Musicians write songs about heartbreak all the time. But a song about heartbreak that makes you feel just like a teenager again, when everything seemed so magical and high-stakes at the same time? That doesn’t happen so often.
Let ROZES show you how it’s done. For “Matches,” her stellar collaboration with EDM trio Cash Cash, the Philly native - who broke out last year as the voice of the Chainsmokers’ Top 10 hit “Roses” - drew directly from her own youth.
“When I sat down at the piano to write this song, just like any other, I didn’t know what its future would end up being,” ROZES (real name: Elizabeth Mencel) tells EW over email. “I knew in that moment I wanted to write about the typical high-school heartbreak, but I didn’t want it to sound typical, because that’s not how it felt. That’s why I spoke about my personal high-school heartbreak: Sixteen, in your basement, your parents, my feelings...’ These are all details we never forget, details that make each love story unique.”
Now, the 23-year-old singer-songwriter - who recently hit the studio with One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson - is stripping away Cash Cash’ propulsive production and fist-pumping bass drops for a poignant acoustic version of the song, premiering exclusively on EW today. “I love having the opportunity to present the acoustic version of this song because I wanted my listeners to have a chance to feel that raw untouched’ emotion that makes this song so special to me,” she says.
Watch her acoustic performance above, and check out the original version of the track here.