Tory Rose was 12 years old when the older brother she idolized advised she give up on her musical dream.
“Watch me,” she said, and almost a decade later she is releasing her first extended play record.
While musicians do run in her family, Rose said her origin story actually began with a Barbie karaoke machine and influences like Shania Twain and Britney Spears.
After her brother’s fateful challenge, Rose began taking vocal lessons. Two years later, her hard work was rewarded when she was invited to open for country music artist Deana Carter.
Not only did she meet an idol that night, but she also met Scott Aker — the other half of the Tory Rose Band.
“(Aker) said ‘we need to get a band behind this girl,’ so that’s what we did. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t even have a band today,” Rose said.
She was a senior at Oakland High School when she had the honor of opening for Sanctus Real at the first Umpqua Strong race Oct. 1, 2016.
“It was an amazing opportunity,” she said. “One, because we got to support the community and two because I made new connections. That’s one of the best things about music is you get to meet new people all the time. You never know who you are going to meet.”
That’s where she met Jake Rye, Sanctus Real’s bass player, who produced Rose’s recently released album. With the help of family and sponsors, Rose flew out to Michigan that next summer to record with Rye.
That was five years ago, but it wasn’t until June that Rose decided to release her songs at more than just her live shows. She uploaded her album to online streaming platforms, then held a release party last Saturday at Two Shy Brewing where the album was officially launched.
“It took me a long time to even get to the point where I considered releasing the album, not because I don’t think he did a good job or that the music isn’t worthy of sharing,” Rose said. “Everybody is their own worst critic. I don’t want to hear myself sing. I hate that.”
Not only did several life events nudge her in this direction, but Rose decided it was finally time to show her appreciation to all those who had supported her music throughout her career.
“This community has been so gracious to Scott and I, I cannot even explain how awesome this community is. And I mean all of Douglas County. All of it, there is no Tory Rose without this community. And I heavily stress that,” she said.
Rose said her style ranges from country to rock ‘n’ roll to alternative. She pulls inspiration from everything — emotions, encounters, missed opportunities, life experiences, things that happen to her friends, everything is fair game.
“It’s like opening your diary and letting people read it. People say it’s like wearing your heart on your sleeve. Wrong. You are up on that stage and you are butt naked. And it’s so difficult,” Rose said.
The album songs do sound different than how Rose plays them today. Not only were they recorded five years ago, but Rye wanted to showcase a range of Rose’s abilities. Then, when she gave her CD to venues, they could hear her different styles.
During her release party, where Rose played acoustic versions of songs from the album and other originals, Two Shy Brewing also launched a new beer in her honor called the Black Rose — just another way the community has impacted her life.
“To have this level of support is so emotional. I just want to hug everybody. I just can’t believe all this. Thank you so much,” Rose said. “It has been a crazy journey these past 10 years, but it’s been amazing.”
Named “Tory with a ‘Y’,” the six-song album is available by contacting Rose at facebook.com/toryrosemusic. Copies are available by donation.