Jimetta Rose
Photo by Anjee Mcnary

Stocking Up on Soul with Singer Jimetta Rose

Last updated:

The L.A. native and choir leader is staying grounded in isolation by crafting coloring books, practicing yoga and making new music.

Quarantine Coping is our series about how local creatives are filling their time — and shelves — in the wake of COVID-19 isolation.

Singer Jimetta Rose was born and raised in South L.A., where she cultivated her musical taste sweeping the floor at her father’s barbershop. Later, she found her musical community in the underground jazz, hip-hop and R&B circles of Los Angeles in the ’00s. Her debut album, aptly titled “The Barber’s Daughter,” came out in 2010, filling ears with vibrant melodies carrying uplifting messages of love and solidarity.

Rose has collaborated with the likes of Anderson .Paak, Shafiq Husayn, Blu, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, House Shoes, Bilal, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Carlos Niño and many more. One of her most fruitful collaborations is her 2016 album, “The Light Bearer,” produced by enigmatic studio wizard Georgia Anne Muldrow. The two met when they were regulars at the legendary Sketchbook beat night, which took place at Little Temple (now known as The Virgil). They holed up for two weeks to create and record the album.

“It’s a testament to creativity over the competition, to women making music together and upholding sisterhood,” Rose told Bandcamp in a 2016 interview. “We were making music, folding clothes, and watching babies until the sun [was] coming up, and saying, ‘We better go to sleep before these babies wake up.’ It was just real living. Real, warm living and divine feminine energy.”

Lately, she’s turned her creative attention to being a choir leader, with a spiritually inspired collective of beautiful, strong singers she’s dubbed Voices of Creation. The group formed in spring of last year and just as they seemed to be picking up momentum, with bigger and better performances receiving overwhelming praise, well, COVID-19 came along.

We asked Rose how she’s handling things and staying positive for our latest edition of Quarantine Coping.

What are you stocking up on?

I am stocking up on tolerance, patience, empathy and self-care. I’ve found that even before the pandemic hit, my faith muscles were being strengthened and prepared for these daunting changes to our daily living. I find that focusing on what I can control helps me to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

I feel more hope in humanity when I am able to witness within myself those character traits that I would like to see more represented on the planet. The selfish and savage parts of people are showing in the face of this new desperation.

I’d like to hope that in finding like-minded, peace-centered humans to connect with while building new ways of being that I can continue to believe in this living enough to feel it as a blessing and not a burden.

I’m also about to start collecting and/or making adult coloring books. It’s a perfect shortcut to joy if you enjoy making a thing beautiful as I do. Finish a picture and — voila! A masterpiece!

I also keep buying single toilet paper rolls like it’s a secret scavenger hunt that I’m participating in.

What’s an activity you suggest to fill time?

Whatever brings you peace.

I’ll definitely be doing some art. I’m gonna try to pick my pen back up; I’ve had stories in mind that I’ve been ignoring, so I think I’ll take some time to write those down.

Most importantly I plan to:

  • Stay committed to finding and cultivating my own joy.
  • Working out this body of mine. Yoga body coming soon, yay! Hopefully, they lift the social distancing so I can stunt in these streets.
  • Wash my hands all the time and wash all my laundry every Friday.
  • Make more music.
  • Perfect my own fish caldo recipe. (Yum!)
  • And maybe sign up for online dating. If the world is gonna end, where’s my cuddle buddy?

Any recommendations for movies, TV, books or podcast? 

Here’s a few recommendations that I really enjoy:

“Elis Regina: MPB Especial” (Oh Elis! Oh Brazil!).

“When Harry Met Sally.” I’m a hopeless romantic.

“For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf” By Ntozake Shange. Always a good read.

Find it online via the L.A. Public Library here!

Barely Bougie Mamas podcast — that’s my sister Tam!

SunRa’s “Sleeping Beauty” album.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s “Theme of the Eulipions”

The Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)”

Los Angeleno