‘3 x Grammy Nominated, Multi Platinum producer’ is at the top of the Instagram page of Roshwita ‘Roselilah’ Larisha (25) from Utrecht. And since the 64th presentation of the Grammy Awards, Sunday night, one of those nominations has also been cashed in.
The song “Family Ties” by rapper Baby Keem and his cousin Kendrick Lamar, for which Roselilah produced the beats, won the prize in the category “Best Rap Performance”. In this category, the producers also receive an official winner’s certificate for their contribution. Last year, an album by American rapper 21 Savage, for which Roselilah produced a song, was also nominated for a Grammy Award, then in the category ‘best rap album’.
In addition to Roselilah, Dutch producer Tobias ‘Outtatown-‘ Dekker also collaborated on ‘Family Ties’, which was also nominated this year for a Grammy Award for ‘best rap song’. Roselilah attended the Grammy Awards ceremony in Las Vegas for the first time this year.
‘Family Ties’ by Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, with production by Roselilah:
Up at six o’clock
“With a nomination for best album, it’s difficult to really invite everyone who worked on the album,” says the producer one day after the Grammy win from Las Vegas. “Then only the artists come. Luckily I was able to be there this time.” She got up at six this morning, she says. She posted a first reaction on Instagram, in which she says that she has cried tears of joy and is honored “that I can call myself the first Dutch woman to ever win a Grammy Award in the rap category.” She can hardly believe it, she says on the phone.
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“For me, a 9-to-5 job was nothing,” Roselilah says. “I didn’t like studying either, I didn’t like anything. Just make music. I thought, let me just try and see how far I get. To win a Grammy a few years later feels like a movie. I hope it means for other producers in the Netherlands that they also dare to take risks that let the ball roll.”
On the red carpet, Roselilah represented the Netherlands with an outfit from Daily Paper and shoes from Filling Pieces – very popular fashion brands from Amsterdam in the hip-hop scene, among others. “My mother cried when she saw what I was wearing,” she says. “It was so cool. You walk in on the red carpet, see so many celebrities that you only see in clips. We’ve seen Justin Bieber, Lil Nas X. And Jack Harlow, I was already in touch with them so it was cool to meet him.”
From her room to Atlanta
Roselilah contributed to several gold and platinum albums and tracks. At a young age she went on her own to Atlanta to work with artists. She went from producing in her room at her parents’ house to the biggest prize podium in the music industry. “In America, artists are always looking for beats. Social media is the key. I just private message on Instagram and keep trying until I get a response. I think my strongest side is that I’m very critical of the beats I send out. I don’t really have my own sound yet. I adapt my beats to the artists.”
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Several producers often collaborate on modern rap songs. Roselilah’s contribution to ‘Family Ties’, a song that opens with a strong trap beat and wind section and makes a number of musical changes, stems from a ‘sample pack’ that she put together, in which she offers instrumental fragments she produced as a package in which artists and producers can browse.
“The trumpet part in the song is mine, and the drums below it produced Outtatown,” she says. “In December 2020, there was only our part with Kendrick on it. Then they said they were working with several producers. In the end, Kendrick was placed on a different piece. The end result is really great.” It was a big surprise that Lamar got on the track she was working on, says Roselilah with a laugh. “When I got in touch with Keem, I didn’t know he and Kendrick were related at all.”