Irving Native Turned Nashville Hit Maker Releases Texas Inspired Debut Album

Life, sometimes, has a funny way of playing out.

Take Liz Rose, for example — she never planned on becoming one of the most sought out songwriters in Nashville.

She never dreamed she'd be a two-time Grammy award winner and four-time nominee.

She certainly never imagined she'd be releasing her own album and yet, she's done it all. As she likes to put it, she "just kind of fell" into it.

"[When I moved to Nashville] I wanted to go to work," said Rose. "My kids were in school and I just kind of fell into a publishing job and started songwriting with one of the writers."

It turns out, she was pretty darn good at writing songs — and a lot of people noticed.

Over the past decade she's worked with the likes of Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and the Eli Young Band. And she gained notoriety for penning several of Taylor Swift's hits, including "You Belong With Me", as well as Little Big Town's smash "Girl Crush". 

"I thought I'd be lucky if I ever got a song on a record," said Rose. "I thought I'd be super lucky if I heard a song on the radio. Winning Grammys and ACM's; it's still pretty unbelievable."

Rose believes the most important ingredient in a song is the truth, which is why she always writes about a real event or emotion. A few years ago, she began working on some new material, but said something felt different about the direction the songs were taking.

"They were my stories," said Rose. "When I started trying to think about writing them for other people, I couldn't do it. I had to tell my story."

A story that was born in North Texas.

Rose grew up in Irving, the youngest of six kids in her family. When she wasn't in school, she was busy listening to her siblings' collection of records and working at her parents' five-and-dime shop in Oak Cliff.

Because she was several years younger than her brothers and sisters, she frequently had to entertain herself. She did her best to stay out of trouble, but she vividly remembers one time she and some friends decided they would sneak out and hitchhike to Tulsa.

"My parents promptly, promptly found me and picked me up in Tulsa Oklahoma the next morning," laughed Rose. "I was grounded."

Those memories became the basis for the songs on her album, which is called "Swimming Alone."

"This is probably the only time I'll do [an album]," said Rose. "I wrote ten songs. I wrote my story. I said everything I wanted to say and I'm happy with it. It was really fun."

Whether it soars to the heights she's reached writing for other artists isn't what's important to her. Her greatest hope is that the songs affect someone like they affected her. 

"When you think you're writing something for yourself, it's pretty cool when it hits other people and they find their own story in it," said Rose.

"Swimming Alone" is now available on iTunes.

You can catch Rose performing live when she plays the Kessler Theater in Dallas on August 4.

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