Millfield alumni releases single highlighting domestic abuse

Millfield alumni Rosie Smith has released her debut single ‘Talking with Your Hands’.

The single highlights domestic abuse and was inspired by the spikes in reports of abuse during the pandemic. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Rosie composed the song during lockdown after finding inspiration from a line in ‘The Barber Shop Chronicles’, a live National Theatre production. The captivating ‘Talking with Your Hands’ is a recurring motif throughout the piece which delves deep into increasingly strained relationships as a result of last year’s lockdown. Twenty-one year old Rosie produced the track alongside childhood friend and Old Millfieldian Oska Zaky and Millfield’s LAMDA tutor Emmaline Maxwell features as the lead protagonist in the music video.

Southampton-born Rosie, moved to Somerset with her family after joining Millfield Prep School as a Sports Scholar before transferring to Drama Scholarship for Sixth Form. Throughout her schooling, Rosie was an active member of Millfield Music School’s ensembles including award-winning Chamber Choir, Camerata, close-harmony acapella group, Augumented Sixth and the Whole School Choir. She also conducted the winning chamber choir at Millfield’s annual House Song event which saw her also achieve Best Conductor with a complex rendition of Jolene. Self-taught on four instruments (piano, guitar, drums and trumpet), Rosie previously composed a song called ‘Remember Me’, a piece which was created for Millfield’s annual Remembrance Day service at Wells Cathedral.

During her time at Millfield, Rosie was a Senior Prefect and was an active anti-bullying ambassador. She founded the MPM (Millfield Peer Mentor Scheme), lending a friendly ear to younger students. She attends Rose Bruford College, London, where she gained one of only 16 places to become an actor-musician. She aspires to have a career in comedy on-screen and would like to continue writing music for TV and Film.

Rosie says, “Domestic abuse cases have risen considerably during the lockdowns, therefore I was inspired to write this and highlight what goes on behind closed doors. My style of songwriting is storytelling in a metaphorical, abstract and conversational way, referencing topics such as domestic abuse and turning them into something people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about. Millfield gave me a passion for music, taught me to sing and helped me develop as a singer-songwriter. I learnt so much from my time there and I wouldn’t be where I am without the relationships I made.”

Alongside her single, Rosie has written her own musical, ‘The Push’ which references mental health issues in a sub-concious manner. The musical, which was script-written by Rosie, contains seven original tracks. The production is currently at rehearsal stage and will be performed in London in July as part of Rose Bruford’s Symposium, a one week festival for students, staff, alumni, industry partners and associates.

Millfield’s Director of Music, Matthew Cook says, “Rosie is an extremely talented singer-songwriter and an exceptionally gifted lyricist. Even when she was at school she was writing beautifully pertinent songs that expressed purpose, intent and meaning and it’s fair to say, she has always been very good at putting her thoughts and feelings, and the feelings of others into song. She was a really crucial part in our growth of contemporary music and we’re wonderfully happy to see that music has continued to be such an important part of her life after Millfield. We are very grateful that we could be part of that journey.”

Talking with Your Hands’ is available on all popular streaming platforms, listen and watch the video here.

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