Now is the perfect time to get familiar with Romel. His latest single, ‘Mind Blown,’ which was released back in March, recently hit number one on the Music Week Official UK Black Music Club Chart. This is no simple feat, especially considering his competition has been the likes of Drake and Tinie Tempah.
IndustryMe got to talk with Romel about his rise to the top of the charts and what’s next for this pop-fusion artist.
What inspired you to become a singer? Were there specific artists that particularly motivated you?
Getting into music, I was inspired by my dad who used to be a DJ because I was amazed about the way he fused different genres while playing and still got the crowd going. And till this date, when I hear a song, I can still predict what song should come next. But about becoming a singer – I used to rap as a kid, but mostly covering people’s songs until my first day in the studio. The producer heard my voice and I remember the look on his face when he asked me ‘Why do you rap?’ My reply was ‘Everyone’s doing it.’ He told me I had a good voice and I should stick to singing, so that was it.
How did you get involved in the music industry? What was your musical journey like?
I think my journey in the industry started when a guy from my school got a whole album of instrumentals that he wanted to record, and I tried to get featured on it. He said I wasn’t good enough, and that was when I realised I had to make my own music. Then, I met a producer who passed my song to a few people in the industry. From there, I just kept making music, and people just kept hearing about me.
Your song, ‘Mind Blown,’ recently knocked Drake and Tinie off the top spot on Music Week Official UK Black Music Club Chart – that’s an amazing feat! How does that feel?
I wish I could explain how I felt but I can’t! I remember saying I wanted to get on the charts last year, posted it on Instagram, and some people thought I was crazy. And even at some point, I was like I shouldn’t have written that, maybe I would have just kept that to myself. But I didn’t just get on the charts, I was number one!!!
The song was on the chart for 10 weeks before hitting number one, coming out around the same time as the pandemic started. Did you ever feel discouraged?
Oh yes I did. Even tried to take it down, but my manager encouraged me to release it. He said this is a situation that has never happened before so the only way to find out what happens is to release it.
What was the inspiration behind ‘Mind Blown’? How did the song come about?
When I got into the studio, I just wanted to make a Funk Pop song, never really thought about what I wanted to sing about but finally decided to sing about how I was feeling, which is about things starting to go according to plan.
On the song, you worked with Tinie Tempah’s producer, Slic Vic. What was that experience like? Did he have any special tips or advice for you?
It was an amazing experience – he’s produced almost all my songs, but every time I step into the studio with him, it feels like a hit is about to be made!!! He’ll always tell me to sing about how I’m feeling; plus whenever I try to explain an idea, his response is always ‘I’ve got you.’ He gives me exactly what I’m looking for before adding the Slic recipe!
You were raised in England but are of Nigerian descent. Does that background influence your music at all?
Yes, it has actually helped and introduced me to a different lifestyle and music, which makes me understand what people like on this side of the world and the other side. It has also given me the chance to experience some classic tracks that are not really known here – this has really shaped my music.
How would you describe your music? Do you feel you fit in any particular category?
I love this question because I remember the struggle my team had trying to figure out what category to fit me in – I think that was a good problem to have. Well, I would like to call myself a pop fusion artist because I work with every genre and try to make it into something a lot of people can relate to. So, I think Fusion or Pop-Fusion – you choose.
2020 is already off to a great start – what else can we expect from you this year?
More music, more good music! It’s my turn to be heard!