PREMIERE: Neska Rose Shatters Ageist Tropes with “The Repel of a Young Girl”

People underestimate the value of women’s voices, and young women in particular are all too often looked down upon and spoken down to. 14-year-old singer-songwriter/producer Neska Rose both challenges and disproves these gender and age hierarchies with her latest single “The Repel of a Young Girl.”

The song chronicles Rose’s own journey growing into a young woman as she learns from her past mistakes and strives to make her mark on the world. “I’ve really grown confident in myself and my voice and what I have to offer to this world,” she says. “Sometimes, when you’re really young, people think you don’t really have that much to offer, but that’s not really true because that young mind has so much power. You already have a significant point of view for the world, and you have so many profound thoughts and intense feelings.”

Reflecting this theme of acknowledging and celebrating Rose’s own accomplishments, this was the first song she produced herself. She felt the best way to achieve the exact sound she wanted was to do it herself.

“It really opened a new chapter in my life, and I feel like I learned so much when I started producing, and it really expanded my confidence,” she says. “At the beginning, I never thought that I would produce and write my own songs. ‘Repel of a Young Girl’ will always be in my heart as the first-ever song that I really made by myself.”

The single spotlights Rose’s unique voice as well as her production skills, beginning with a catchy xylophone beat and energetic verses that sound almost like spoken word poetry, then escalates into an infectiously rhythmic chorus: “I want to be afraid of your radical innocence/Fever blisters on my face happened from great incidents/You get me, endlessly/Secrets of shame hide under the sea/I cannot be portrayed as your radical innocence.” She added a strong bass track to the chorus to give the single a powerful sound, and her twin sister Libby sang harmonies with her, giving off a feeling of female solidarity.

The video appears like an intimate glimpse into Rose’s life and thought process, showing her sitting up in bed looking contemplative and dancing in natural scenes, from a farm to a trail by the water. She and her mom went on a road trip around California filming it on an iPhone. “We just wanted to show me as a girl in front of the whole world, so it represents the power that I can have,” she says. “We drove for eight hours and tried to find the most beautiful locations, and we really did — it was extremely hot and dry, but it was totally worth it.”

This is Rose’s second official single, following “Done,” a song about breaking ties with a manager who was trying to get her to act like somebody she wasn’t. “It came to a point where it was like, ‘I can’t let another person decide who I want to be,'” she says. “I’m just done with those types of people. So I remember the day after I stopped working with the manager, I just sat on the couch. I was a little angry, and I just started playing, and that’s what came out.”

She recorded “Done” with her sister, who’s shown singing with her in the video. “It was actually also her manager, too, so she definitely agreed with that song and the lyrics,” she says. “She was like, ‘Yes, that’s an awesome song, and we should totally sing it together.’ And every time we sing a song, no matter if it’s a sad song or a happy song or an angry song, she gets so passionate, and that’s something I really adore about her.”

Both songs are part of an EP coming out January 22, which also includes several other songs Rose has written over the past few months. Thematically, the EP explores relationship dynamics; one song is about dealing with manipulation and gaslighting, while another is about resisting the temptation to try to fix people. “The whole EP is basically about me and the years of my life, me being 14 years old and how I see the world,” she says.

Rose was born in Israel, where she learned to play the piano at age five and the guitar at eight, then moved to LA when she was 10 and began writing songs in English. She’s currently splitting her time between music, online school, and acting; she’s been in a few commercials. Right now, she’s not only writing songs but also refining her production skills as she produces them.

“Being at the studio is the most fun thing ever,” she says. “Just getting to play around with the vocals and the guitars, too, and the whole process of it is so awesome. Seeing how I can create it from my bedroom to a fully produced song, that’s an incredible feeling.”

Follow Neska Rose on Instagram for ongoing updates.

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