacy of signposts of her life through her art and music and she is well on the way to achieving it.

Growing up in Timaru, Roselyn learnt how to play the piano by sitting on her father’s knee and was influenced by her parents’ artistic talent.

However, she is no a musician who follows the rules. She has never had any formal training and she can’t read sheet music because she has dyslexia.

She learnt the disciplines of singing through her school choir and when it comes to music she “just figures out the chords by experimenting”.

“I could learn how to read music if I really put my mind to it, but I’m happy doing it my way.”

Roselyn loves the novelty of performing and describes her musical style as “along the lines of roots, jazz and soul”. Music is her outlet. “If I don’t have time to play my  music, I get really wound up.”

She plays a mix of her own music and rewrites well known songs. “My heart is in just playing, it doesn't matter if it is my music or someone else’s. And I’m not doing typical covers because I have altered the songs to make them my own.”


For Roselyn music is all about stirring emotion or discussion.“What I am trying to do is put my own fingerprint on things and I love the idea that I can affect people.”

She believes New Zealand Music Month is an important way to highlight and celebrate the musical talent in the country.

“It comes down to pride in New Zealand. The talent needs to be kept alive and encouraged.”


She feels New Zealand music month and its exposure have improved since nation music channel C4 came to air. This is because the channel is putting local artist in the public eye and is popular.

While Roselyn is aware of the success some New Zealand musicians are having, she is also aware that these bands and singers will not survive if people download music from the internet.


“They get such a small amount of money as it is, after paying for promotion, their managers and everything else, that to deny them profit from CD sales is wrong.”

She described the New Zealand Music Month scene as a community hub.


“People involved in music here, share their talent and resources and while it is a necessity because of the country's size, it is also a special thing.”


For the past five months Roselyn has been focusing on her solo career and is having success with performing for corporate and community events.


She has worked with a range of local musicians and bands on varying projects from Loretta Jones to Big Picnic and Mark Vanilau. Her most memorable work is that with the late Rangi Gillespie.


These projects, her own songs and her paintings are what Roselyn describes as her life’s signposts. She hopes that people can listen to her music or look at her paintings and understand where she was at that point in time.


She has no aspiration to perform a large number of gigs due to her full time job as a graphic and web designer and her success as a painter.


“I’d rather be discovered than promote myself blatantly. That way it stays unique when people discover you.”


When it comes to life and music Roselyn likes to do things her way and it is certainly paying off for the talented young local.


By Ellie Constantine


Published on the Attitude page in the Timaru Herald Friday May 11th 2008 as part of May Music Month