No Rome made it out of his hometown of Manila within the Philippines. Not that he was ever caught, however he at all times had ambitions of constructing a broader, western viewers. By means of an opportunity introduction and a formidable repertoire of self-released SoundCloud singles, he was in a position to make the leap he had lengthy dreamed of.

In 2017, the now London-based Rome Gomez instructed us that he had aspirations to take his distinctive, chamber-inflected R&B to an even bigger platform. The 1975’s Matthew “Matty” Healy instantly noticed one thing in him upon listening to his music, and was compelled to signal him to Soiled Hit. Becoming a member of a label that includes the likes of The Japanese Home and extra not too long ago Beabadoobee, Rome launched his first EP with them, RIP Indo Hisashi, final 12 months, and contributed to 1975’s single “TooTimeTooTimeTooTime.” In April, he grew to become the primary Filipino artist to carry out at Coachella, becoming a member of 1975 on stage for his or her collaboration “Narcissist.”

Together with his latest EP, Crying within the Prettiest Locations, Rome has pushed his sound even additional into the realm of pop music. Though the intro recollects My Bloody Valentine’s chaotic partitions of sound, the EP then transitions to songs just like the Billboard 100-ready “Stoned within the Valley” and the buoyant “Pink.” With out sacrificing his character or distinctive method, Rome has polished his “shoegaze R&B” sound and is connecting with extra folks than ever earlier than.

Learn the interview and hearken to the Crying within the Prettiest Locations EP under.

Initially, how loopy is it to have come from importing your songs to SoundCloud in Manila to becoming a member of The 1975 on-stage at Coachella?

Actually it looks like a dream, in a means. Not taking part in at Coachella, however y’know being on a giant stage amidst being a so-called “bed room producer.” I made music in my bed room, not that it sounds just like the time period. It was massive progress for me as a musician, as an artist. Being on the identical stage with folks like 1975, who make good music and have good intentions with making artwork. So undoubtedly an expertise, and I’m trying ahead to doing my very own factor in an even bigger house, in an even bigger sense. It’s inspiring.

Once I talked to you in late 2016, you stated that you just needed to maneuver to the USA or Europe, so I feel congratulations are so as. May you inform me just a little bit how that transfer got here collectively for you?

Thanks! So, I moved to London about two years in the past. I used to be 19 and I’m turning 22 now. I did point out in that interview that I at all times needed to maneuver to America or the UK, as a result of I felt like it could be a superb expertise for my craft and music in leaving house. And it was, as a result of I received this deal from Soiled Hit. On the identical time I additionally had US offers, so it was powerful to me to resolve which means I needed to go. I suppose signing to Soiled Hit made me realise what I needed to do as an artist, and what to develop. I simply determined to choose up all my stuff from the Philippines and transfer all in after my three months in London, and determined to signal with the label.

That will need to have been scary, although?

Yeah very a lot so. I’m not going to be the one to say that shifting to a brand new place is simple. I feel it’s at all times onerous the primary time you get there, ‘trigger for me it’s fully totally different place from the place I grew up in Manila. The UK is drastically totally different, however I suppose I ultimately fell in love with the considered that and used it to make artwork, to make concepts, to write down music.

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I do know that Manila has a really wealthy scene, however what do you suppose necessitated that transfer overseas?

I had concepts that didn’t actually match. Individuals didn’t actually perceive at that second within the Philippines. I suppose it was too bold. It’s what I felt like in a means. I used to be taking part in these underground exhibits all the time, so I used to be part of it by working different artists my age in my space. Making music of their bedrooms and coming to bars to indicate to folks. I felt like the one means for me to get higher was to get out, in order that was my sense at that second.

You already know, I watched the film Ladybird…I felt like there’s a coexistence with me, I grew up elsewhere however there’s a magnificence in taking a look at one other place from a perspective totally different than the norm. If I used to be a Filipino residing in London, residing like a Filipino, it’s a completely totally different perspective and also you get to see it in a distinct sense. A London individual shifting to L.A. would see it in a different way to somebody who grew up there. I suppose that’s what I felt like.

How did you and Matt Healy meet?

We met by way of his graphic designer, Samuel Burgess-Johnson, who I’m a giant fan of. We have been talking through electronic mail and subsequent factor you recognize he was tagging in Matt Healy, asking if I had any curiosity in doing one thing with them. Finally, Matty stated, “I actually wanna signal you.” That’s how we met. I flew into London a month after I received that electronic mail, and we began working collectively.

It was very fast, then?

Yeah it was. Spur of the second once I give it some thought now. I suppose that’s additionally how music in consumed now, all the things occurs at such a quick tempo.

So was it very nice to have somebody who had a lot religion in you so shortly like with Matt?

In fact, particularly with the extent of expertise with what Matty and the band have. It looks like there’s at all times somebody I can ask for assist. As an artist that feels so good. Earlier than it was simply me and web mates making music. There are not lots of people who’ve made it out of the Philippines so far as I do know, gone on this type of tour, performed Coachella as somebody who was borned and raised there. It’s very nice, it’s a lucky expertise and never lots of people who began out of their bedrooms have folks so skilled prepared to assist them out.

Once I was first listening to about you means again, it was at all times by way of folks I already knew. Brockhampton’s Bearface, Ryan Hemsworth, Meishi Smile, all of them talked so extremely of you. That will need to have felt nice.

It feels actually cool as nicely, as a result of I ended up changing into mates with most of them. We’ve met in actual life, which is means cooler for me. I at all times thought they might stay folks on the web. Individuals like that made me push myself more durable, not due to the co-signs however additionally they make artwork I respect so much. Lots of people I respect believed in what I used to be doing, and it makes me impressed and never wish to really feel so stale.

there are lots of people Who simply make music and you’ll’t even categorize it. You simply say, “It seems like Lil Uzi Vert.” Even when you put him on a distinct beat, you recognize if it seems like Lil Uzi. that’s what I’m attempting to do.

Particularly with Ciaran [Bearface], we spent a whole lot of time making music collectively. He additionally did just a little bit on “Pink.” Me and him made that music ages in the past, even earlier than we have been recording collectively in London. I introduced it to L.A. and he gave me the grasp chords, and we kinda simply re-arranged them and produced it once more into a distinct factor.

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I simply love working with Ciaran, as a result of I really feel like musically we actually get alongside. We get inspiration from the identical locations. When me and him labored collectively, you could possibly at all times realize it was me and him on the tip product. However thus far we’ve solely received like two songs we’ve executed collectively. We have been working collectively when the primary Saturation was coming collectively, which is how we ended up writing “WASTE.”

There’s been a shift in sound since your SoundCloud days, again then you definitely described it as “Shoegaze R&B,” however what would you say it’s now?

Up thus far, I nonetheless sort of tag it shoegaze R&B or pop. However it’s simply making sounds now, in that there are lots of people who simply make music and you’ll’t even categorize it. You simply say, “It seems like No Rome,” or, “It seems like Lil Uzi Vert.” Even when you put him on a distinct beat, you recognize if it seems like Lil Uzi. That’s what I’m attempting to do, however proper now it’s nonetheless shoegaze R&B that I’m attempting to painting.


I undoubtedly received that with the primary monitor on the brand new EP, which jogged my memory of My Bloody Valentine’s wall of sound method, though it sounds so much cleaner.

Precisely. It’s like when My Bloody Valentine began to do the MBV album. It’s an excellent album, I like that album. It’s not Loveless, but it surely has the Loveless sound. It feels prefer it’s executed higher. It’s simply what Kevin Shields would have needed if he had sufficient cash when he was producing Loveless. He has the higher sound desk and all that form of stuff now.

However that’s what I really feel like with my SoundCloud music. If you happen to hearken to it, it’s nonetheless very harking back to what I make now, however now it is a lot larger. It’s at all times been a chamber sound. Typically it’s in an even bigger room, generally it’s in a smaller room. For now it’s in a room the place I can really management the place the sounds go. The entire idea is there, we’re simply attempting to place it in a greater sense the place folks can perceive what I do.

Coming from extra lo-fi sounding stuff to having this larger manufacturing funds, does it make it troublesome to resolve when one thing needs to be lo-fi or hi-fi? I do know you continue to incorporate muffled sounding vocals, so do you method songs considering “That is going to be the neater one” or “That is going to be the dirtier sounding one?”

I do. Typically once I’ve recorded one thing in such an trustworthy means, I don’t wanna contact it anymore. Like this half already feels good as it’s, even when I recorded it in a rest room someplace. That half, that little messed-up voice, I would like that as it’s. It simply works means higher that means, there’s extra honesty.

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May you inform me the place the title Crying within the Prettiest Locations got here from?

It was an concept that got here from being within the prettiest locations and feeling unhappy. It’s sort of like being alone or feeling alone at a pleasant occasion. That’s what I felt like these songs have been about as nicely, fairly sounds juxtaposed with trustworthy lyrics that concerned relationships I’ve been in or experiences. I used to be writing in these fairly locations. L.A., London, just a little bit in Tokyo. However that’s apart from the purpose, I’ve not been to a whole lot of locations I take into account solely fairly, however scripting this I used to be in a reasonably place and I used to be in a rut. Something will be thought-about a reasonably place, wherever you might be and when you really feel alone in that.

It’s not essentially concerning the location however the way of thinking.

Yeah. It began out as location for me, coming to L.A. for the primary time, which I at all times needed to do. Then I used to be within the mess, and that’s once I had the concept. I used to be crying on this fairly place I at all times needed to go to, however one way or the other once I got here there I felt so empty.

I began out listening to music due to the album artwork. I keep in mind discovering music by going to outlets or the web. I’d see the good artwork ever and Suppose, “That is going to be a superb document.”

Was it at all times the plan to launch each of the EPs inside a 12 months of one another?

Nearly. I feel I was supposed to place it out earlier final 12 months, however I didn’t actually have all that I wanted at that second, particularly musically. We moved it again, and it grew to become nearly a 12 months from the primary EP, which is ideal.

There’s a really cinematic and classy aptitude to your movies, so would you say that the visible facet is simply as vital because the music is?

Oh yeah, undoubtedly. I began out listening to music due to the album artwork. I keep in mind discovering music by going to outlets or the web. I’d see the good artwork ever and suppose, “That is going to be a superb document.” Normally it’s, generally it could be shit, however at the very least it had good album artwork. It’s tremendous vital for me. It’s the very first thing you see whenever you hearken to music, it ought to co-exist. Having an album artwork that represents the music you’re making, it explains so much to your viewers. That’s the place the enjoyable begins, whenever you get on that highway you attempt to make this world inside your head. You need folks to see what you have been considering of whenever you have been making this music.

So have you ever been engaged on an album similtaneously these tasks?

I’ve at all times been engaged on an album, however the thought manufacturing begins with me and I’ve some folks over to come back over and assist with it, put it on an even bigger plate. It’s discovering the sound for me, however for proper now EPs work for me. I get to make shorter tasks, a group of songs. Once I do an album I wish to sit down and do the album. Finally it is going to come. For now, this 12 months, I will probably be placing out a whole lot of materials. Subsequent 12 months is likely to be my album.  

Photograph by Danny North


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