On November 3, 2023, Rose Spearman will release her long-awaited album ‘King of Air’, followed by a tour that starts with four shows in the Netherlands. The title refers to her father, the Afro-American jazz saxophonist Glenn Spearman, to whom the album is dedicated.
As the daughter of Afro-American jazz saxophonist Glenn Spearman and a Dutch mother, the singer has felt trapped between two continents since her early childhood. Half European, half American, and always looking for a home. Like many people, this was something she inherited – love and pain both travel the generations until we examine and make our peace with it.
Rose’s grandmother was Jewish and fled to NY with her family from Germany. Rose’s grandfather was a young African American opera singer in NY a famous figure in the Harlem Renaissance, and definitely not meant to fall in love with a young Jewish girl who was about to marry someone else. The album explores how they came to fall in love – the origin story of Rose’s father: a Jewish African-American man living with all the complications, contradictions, and richness of that inheritance.
Rose, too has encountered feelings of being ‘too black’ for the whites and ‘too white’ for her black family, whilst feeling pride for all her roots. The album talks of the difficulties of family relationships, of longing for love, of becoming your own person, both despite and because of, your family’s (his)story. Rose had worked with writer Sarah Tyrer a few years before and had become friends (despite at that time never even meeting!). When the pandemic struck with time on their hands, they set out to write songs that hold recognizable truths for all those from any family.
Now that the world seems to be in a battle between ‘progressive’ and those who want to return to a time of segregation and oppression, Rose’s album with its celebration of the profound richness of mixed heritage is a love song to inclusivity. A deeply personal journey that will resonate with everyone who has ever been part of a family. For love is never simple. In ‘King of Air’ Rose explores family secrets, disappointments, hope and love, farewells, and race in a personal and honest way. It was the album she needed to make, an album, ultimately, about love.