Interview with Romanie

Romanie-Stranger_In_My_Skin-Romanie_PressersNovember_rcstills-049

Romanie’s new EP ‘‘Little Big Steps’’ is out now 

 
Recently I chatted with Romanie, and discussed her new EP ‘Little Big Steps’, which talks about her journey from Belgium to Melbourne, and her feelings throughout this. Inspired by artists like Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Julia Jacklin, Romanie’s new EP, is a journey you should follow as well.

HELLO ROMANIE, CONGRATS ON YOUR NEW EP ‘LITTLE BIG STEPS’, TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS RELEASE AND YOUR STORY SO FAR.

Hello, thanks so much for having me! I’m very excited that my EP is finally out there in the world. And on vinyl for the first time too, which feels like a major accomplishment! 

I moved from Belgium to Melbourne two years ago and sort of had to start all over from scratch on the other side of the world. ‘Little Big Steps’ EP is basically the story of that whole journey – all the fears, dreams and insecurities that came with it – bundled up in a collection of songs. I feel like it’s also the projection of my new sound, and a reflection of how much I’ve grown as a person and musician.

HOW WAS THE RECORDING PROCESS FROM YOUR RELEASE, AND WHICH SONG TOOK THE MOST TO BE COMPLETED?

It took me a while to find the right producer and recording space, because I never felt like I was quite ready to collaborate or open up as a solo singer songwriter. I’ve always had this mindset that, if you’re a singer songwriter, you have to be able to do things on your own. 

I started a new job in May 2020 and conveniently it was at a company with a recording studio and excellent producer. Soon enough I realised that collaboration is actually a really good thing, and we decided to workshop some of my songs. The first one we worked on was ‘I’m Anything (But Myself Around You’ so I think this took the longest, because it was also the song that defined ‘my new sound’. Being in a studio and working with others actually had an amazing effect on my creativity because I started to write heaps more and came up with production ideas, which I never had before.

WHAT ARE THE GENRES AND ARTISTS THAT INFLUENCED YOUR EP ‘LITTLE BIG STEPS’ THE MOST?

I’ve always been inspired by strong singer songwriter sounds and vocal driven music. One of my all time favourite songwriters are Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, Julia Jacklin.. For this EP I really wanted to step up my game and for the first time think beyond just ‘me and my guitar’. Getting a producer in on my music and really thinking about how a band would sound was really eye opening. I’m so ready to start working together with my band and explore what extra instruments can do to my songs.

THE MUSIC VIDEO OF ‘STRANGER IN MY SKIN’ BEGINS WITH A QUOTE FROM THE WRITER HURAKI MURAKAMI. HOW DID HIS WRITING INSPIRE YOUR MUSIC AND WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BOOKS WRITTEN BY HIM?

Great question! Murakami is one of my favourite writers. The way he describes things and the spiritual world he creates is just the best. I’m definitely influenced by the way he phrases things and just love every book he’s written. My favourites include the 1Q84 trilogy, Sputnik Sweetheart and The colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage. 

It’s fantastic how literature can be so tied to songwriting. I’m definitely a book lover, but feel like I still don’t read enough. My all time favourite book is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

APART FROM MUSIC, WHAT’S ARE THE THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOUR LYRICS AND SONGWRITING THE MOST?

I love cinema, so this definitely is a huge source of inspiration. I think a visual image can mean so much in music – we’re like painters with words really. Apart from that I usually take inspiration from things that happen in my own life or happen around me. This EP ‘Little Big Steps’ was all about the things that played in my mind when I moved to the other side of the world.

HOW DO YOU FIND THE INDIE MUSIC SCENE IN MELBOURNE AND WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUSTRALIAN ARTISTS?

I adore the music scene here in Melbourne. It’s all about community and I’ve never felt so welcome into a city through music before. In the two years I’ve been here I’ve made so many good friends that will always have a place in my heart. It’s also incredible how much talent there is in Australia, it’s a good reason to always stay on top of your craft and keep working. My current favourite Australian musicians are Maple Glider, Alexander Biggs and Middle Kids.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR? 

We’re still in lockdown in Melbourne at the time of writing this, so I’m not in a position to make any plans unfortunately. I’m dreaming about live music and touring though, so that’s an exciting thing potentially on the horizon. In the meantime I’m writing songs in my bedroom and taking the time to practice guitar and writing.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?

It’s been an extremely challenging few years for the music industry. If you’re a music fan, or an artist – keep championing your favourite local musicians and buy (if you can) their music via Bandcamp or stream and share their albums. It’s amazing how much social media can do nowadays and really helps the community!

Artists Links: