I have been chatting with RØMANS...
about his current single, Oxygen, and how it started life. He shares a precious music memory and tells me what he has in store for next year; a few approaching acts we need to look out for and the albums that have inspired him.
RØMANS tells me how he spends time away from music and how he feels he has developed since the start of his career; what advice he would give to new musicians coming through and the artist he would like to support on tour – he ends the interview by selecting a great track.
Hi, RØMANS. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi, there. It’s been a great week so far (1:45 P.M. on a Monday).
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
Sure. I’m Romans; a songwriter, producer and singer. I’m from London but spend most of my time in L.A. writing and producing for other people. I can’t really put a label on the music I make for myself: it’s just an output for my personal taste; I don’t really have a specific genre that I make. I just love music and try to do whatever I’m feeling like at the time.
Oxygen is your latest single. It is a slightly softer sound. What is the inspiration behind it?
To add some light to dark. I try and avoid repeating sounds so the piano ballad is always a good option to mix things up a bit. I wanted to play around with old sounds, hence the Mellotron. I was listening to I Don’t Believe in Miracles by Colin Blunstone that day.
Will there be an album or E.P. next year?
The music I’m putting out at the moment is an album; I’m just putting it out separately. I feel like no one has the time for a body of work anymore. I’m working on a new album that will come out in some format next year too.
How do you think your work has developed and evolved since the start of your career?
I think I’ve just owned being androgynous with my sound. I was always concerned with being considered a confused artist and then I remembered I literally don’t give a f*ck.
Can you give me an idea of the artists, older and new, who inspire you and compel your own sound?
Absolutely. There are so many. From Rachmaninov and Chopin to The Beatles and Dylan to Stevie and Donny Hathaway; to Kanye and Childish Gambino. There’s not really a great deal of music I don’t like and get inspired by.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
I do indeed. It consists of writing for some great artists, developing some newer ones and finishing my next album.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Sitting at the piano with Elton John and writing a song will probably never be topped.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
The Beatles – The Beatles (‘The White Album’)
This was probably my awakening as an ‘artist’. It’s the first time I ever looked at songs as more than just melodies I liked.
Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life
Offensively-brilliant album. Every song is a work of art. One of the greatest artists in history in his absolute prime.
Kanye West - The College Dropout
Played it until the C.D. warped. Mind-blowing album. Possibly the greatest debut album ever.
As Christmas is coming up; if you had to ask for one present what would it be?
Great question. I want the Back to the Future sneakers. The original ones.
IN THIS PHOTO: RØMANS alongside Lewis Capaldi (left) and Ghosted (centre)/PHOTO CREDIT: @RØMANS
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I want to support Susan Boyle. My rider is as follows: three cans of Appletiser - cans not bottles. Hummus (avec crudités). A PlayStation V.R. headset (I will provide the PlayStation). A golden retriever puppy. An ornamental bullfighting statue. Four blunts. A Funfax organiser. A Chicken Salad sandwich from M&S.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Do whatever you want. Only listen to your gut and pray to God that you have good taste.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
IN THIS PHOTO: Maisie Peters
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Not a lot of time - because it’s my job and hobby. I do eventually get burnt-out and take a forced holiday which I always end up enjoying.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Thank you! I choose Dunes by Alabama Shakes