THE PINK SNOUT: HI Romani, welcome to the pinksnout community. Could you tell us about yourself and your personality?
ROMANI: There really isn’t much to tell about me, except I’m like the male equivalent of Cruella de Vil, minus the desire for puppy fur. I’m also like an old man crossed with a hormonal One Direction fan girl. I often like to pretend that I’m the lost member of 1D as it makes me feel slightly more successful in life.
In all seriousness I grew up in Kent with my family, I’m a twin. We both moved to Guildford, Surrey for university. Including my step brothers and sisters there are twelve of us children, which means we have to do Secret Santa at Christmas time as there are too many of us to buy for. I’d like to think I’m honest, my Step Dad told me when I was younger that he doesn’t like liars and ever since then I’ve found it hard to lie.
TPS: You always seemed to be interested in music. What attracted you to it and who inspires you?
R. :I can’t remember what attracted me to music, I’ve always remembered liking it. When I was in primary school my teacher asked every pupil in the classroom what they wanted to be when they grew up, she told us students that we weren’t allowed to laugh, however, when I told them I wanted to be a pop star the classroom erupted with laughter. I think even I may have laughed too.
I like a lot of country artists. I tend to focus strongly on the lyrics in my songs. Influences range from Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Rodney Crowell, I love that era of music.
TPS: We have been very impressed by your debut video ‘Gipsy’. Tell us about this song and about your origins
R. I wrote the song about four years ago, I had just been listening to one of Mary Chapin Carpenters albums and it had really inspired me. I started wondering what life would have been like if the Romanian gypsies on my Mums side refused to give up the roaming way of life. My aunt once told me that when she was younger her Nan used to have a gypsy wagon and they used to play in it. She still has a banjo mandolin from the wagon. I keep trying to get my hands on it.
TPS: You’re a songwriter. Have you any recurring themes in your song?
R. I think as a songwriter you try to distance yourself from recurring themes, but it does happen, recently the word ‘bones’ seems to pop up a lot in my songs. ‘Home’ always appears as well as a good break up, I think they are my strongest themes.
I feel it’s important to try and experience new things in life, I find the more I experience and the more I open my mind to things, the easier songs merge.
TPS: In your website you define yourself as a british dandy. What means be a dandy nowadays? How to choose your style?
R. I think for me a dandy is someone who always dresses to impress, they are eloquent, classy and unique. Obviously I’m a fibber because I’m anything but classy.
With my own style someone had recreated a painting of Dorian Gray and posted it online, it’s still on google now. The face was so immaculate with the blonde hair and scarlet lips that I felt immediately drawn to it. The big hair is because I have such a strange shaped face that the bigger my hair the more even my face becomes. Apparently my style has recently become similar to a hippy, I was unaware of this but some friend thought they’d tell me for own safety.
TPS: What do you do in your spare time?
R. In my spare time I drink coffee and then run round the back garden for a couple of hours, I obviously wrap my hair in a head scarf first so it doesn’t get ruined or blow off, depending on whether it’s real or not.
I read a lot too. I’ve always found that reading helps my songwriting so I force myself to do it. I do like a good movie such as Harry Potter, The Help or The Way We Were. I also do a lot of research in my spare time, such as hunting down venues and bloggers. I also like to run off to London every chance I get.
TPS: Who do you think is your audience and give us a motivation to listen to your live concert
R. I’ve been trying to work out who my main audience are. I think they are usually people who have experienced the 70’s and 80’s. I feel that sometimes I look like a blast from the past and they can connect with that. I also think that folk music fans tend to enjoy my music. Alex Paton who produced my EP loves metal music, I think the intensity of arrangements from that genre has creped into a couple of the songs on the EP, he’s done it very skilfully.If you come down to the concert I promise to introduce you to my Dad, he is a very good guy and may buy you a beer.
TPS: Thanks Romani for the kind interview. Give a special regard to the pink snout readers
R. Hello darlings, thanks for taking the time out to read this interview. Next time we can go for a cuppa and a chin wag.