Beyond the Stage had the opportunity to chat with 19-year-old pop singer-songwriter Caroline Romano and find out more about her background, her music and what she’s been listening to lately. Read on for more.
Beyond the Stage: How did your musical journey begin?
Caroline Romano: For as long as I can remember, I’ve turned to music to be my voice. My parents say I was singing before I was talking, and as an extremely shy and anxious little kid, music was the only way I knew how to express myself. It’s always been what I’ve wanted to do.
I started keeping a journal about my days at school, and this journaling eventually turned into songwriting. I wrote my first song at the age of twelve, and I was instantly hooked. It’s all I wanted to do. I basically begged my parents to take me to Nashville for my thirteenth birthday so I could play open mic nights around the city. Thankfully, I have some of the most supportive parents in the world, and they drove me, my guitar, and my handful of songs all around Nashville.
That’s when I really fell in love with performing. Watching people react and relate to my music in real-time was this addictive sort of magic to me, and I knew I wanted to continue performing and writing music for the rest of my life. I kept writing and performing anywhere they’d let me in the door.
My mom and I came to Nashville nearly every other month, and I kept working. While I was still a sophomore in high school, I got to hear my music on mainstream radio for the first time. It’s all been somewhat of a beautiful blur from there, but I’m so proud of how far that little thirteen-year-old girl has come. I’m even more excited to see what the future holds.
BTS: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
CR: I would describe my sound as a mix of pop, folk, alternative, ’60s rock, and EDM. Right now, it’s a combination of a little bit of everything! The songs I’m planning to release throughout this next year are way more stripped production-wise than some of my past releases.
My overall sound really fluctuates with each song I write. I love really stripped acoustic and piano tracks, but I’m also obsessed with early 2000s punk-pop. A lot of songs I’ve released lately have also been in the EDM vein, which I find super fun to write. A little bit of everything at the moment!
BTS: Who are some of your influences, musical or non-musical?
CR: I am heavily inspired by artists such as Queen, Noah Kahan, YUNGBLUD, Taylor Swift, My Chemical Romance, and Charli XCX when it comes to musical influences. Lyrically and sonically, I think each of these bands and artists is certified geniuses in their own right.
I love movement in music. I’m infatuated with their ability to tell a story and to make it feel like it’s your story they’re telling. I also just love how each of these artists has said everything I didn’t know I even wanted to say. My biggest dream in life is to create music that provides people with the same levels of joy and anger and sadness and peace that their music has brought me. I just want to make people feel something.
BTS: What was the writing process like for your new single, “Jagged Stars”?
CR: Writing “Jagged Stars” was a really unique and fun experience. My very talented producer friend, Karl, sent me the track back in November 2019. I was immediately in love with it, and Karl and the other producer on the track told me I could write lyrics to it.
The track, even in its first pass, had this alluring and fun sound to it, but almost in a tragic, hopelessly romantic way. I knew I wanted to go somewhere simple, yet not simple at all with it. I wrote the entire concept of “Jagged Stars” in about 30 minutes and sent it over to them. Thankfully, they loved it as much as I did, and I’m so proud of how it all turned out.
BTS: You recently released “I Still Remember” remixed by DJ R3HAB. Did you enjoy teaming up with R3HAB on the track?
CR: Working with R3HAB on “I Still Remember” was truly one of the greatest experiences of my entire career.
R3HAB has been one of my favorite DJs/EDM producers for as long as I can remember, so I was over-the-moon when I found out he was going to remix my song. The EDM world is somewhere I’m still pretty new to, and I knew whatever he did to the track would be better than I could imagine.
I literally ran outside after hearing his first pass of the song. I loved it. I feel so blessed and honored to have one of my songs remixed by such a musical powerhouse.
BTS: Can we expect more new music soon?
CR: Yes! There is an absurd amount of music coming out in 2021. It’s some of the most exciting and vulnerable music I’ve released to date, and I can’t wait to share these pieces of myself with the world. Stay tuned!
BTS: What are you most excited about when it’s safe to tour again?
CR: I don’t think words can describe how excited I am about every aspect of touring again when it’s safe to do so. I miss the faces. I miss looking into the eyes of people listening to my music and watching them connect with it in real-time.
I’m excited to share that energy again – whether it’s happy, sad, or everything in between – with a crowd of people in one place. The day can’t come soon enough when I get to say thank you, in person, to the people who have made my dreams come true. Live shows truly are where I feel most at home, and I haven’t been home in a long time. I’m excited to go back.
BTS: What are you listening to right now?
CR: To only name a few (the list could go on forever!) –
The evermore album by Taylor Swift. Specifically, “evermore,” the single featuring Bon Iver. Could a greater piece of music ever be written? I don’t think it’s possible.
The weird! album by YUNGBLUD. “the freak show” is going down as one of my all-time favorite anthems.
Every song Noah Kahan has ever written.
“Gets Better” by Catie Turner.
“There’s a Ghost” by Fleurie.
The entire Queen catalog.
BTS: What does 2021 have in store for you?
CR: I have a lot planned for 2021, and I’m praying that this year has simply beautiful things in store. I’m releasing more music than I ever have to date, and I’m very hopeful and anxious to see people’s reactions to it. With this comes lots of new looks, video assets, virtual live shows, and more. I’m also crossing my fingers that I’ll get to play live shows again before the year is over! I’m saying 2021 is my year. I have to keep saying it’s my year until my year finally comes. And it will.
Check out “Jagged Stars” by Caroline Romano here: