INTERVIEW WITH DEATHBYROMY… MUSIC’S’ NEW GOTH POP PRINCESS
INTRODUCING DEATHBYROMY… MUSIC’S’ NEW GOTH POP PRINCESS AND CAPITOL RECORDS NEWEST SIGNING THAT’S READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD…
On the eve of her album release show at Bardot Hollywood, I sat down with the artist known as DeathbyRomy at Capitol Records. The hallowed ground and sacred halls seemed to carry even more weight so late at night. Upon meeting her she dressed for the show in head to toe full-on Goth Pop Princess garb and we quickly settled in. The interview felt more like a chat among friends despite our age gap (Romy is Gen Z, I’m Gen Y). We talked about the new EP “Love u – to Death“, musical inspirations, how we are both from Los Angeles, even heavier subjects such as the state of the world. Her EP explores this and many other things in life such as love, passion, relationships and how they can be freeing. DeathbyRomy paints these stories using not only stark lyric imagery but by blending multiple genres. Meet DeathbyRomy.
Interview has been edited for clarity
DEATHBYROMY: Are you from L.A.?
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Yeah, near Pasadena.
DEATHBYROMY: I’ve been Mid city my whole life.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I always start off with a fun icebreaker question. So are you a Red Vines girl or Twizzlers?
DEATHBYROMY: Red Vines! Twizzlers tastes to rubbery it’s like your chewing on barely flavored rubber.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Yeah, agreed!
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your new EP “Love u – to Death” what was the writing and recording process like for it? Also the album art! It’s really cool!
DEATHBYROMY: Thank you so much!
DEATHBYROMY: Um, so after doing my EP last year which was called “Monsters”. I kind of was writing a lot about my first love. And after writing a bunch of sad love songs I really wanted to kind of try and find another level of myself, a deeper confidence, hopefully less sad and less like my heart is broken kind of vibes. So when it came to starting to write New Music for what I didn’t know was going to be “Love u – to death.” I was really trying to pull from rediscovering myself worth. Finding out what I really want in love and not being afraid to be a bit sexy and passionate, and touch on all of those emotions. So, I think this EP has a lot more energy and up and down songs like, “I Feel Like a God”, and “Let Me Fall”, and, “Diamond Tears” is a big self worth anthem, which I really love.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I like how you have different genres going in each of the songs and it’s not just one kind of leaning towards one different genre.
DEATHBYROMY: Thank you. I’m very inspired by all different genres. So when it came to this project, I feel like I was listening to a lot of Kanye, a lot of Bring Me The Horizon. A lot of Lana Del Rey.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Love, Lana!
DEATHBYROMY: Do you like Bring Me The Horizon?
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Yeah, I do. I’m not their biggest fan. I like their newer stuff definitely.
DEATHBYROMY: Yeah, they’re awesome. I’m really inspired by their production a lot. A good mix of electronic and rock.
DEATHBYROMY: The cover, the covet was shot by this girl, Maddie Cordova, she’s a really cool female photographer that made shooting it really comfortable. The idea behind it obviously was to use my signature and makeup really continue to brand that and also have half my face is a skeleton for the like love you to death aspect. So that’s why on one half, it’s like just my face, kind of a pretty beauty shot and the other half is the skull to kind of touch on the beauty and the darkness that there is in love and death. I thought it was perfect idea for the cover. This guy Harlee helped edit the whole cover.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Continuing on from the previous questions what’s a typical creative process like for you?
DEATHBYROMY: It depends. I can be really all over the place. Sometimes I know. I’ll have a studio session. And so I’ll try and wrap my head, my head around the concept that I want to write about that day. Sometimes I know what I want to write about. Sometimes I don’t and I kind of randomly grab inspiration. So another way I find inspiration is say just Sitting at a cafe or like riding the bus and all of a sudden I think about something like, wow, I have a lot I can say about this, like, I think I’ll choose to write about this later. Sometimes I’ll put it in my notes, or sometimes I’ll start writing that in there just in my phone. Then at times, when I feel haven’t allotted enough time for writing, then I will set aside actual time to like, I’m going to try and write something. Whatever it is, I think at this time, I’m constantly writing now, almost every day.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: That’s good. It helps when you’re constantly writing because it keeps the creative juices flowing.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Let’s talk about your first and current single off “Love u – to Death”… “Problems” and the inspiration behind it? Why you chose that single? What was the writing process like? Also the album art?
DEATHBYROMY: Sure! So I actually made “Problems” like a year ago, and it was probably the most pop leaning record I’d ever recorded at the time. What I thought was really cool is since people haven’t really heard me do anything in that style, and since this project is really all over the place, I thought it would be smart to kind of throw them off with something they never heard before, see how they react, and then show them like, some of how the whole project sounds like as it’s actually all over the place. But “Problems” is also just a record a lot of my friends fell in love with. I know you’re not supposed to listen to others’ opinions, but I couldn’t help but think if all of them love it and think it’s so catchy it definitely has something to it. So, me and my team decided that, that should be the single. When it comes to the video, I collaborated with this female director named Mara and I had presented her with a video treatment that I wrote myself. It kind of touched on wanting my problems to be personified by people and that’s where those people in the video all have like their own separate issue. Yeah, it kinda meant to be like seven sins or my problems personified. Her and I went back and forth with ideas together and eventually we came up with what you now see in the video. I like there’s a lot of different themes of sin and problems, like the snakes and the last supper scene. You see my parents not paying attention to me while watching all of the world’s issues.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Are those your real parents? Haha…
DEATHBYROMY: Haha. No. I was gonna say I should’ve done my real parents, but I feel like my Dad would not have been able to pull off the activities.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Is there a lyric from “Problems” that you think speaks to how your generation feels particularly about the state of world currently?
DEATHBYROMY: Though, I’m not gonna lie. This chorus is an extremely me and someone who really, really cares about what’s going on in the earth with the end environment with issues at the border is for sure everything going on. But I, I have been in moments very consumed in my own issues to where I don’t want to think about anything. And I think that’s something a lot of teenagers can relate to, for example, the line I’ve got too many problems for all the world’s problems, which is kind of like the, the main point. And I mean, when I was younger, and I was less smart, I often would do things that were stupid to just get my mind off of my own issues. And I think a lot of kids struggle with doing that instead of facing things head on and actually being self aware. So I think I think that’s a line a lot of especially young teenagers perhaps can relate to. Yeah, at that time. I feel like you’re so consumed with your own issues, your own anxieties, your own situation on how you even feel about yourself that you don’t want to think about it.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Yes! I agree. Everything just feels immediate and monumental. Like it’s not going to end and I just can’t handle this right now. It’s a lot. And speaking from someone who was a teenager somewhat ago, at the time everything to me seemed horrible and it wasn’t going to go away. Then you look back on it, you realize…
DEATHBYROMY: …like, wow, that was just such a small moment in my life.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Yeah, even the stuff that was really bad you look back on you go like, wow, I made it out.
DEATHBYROMY: Yes, thankfully. Much better now.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: How do you feel your fashion and sense of style ties into your music and over image as an artist? Do you think that is something that is important to have as an artist?
DEATHBYROMY: I think your own sense of purpose. style, whatever that be, whether it be something flashy or completely casual is extremely important. I think being comfortable in your body and what you’re wearing matters more than how it may look to other people. And as a person/artist, I have always been inspired by all different types of fashion and so I feel like some days you’ll see me in a dress and combat boots some days you’ll see me in sweatpants and a hoodie some days you’ll see me in graphics or somebody will see me in all black and I love the freedom to express myself in that way, because I don’t different days I feel different levels of comfortability with my own body and I like being able to kind of go all over the place with it. I’m very gravitated towards dark and kind of Yeah, I guess dark fashion. My favorite colors baby pink. Yeah, yeah, it really just depends on the day and I love kind of having the freedom to express however I want to feel in my clothing.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Cool.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Switching gears to a few fun questions. What’s your top three Horror films?
DEATHBYROMY: One of them that, like off the bat comes to mind is The Shining by Stanley Kubrick. It’s one of my favorite directors. And just such an artsy horror film more than it is necessary to scary. You can tell every detail was so cared for. I just love Stanley Kubrick and Stephen King. The book is fine. That’s definitely one of them. Honestly, recently, I was Hereditary and that was one of the first movies in a while but really scared me. So for that reason, I really appreciate it. I love Toni Collette as an actress. She was also the mom in Little Miss Sunshine.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Yeah, I liked her in The Sixth Sense. I saw that one in theaters, but I was like really little.
DEATHBYROMY: Let’s see. Number three, number three. Number three. I’m gonna have to go. This is a really funny and weird one. It’s called House. It’s a Japanese horror film. This one is honestly more bizarre than it is scary or good. But it’s just the amount of creativity that must have been put into creating these scenes on such a low budget. That’s probably my list.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Good choices, great.
DEATHBYROMY: Thank you.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Dream concert venue to play at?
DEATHBYROMY: Definitely can’t wait to headline Madison Square Garden. But honestly because I’m from L.A. the day I can sell out the Staples Center will be like, or the Hollywood Bowl will be a dream come true. I’m gonna say Hollywood Bowl because I like that venue more.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Do it for L.A.!
DEATHBYROMY: I will! Yes, the day I can do that. All my dreams will come true. I feel as though all of my dreams had come true at that point.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you could live in any fictional universe, which would you choose?
DEATHBYROMY: Harry Potter because I always fantasized about being able to have magic. (Romy’s Harry Potter house has changed overtime but she identifies as Gryffindor)
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: If you could collaborate with any artist past or present who would you collab with and why?
DEATHBYROMY: Well, picking one is probably the hardest thing to do. But I would love to sing a song with Bjork. She’s an Icelandic singer. She’s not only shooting an incredible vocalist, but she’s an amazing producer and visual artist, and she’s one of my biggest, biggest inspiration. She’s my Favorite Female Vocalist of all time. She’s my personal favorite.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: That’d be a cool fit.
DEATHBYROMY: Yeah, it’d be really interesting. I think it makes me really weird and beautiful. And she inspires me constantly. I think she’s absolutely incredible. I saw her live earlier this year in New York.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: What artists or bands have been “On Repeat” on your playlists recently?
DEATHBYROMY: Let’s us be very specific! So I’ve been listening to my music. I’m not gonna lie. I listen to my music all the time. I’ve been listening to “Cry Baby” by Melanie Martinez, which is one of my favorite albums. I’ve been listening to “Mourn” by Corbin. He’s an incredible singer and writer. I feel like his songs are just so real like you can’t help but feel his pain every time I listen to his music. I have been listening to Sevdaliza, she’s incredible, lots of Bring Me The Horizon, and “Treats” by Sleigh Bells.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: And what’s next on the horizon for DEATHBYROMY?
DEATHBYROMY: Currently, I’m really trying get my first U.S. solo tour going. It will be really intimate club shows but I’ll be up close and personal with my fans. Also I am always working on music.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: Cool! Anything else you would like to say for my readers at my magazine?
DEATHBYROMY: Well, I guess one of the things I like to emphasize about me as an artist is that I’m a very lyrics first person. I’ve been writing ever since I was five and I feel like the lyrics are the spine of a song though. Production and lyrics are equally as important in the final product. I feel like if you have lyrics that are strong, that they can carry even the simplest beat. And so yeah, that’s me as an artist.
THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER: I had the best time here. It was really great talking to you.
DEATHBYROMY: Thank you so much for coming! It’s the same really glad I get to speak with you face to face.
Later that night I got to see Romy kill it at her album release event. This girl is definitely going places and the crowd absolutely loved her. You can check out the setlist from the show below as well stream her second new EP “Love u – to Death” out now on Capitol Records.