Caroline Romano is someone we, at The Honey Pop, look up to. As a 19-year-old artist who has huge achievements under her belt, she has already opened for Shawn Mendes, Daya and Why Don’t We. Many may recognize her voice from her collaboration with R3HAB on their track ‘I Still Remember’. Which has already reached number 25 on Billboard’s Dance/Mix Show Airplay Chart!
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We got to talk to this quickly rising star all about her collab with R3HAB, who has worked with some of our favorite artists like Halsey, ZAYN, and The Chainsmokers, as well as her newest single, ‘Jagged Stars’, her musical inspirations and so much more! And after reading the interview below, you’ll love Caroline Romano as much as we do, if you don’t already!
You’re still really young and you’ve achieved what many would dream of – from racking up millions of streams to working with artists like R3HAB & supporting Shawn Mendes, Daya & WDW- how has your journey been so far while handling the pressure that comes with being a public figure at a young age?
I’ve found that I really enjoy the pressure that comes with my dreams and goals and achievements. It’s where I feel the most comfortable. I think the reason I thrive under such circumstances is because I’ve been pursuing these dreams of mine since I was 13 years old, so I can’t really remember a time where I wasn’t putting myself out there in the public eye. I’m not very good at handling day-to-day pressure, such as meeting my friends at the movies or ordering food at a restaurant. I’m an anxious mess at the daily social stuff! But when it comes to anything involving music, I just feel so blessed to even be able to pursue such dreams that I don’t have time to be anxious or get hung up on the pressure that comes with this career. I just get to be myself. I’m also very thankful for the support system I’ve had from the very beginning. Both my parents and my team have helped me learn the best ways to conduct myself and protect my heart as a young person in the public eye.
What’s one thing you imagined about pursuing a career in music that ended up being different from your expectations?
I don’t think I realized that the music industry is one of the slowest, fast-paced industries there is. So much of it feels like you’re going up the steep part of a roller coaster, barely inching along at an agonizingly slow speed. But in a second, everything can change and you’re moving at 100 miles an hour, with no way of stopping. The path to success is not linear. One day you’re writing songs in your bedroom, wondering if things are ever going to change, and the next day you’re on a stage in L.A. I also don’t think I realized that life still goes on in the midst of pursuing this career. There are still monotonous days, errands to run, heartbreaks and growing up left to experience, even while pursuing a career in music. It’s every bit as glamorous as I expected, while being completely unglamorous at times, too.
Where or from whom do you draw inspiration when writing, and what sparked the idea for your newest single, ‘Jagged Stars’?
I’d say my source of inspiration when writing is different every time. It can be from what’s going on in my own life, writing from my own experiences and relationships. However, many times it’s just me looking at the world and writing what I see. I’m a big observer of people, places and moments. I think it’s all about capturing life the way I see it. We are all seeing the exact same things, but our ways of interpreting them are so vast and different, and I think that’s really cool. I also draw a lot of inspiration from movies and books and other music. “Jagged Stars” came from me feeling out of place in a youth’s world. I had just turned 18 when writing “Jagged Stars,” and frankly, I’ve never been very good at being a young person. I think I just overthink it too much. I feel like being young is this glorious, fleeting tragedy. None of us know what we’re doing, and we make mistakes as interchangeably as we take a breath. We’re figuring out love and heartbreak and our futures, all while still trying to figure out who we are. It’s awfully confusing, and I’m certainly no expert at it. But when I can’t understand something, I tend to write about it. So that’s why I wrote “Jagged Stars,” in trying to figure out what it means to be eighteen, nineteen years old in today’s world.
Can we expect a video for the new single, and if so can you give us any details on what to expect? If not, what would you imagine being the perfect visuals for this song?
There will certainly be a video element for “Jagged Stars” coming soon, just not in the traditional “music video” format. It will be a bit more of a “live concert performance” video, and I’m very excited to share it. It will be very shiny and sparkly and blue, much like the discotheque tragedy that the song itself is.
If ‘Jagged Stars’ was a mood, what mood would it be? What message do you hope fans take away from this song?
If “Jagged Stars” was a mood, it would be bittersweet. I liken it to Christmas Eve, in that you can’t wait for it to be over, because that means you’re one step closer to Christmas Day. But, you’ll be terribly sad when Christmas Eve actually does come to an end, because it’s been the holidays for so long that you won’t know what to feel on December 26, when it’s all said and done. You feel like you’ll never have anything to look forward to again. That’s what being young is like to me. Bittersweet. I can only hope fans will take away from “Jagged Stars” the message that none of us know what we’re doing. We’re all just as confused and sa and happy as everyone else. We’re all experiencing the highs and lows of life, in both unique and similar ways. It’s a weird time of life, but we’ll get through it. We might as well savor the pretty parts of the journey while we’re on it.
You have mentioned Taylor Swift as a big inspiration. If you could only listen to one Taylor Swift album for the rest of your life. Which would it be and why?
This is, quite frankly, one of the hardest questions I have ever had to answer, as each Taylor album is so important and telling of different times in my life. But if I had to say, in this moment, the one album I’d choose would have to be “evermore.” It all comes down to the writing. It’s a very hopeful, yet sad album, with almost every track conveying some level of mixed emotions, which I feel is very descriptive of my own life. “evermore” ft. Bon Iver has gone down as one of my favorite songs of all time. There’s a genius simplicity to it, and now that I’ve heard the album as a whole, I don’t think I could go the rest of my life without hearing it again.
It’s amazing that you’ve worked with a campaign against bullying. How does it feel getting to be a part of something so big and getting to address issues as important as this? What made you get involved with this cause in particular.
I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of such an important and impactful campaign. Bullying has been an extremely prevalent issue in my own life, and the bullying I experienced throughout my life has shaped so much of who I am today. I can still feel that sharp pain in my chest that came from hiding in the bathroom at lunch time, or hearing the words about my personality and appearance that would never leave my mind. Bullying makes a forever impact. And I don’t know what good I’d be doing if I didn’t use the platform I have to help others who have gone through similar experiences know that they’re not alone. That’s one of the biggest things about being bullied. It’s isolating, and you can’t escape the fear that it’s always going to be like this, or you’re always going to be alone. With every bit of me that was broken down through bullying, I was also built back up again. I want to help others find that strength within themselves, and to write music that gives them hope. Hope is what it’s all about.
Journalling was a big part of your childhood and how you got into songwriting. Is that still something you do today? How do you turn journal entries into songs, can you take us through the process of making a Caroline Romano track?
Journaling is more prevalent than ever in how I write songs. It’s still something I do almost daily, and I think it’s how I continue to understand myself better. I’ll just write down anything that I’m feeling. Whether it comes out structured, unstructured, in a poem, or just random, nonsensical words on a page, I write it all down. Then it’s sort of my rule that, no matter how crazy it might sound, I put those words to some sort of music. Most of the time I’ll just throw some guitar or piano over that journal entry, exactly as it is, and see if I can turn it into a song. And that’s exactly how some of my most personal songs have been written. “Stream of Consciousness” was just one big, long journal entry that I put some guitar over, and it’s one of my favorite singles I’ve released to date. There are many more “journal-born” songs coming out this year as well, and I can’t wait to share them.
So what’s next on the bucket list of Caroline Romano for 2021? Have you discovered any new hobbies during the lockdown that you wanna pursue apart from music?
There will certainly be lots of new music coming out in 2021, and some of the musical goals and plans I have for this year will certainly check some things off the bucket list. There are some collabs in the works that I am particularly ecstatic about, and I feel like they’re very close to fulfilling some of my biggest childhood dreams. I’ve set some really big goals for 2021, and I fully plan on achieving them. There’s no other option in my mind. As far as hobbies go, I’m trying to nourish my drawing and sketching abilities a bit more. Pencil sketches and silhouettes have always been something I’ve naturally loved to draw, and I found myself revisiting that artistic side of me during lockdown. I’d love to cover a wall of my studio in black and white pencil sketches by the end of the year.
And you’ve said you have to keep saying “It’s my year” till it finally is, so what qualifies as a year made to you? How do you think you made 2020 your year despite the many challenges everyone had to endure?
I can’t say that I know for sure what will qualify a year as “my year” until it comes. I know it will, and I’ve imagined what it will feel like, but I can’t say for sure what will make that year the one. I’ve held those moments in past years, even if they were just for a minute or two, where I’ve found myself reaching a milestone I’d only dreamed about just years before. I think a telltale sign that it’s one of those moments is when you’re able to tell yourself, “I’m going to remember this exact moment. This exact feeling. Where I’m standing and what the weather was like today. This is one of those moments.” So, based on that knowledge, I feel like “my year” will feel like something similar. But, I must say I qualify a year as a year made when I can say I fully gave it my all. I can, without a doubt, say I made 2020 my year. I saw things I’d worked for such a long time come to fruition, and I had so many of those “moments” in 2020, despite the challenges of the year as a whole. I feel very blessed to have had the 2020 that I did, as I know the heartache and difficulties it brought for so many. But, for now, I must believe that for everything 2020 was, 2021 will be my year. It will be our year.
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Featured Image Source: Ford Fairchild and BiBi Lara