I stumbled across this track again today, and I had forgotten how much I loved it when I first heard it in 1987. Rosie Vela was studying Music and Arts when she was spotted by a modelling agency, and ended up gracing the cover of Vogue no less than 14 times.
With the money she made, she built her own home studio, and wrote and recorded the demo’s for what would become her first album, ‘Zazu’. This led to a contract with A&M Records, and the legendary producer Gary Katz was brought on board. He had, among many other accomplishments, produced every one of Steely Dan’s albums, and he brought two of Rosie’s (and my) heroes, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker of Steely Dan to play on the sessions, along with several other Dan icons like Rick Derringer and Jim Keltner. Not bad at all for a first album from an unknown artist.
The album, and this single ‘Magic Smile’, were critically acclaimed, but did not sell well. It did better in the UK and Europe than the USA. She recorded another album but never released it. She sang backing vocals for many years with the ELO and co-wrote several songs with Jeff Lynne.
She’s still out there at 66 years of age.