Melbourne based singer-songwriter Romanie has released her new EP Little Big Steps. The EP is a soothing masterpiece suited for Sunday mornings or late night sessions. Led by indie-folk singles I’m Anything (But Myself Around You), Fake Friends and new single Stranger In My Skin, Romanie’s EP is marked by its diversity of themes and melodies, yet anchored together with the consistency of pure and emotive song writing, self-reflection, all the while showcasing her personal story and journey from Belgium to Australia. Romanie’s EP will delight fans of Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Rose and Julia Stone. It was produced by long-time collaborators James Seymour (Feelds, Merpire) at Small Time Group, and mastered by Isaac Barter. Romanie talks to Hi Fi Way about the EP.
How has the build-up been leading up to the release of your new EP Little Big Steps?
What a rollercoaster! I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into – recording and releasing music in a new country was extremely daunting, especially during a time of uncertainty for the music industry. I’m emerging, independent and foreign but I’ve been extremely lucky to have met the right people straight away in terms of promotion and production. It’s really cool to look back now to myself a year ago when I wrote these songs and see the growth I’ve been through as a musician and as a person. I feel so lucky to be in Melbourne and meet these amazing musicians and creatives. I’m learning so much every day, and also feel like I’m living at 200km/hour. It’s what the whole EP is about so I feel like I’m definitely a personification of my own work! It’s crazy to be pursuing my dream during a global pandemic on the other side of the world from the place that I used to call home. I’ve definitely felt unsure about it all during the last months at certain times but I’m also proud of myself for still standing strong here. Each win is a personal milestone for sure.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
Someone once described my music as intimate, dreamy indie pop to listen to on a warm summer evening and I quite liked that description. I feel like I’ll always write deeply personal songs so thoughtful songwriting is definitely the main objective along with my vocals and guitar being the centre of the songs. When I first met up with my band members I told them I’m a massive fan of Middle Kids and Phoebe Bridgers so if we can sound (even only) a little bit like a mixture of these of my idols, I’d be the luckiest person in the world. I love to write more songs now with my band in mind rather than thinking it’s just me and my guitar. It lets me step away from the folky singer songwriter idea, whilst still being the same person and cherish the folklore of course.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
Musically – the artists that I listen to and buy records from of course. Lately that have been the latest albums from Middle Kids, Maple Glider, Mimi Gilbert, Laura Marling, Ryan Downey and the list is always growing. I love to discover new music and take it all in. It sounds cliché but also my partner and close friends have a major influence on my music because they play such a huge part in my life. The amount of times I’ve written (a sometimes shady) song about my boyfriend is, to his frustration, not to count on one hand. I just think in order to be authentic and relatable, you have to write about things that you experience or see in your own life.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’ve always had this idea that as a singer songwriter you have to do things on your own – but unfortunately no one can do it all. Coming to Melbourne and experiencing this really supportive music community was so eye opening and inspiring. I’ve recently gotten into co-writing and you learn so much from others and also about yourself during these sessions. Collaborating definitely broke through the stigma of ‘you have to do it all by yourself as an independent artist in order to feel successful’. I think it also showed me that, no matter in what stage of your career you are, artists all have the same fears and doubts and we really are our worst critics. It shows that we’re all human I guess, but I’d love to ignore that little negative critic on my shoulder a little more from time to time.
What’s next for Romanie?
I might be a naïve optimist to say I want to play as many live shows with my band as possible, given we’re back in lockdown here in Melbourne. But yes, getting out there and playing the EP and extending my fan base in Australia is definitely the short term number one goal. Also collaborating with artists that inspire me before I go back into the studio to record the next thing. It’s always a continuous journey but I’m working on new music and love how it is all coming together while playing these new songs with the band.
Interview By Rob Lyon