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ROMY on her solo debut album cemented by the club culture that saved her

2023.9.7

#MUSIC

“Loveher” the turning point to embarking on her solo career

– From your first solo single, “Lifetime,” to “Lights Out,” “Strong,” and “Enjoy Your Life,” the concrete theme of party life runs through all the songs. Each song reminded me of important messages I received from parties I’ve been to. Could you tell us how you met Fred Again..?

ROMY: I met him after touring The xx’s last album, “I See You.” I was interested in songwriting for other artists as a way to be creative without the pressure of it being for The xx. However, I didn’t think I was going to make a solo project. But I got match made with Fred because he was producing and writing for other artists as well. It was before he released “Actual Life.” We became friends quickly and we had a lot of fun in the studio. We were writing all this music thinking, “who can this be for?”  

Then, we wrote “Loveher,” and I said, “I think this is for me.” interesting. And that kind of unlocked the whole project.

Romy – Loveher (Official Video)

– When I first heard “Loveher,” I thought the song was singing the same thing as Massive Attack’s “Protection,” which Tracey Thorn sang. “Loveher” evloked me a similar feeling when Protection was played at the sunset when I was at Café del Mar in Ibiza.

ROMY: Thank you, I’m very happy to be mentioned in that way. Massive Attack and Tracy Thorn are my heroes. I grew up listening to their music. Of course, I didn’t try to sing like her, but Tracy’s gentle voice is very special. I think “Protection” by Café del Mar is wonderful. I’m honored to be mentioned like that.

– I felt that “Loveher” is about a moment of realization of something very important, but also about the fragility of love. Did you find it difficult to express yourself so honestly?

ROMY: Yes [laughs]. When I wrote the song, I was in the early stages of falling in love and I wanted to capture it, which was challenging. I was trying to forget that people might hear it. I was trying to write it for the person I was singing about and if she liked it, I was happy. But it’s out in the world now, I realized it’s very personal. But I’m happy about that and it feels good to be personal in the music because it feels natural.

Fred Again.. released a song “Billie,” which is a cover of “Your Loving Arms” by Billy Ray Martin, one of the divas in the 1990s. Why do you think both you and Again.. love the 90s dance music?

ROMY: I love “Billie” too! And the original, of course.

Fred again… – Billie (Loving Arms) (23 July 2021)

ROMY: When Fred and I started writing for me, I played a lot of the references of early 2000s or late 90s pop dance songs that have amazing choruses you can sing along to as well as dance. Because Fred is a songwriter and a producer, he understands the power of a song you can dance to. Although we both shared a lot of love for the emotional dance music, I don’t know what it is. Both of us were just drawn to that sound.

– I listened to his set at Glastonbury this year on the radio. It was very exciting. What is it like at his parties?

ROMY: Fred’s stage is high-energy and emotional, but there are also gentle moments, and the contrast between the two is great. He is a very gentle person, and I think that part of him is conveyed to the audience.

– Is the audience mostly young?

ROMY: Not really. It depends on the party, but people of all ages enjoy it.

Parties in the UK seem to have a wide range of audiences from teenagers s to older people. Is it still the case?

ROMY: Yes, of course! Even that extends into festivals as well, I think there is this atmosphere, if you’re all there for the music, you’re welcome. Even in queer clubs, it’s cool seeing all the different types of people there, and that they can all feel safe and at home. I think that’s special to have that and understanding more the power of the club to feel like they can be themselves when they might not be able to be on the street.

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