North London artist breaks down his latest release...

RØMANS is an overwhelmingly creative artist.

A true triple threat, this singer, songwriter, and producer is reluctant to place barriers on his work - so he doesn't even try.

Embracing inspiration wherever he can find it, new EP 'Automatic' sluices together hip-hop beats with pop melodies, grime bars with down tempo production.

A real conundrum, RØMANS kindly broke down his new release in this Track By Track guide.

- - -

- - -

Automatic
This was the first track I wrote for the EP and set a tone in my head. Oddly for me this one started with lyrics. I’d written the first verse and chorus on my phone whilst bored on the underground. I’m not one for spelling out the meanings of my songs, I’ve always enjoyed interpreting my own meanings to other peoples work, but as you can hear I wasn’t in a particularly great mood that week. I came up with the piano riff almost as soon as I sat down to start writing.

The rest followed quickly. I mocked up a beat which I initially thought would evolve into live drums, but I really liked the mix of acoustic and electric sounds. I worked quite hard a getting a minimal and slightly jarring sound to the strings quartet.

Love Is The Beast
This was a song that only became a part of the EP when 'The Life Of Pablo' was released. I had initially made the beat for Kanye. I was due to work with him at his apartment in Paris and made the beat and hook the day before leaving. As I arrived I was told he’d left for L.A. on emergency so I sent him the parts. I think he’d been working on different versions of it but it didn’t make the album. As soon as I saw the final track listing I knew I wanted to release it myself. Avelino is a rapper I’ve really admired for some time so I hit him up and he put down two great verses.

Happy Love
This song came from me playing on a Prophet 5 Synth and singing random melodies into my iPhone voice memos. I was subconsciously singing “what’s the point in talking bout you and me”. I instantly had a strong feeling that it should be about a middle aged couple falling out of love. This was another one where the beat evolved pretty quickly.

I played it to my manager and label and they suggested adding a middle eight - a pet hate of mine and something I always try to avoid where possible! I obliged and really loved what came out of it. That’s the great thing about playing unfinished music to people you trust, especially when you’ve made it all yourself. Sometimes you get pushed in a direction you never would have anticipated yourself.

Stranger Things
Annoyingly I wrote this before the Netflix show became one of my favourite shows in years. If I hadn’t it probably would have ended up sounding a lot more 80’s. I had written the entire song, recorded lyrics and had a really dark, brooding production with a huge Hip Hop beat. I’d used some vintage string machines and echo machines from the 60’s.

It was a great sound but I knew it wasn’t perfect. I abandoned everything and started again, this time mapping out a tempo that increased from the intro to the first chorus. I started adding layers and suddenly there was this completely new version of a song I’d been living with and playing for weeks.

- - -

- - -

'Automatic' EP is out now.

Buy Clash Magazine

-

Follow Clash: