Rosalyn Lee is known for her taste in music and her non-apologetic attitude — she’s a true breath of fresh air in the media industry. A radio deejay for nearly a decade, she now calls Singapore’s indie music station LUSH 99.5FM home. Lee's been on countless magazine covers, fronted many a TV show as a host and interviewed a bevy of A-list celebrities. I caught up with Rozz (as she's often referred to) for a caffeine hit and we chat about her obsession with cooking, social media etiquette and dancing.
What are you up to at the moment?
Planning my next meal. I'm always planning my next meal.
Who are three artists we should all be listening to right now?
First, UK rock duo Royal Blood are f**king amazing. How a two-piece band can sound as loud and rock as hard as a full rock band is beyond me. These guys are magic.
Second, American electronic musician Robert Delong. His track Don't Wait Up has been on loop since like forever. Help.
And third, Singaporean indie rock band Cheating Sons. These guys are amazing on record, and even more amazing live.
Any guilty pleasures when it comes to music that you're willing to admit? Secret downloads of Taylor Swift perhaps?
I don't ever feel guilt over what pleasures me. I'm all loud and proud about belting out One Direction tunes even when I'm around my music-snob indie electronic music-loving colleagues at Lush 99.5fm.
You've interviewed the likes of Katy Perry, Gene Simmons and Justin Bieber. That's quite a range there. What was that like?
It was like chatting with nice regular people: Relaxed and easy. Except the one with Gene Simmons — that was nerve wrecking. Mainly because he's six feet tall.
You seem to be a massive foodie on Instagram. If we had this brunch at your place instead, what would you make me?
Anda Bhurji (spicy Indian spiced scrambled eggs) on toast, a mango and pomelo fruit bowl with yogurt, and chai tea.
Speaking of social media, you can be pretty bold in your opinion and often say what most people are thinking. Do you ever worry about what people think of you?
I obviously don't worry or I wouldn't be outspoken in the first place. That said, I would lose sleep over negative comments that sometimes follow in reaction to my opinions, but not anymore. It's taken me seven years to arrive at this point as a public persona, to be unfazed by what people think of me. There's a lot of hate online and I'm only human — albeit a strong one — but even then it took me this long.
If there's one thing you could change about the media industry, what would it be?
I wouldn't change anything about it, it is what it is: An ever-evolving beast. What I would like instead, is for the audience to be more discerning when it comes to information they procure online. Faster is not always better or more accurate. I wish people would be less obsessed about the "instant" and more willing to fact-check, and take some time to hear both sides before jumping to conclusions.
How did you feel when you were asked to be the first radio DJ to feature on the cover of Elle Singapore?
At that point I didnt know I was the first, until the editor told me. And of course I was over the moon. Radio DJs hardly get on covers of magazines, let alone an international title. It felt like more of a career breakthrough than a "look at me I'm so pretty I'm on a cover" moment.
You used to be a serious dancer. Can you tell us more about that?
"Serious dancer" — I'm picturing a stiff-faced ballerina doing the robot dance to Tchaikovsky. I was classically trained in ballet, tap and jazz since the age of three. I juggled dance and school till I was about 16. Then at 21, I joined the Singapore Armed Forces Music & Drama Company. I was given the rank of First Sergeant, and for four years I performed mainly at military events at home and abroad.
What's next for Rozz?
I've just been confirmed as one of the three judges for The Dance Floor on Mediacorp Channel 5. The first episode will be airing on 29 November at 9.30pm.
Special thanks to Brasserie Gavroche for hosting Brunch with Buro.