Because I sat way too long thinking about the deeper meaning of Sheryl Crow’s “Everyday is a Winding Road” as a kid, I truly believe me and Romanie could’ve been besties in another life. She too was a child who lived for the existentialism of music. Only we were a world away from one another then and now as the Belgian-born artist is based down in Melbourne. We talked about her local scene, her latest single “Anthony,” and more in this wonderful exchange.
Kendra: Looking back, was there an artist, song, or album that initially inspired you to dive headfirst into music?
Romanie: I was such a sad kid listening to really existential albums when I was growing up. Always so touched by music I was never far away from my iPod. The big legends such as Leonard Cohen and Bowie were always on my mind but I’ve definitely been shaped by artists such as Daughter, Air Traffic, Angus & Julia Stone, etc.
Kendra: You made your debut a few years back, and since then have dropped a number of singles and an EP. Was there anything you learned then that you’ve since applied to what you’ve done that you feel has made a crucial impact on how you approach your creative process?
Romanie: I released music in 2019 when I was still back home – but have since deleted the EP from the online spheres as I felt like I wasn’t really ready to release music. Saying that I’ve definitely learned so much from every time I put music out into the world. It’s such a vulnerable process and I applaud everyone for putting themselves out there, no matter if you can stay connected to a previous release or not. I definitely am still (sort of) the same person as the 2021 Little Big Steps Romanie but I think I have just matured a lot and know a bit better what I want to say in my music now. Something that feels very nice to finally connect with, and something that I’m really excited for to further explore.
Kendra: Let’s talk about your latest, “Anthony.” Right away I was moved because I too can get lost in a memory and the nostalgia of life; more often than not. Other than writing music, how do you go about holding onto your more precious memories?
Romanie: I’m always taking photos of the most random things! I am too someone who gets lost in nostalgia from time to time so I try to just capture a moment quickly but still stay present if that makes sense. I’ve recently gotten into the habit of listening a bit more to my surroundings – there are so many songwriting topics and prompts out there that can be easily missed. I’ve definitely eavesdropped quite a few times and used one-liners from strangers in songs haha.
KendrA: You also noted that “Anthony” was inspired by your love of movies. With that, what movie soundtrack do you feel doesn’t necessarily outshine the movie it came from, but is as great as?
Romanie: Oh there are so many examples! I love when a song gets synced to a movie and suddenly becomes the key part – such as the tunnel song in “Perks of Being a Wallflower.” My dream is to become a tunnel song in one of my favourite movies I guess!
Kendra: Would you ever consider doing a record that was all movie-inspired songs, with “Anthony” being the lead track?
Romanie: I would love to write a themed album like that! I actually quite often write songs about movies, so you might hear more about it at some point. It’s such a great way of finding inspiration because movies give you such a visual prompt and if it’s a well-made movie it will stick with you for quite some time after the film finishes.
Kendra: Over the years I’ve come across so many great artists from Melbourne and Australia at large and all of them boast about the local music scenes. For you, what’s been the most standout part of being a musician there?
Romanie: The community. I’ve never experienced anything like it – everyone is incredibly supportive of each other’s work and I’ve never found myself in such an inspiring environment before. It feels like I am really finding my little group of people here so I’m feeling extremely lucky that I made the move here.
Kendra: So time for a side note – with love in the air, I’d love to know what is the #1 song you’d put on a mixtape as part of a Valentine’s Day gift?
Romanie: I usually tend to steer away from love songs haha! A song I really love which is probably not the most Valentine’s one is “Certainty” by Big Thief – they have a way of describing things that hit you right in the feels.
Kendra: Lastly, with “Anthony” out on now, what else is in the works as we head towards the spring??
Romanie: I’m taking everything day by day. After everything that happened the last few years I try to put pressure on myself (but still have big dreams of course). I’m hoping to release more music and play a bunch of shows for sure.