Romi O is a singer and songwriter who is rapidly making a name for herself in the music industry. Her most recent release, M2M, is a mesmerizing track that showcases her unique blend of genres, raw emotion, and creativity. Produced by NY-based producer Daniel Blonde, M2M is the second single from Romi O’s upcoming debut album, expected to be released later in 2023.
Hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel, Romi O has always had a passion for music. She started writing songs at a young age and continued to hone her craft over the years, eventually switching from singing and writing in Hebrew to performing in English. Romi O’s music is a blend of understated textures, relatable lyrics, and hard-hitting grooves, making it truly one-of-a-kind.
Romi O’s music journey took her to Brooklyn, NY, where she co-founded the band “PowerSnap” to pursue high-octane punk and garage aesthetics. Eventually, she circled back to her initial fondness for ballads, but her resulting sound is truly unique, still retaining more immediate elements from punk and alternative music, but coming to light in a soothing, softer way that makes her sound all the more intriguing and dynamic.
M2M is a thought-provoking song that deals with the idea of always questioning life choices and decisions without the fear of taking things too seriously. The song’s music video offers a visual representation of the core concept that drives this release, showcasing different sides of Romi O’s personality. Each depiction of the artist is an opportunity to showcase personality traits, desires, gender-bending twists, ambitions, and more.
When she started her journey as a songwriter, Romi’s songs leaned towards bitter-sweet ballads, with a strong sense of melancholy to them. Her struggles with her own gender identity were accompanied by insecurities and self-hatred, which manifested as an aversion to the genre she found herself in, that in her eyes was seen as “too sweet, too girly”. To break her own stigma of herself, she drastically veered into the world of punk and hard rock, trying her hardest to sound genderless and even masculine. But eventually, she rediscovered her feminine side, and this led her to embrace and accept both her femininity and masculinity, contributing to her music’s eclecticism.
Overall, Romi O is an incredibly talented artist whose music is well worth listening to. M2M is a phenomenal step forward for her, showcasing her unique sound and style. Romi O is not trying to ride someone else’s wave – she is paving her own path in the music industry, and we can’t wait to see where her journey takes her next. M2M is now available on your favorite digital music streaming platforms, and we highly recommend giving it a listen.
What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and how did your journey as a singer and songwriter begin?
I wrote my first song when I was 6 years old. In Hebrew, my native tongue. I was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, to a father who had a successful career in music. So a musical career always seemed like a very ordinary, stable choice. It was definitely an augmented reality. I started pursuing music in a more professional sense when I was 17, with my first band Bar Vase. We were active in Israel for a few years and released one alt-rock album titled “Roomy” that I’m very proud of. When the band broke up I just moved to the next project. Not making music was not an option for me, I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
Can you tell us more about your transition from singing and writing in Hebrew to performing in English, and how this change influenced your music style?
When I was 12 years old, I was introduced to the musical stylings of Green Day for the first time. That same day I decided I was gonna start writing in English, form a Punk Rock band, move to the US and take over the world (as a 12yo Israeli girl, I basically only knew about NYC in the US, didn’t realize how far it was from California, which is where Green Day was from, so my mind was set on NYC). That was also when I switched from writing songs on the piano to writing solely on my guitar, and that opened up a whole new world for me.
Your music style has been described as a unique blend of understated textures, relatable lyrics, and hard-hitting grooves. How did you develop this style, and what influences did you draw upon?
Assigning myself to a specific genre has always been the hardest part for me. I’d say there’s at least one artist in every single genre that I absolutely love. For the longest time I took upon myself to be a rock/punk musician, until one day I realized I was pushing away so many other sides of me. The melancholic sides, the dancy ones.
This solo project is my safe space to experiment, show all sides of myself without trying to fit a certain label. And what comes out of that is weird and pretty cool I think. Some of my favorite artists: Green Day, The Beatles, Nirvana, The Kinks, Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac, The Kooks, Rihanna, Kaveret (Israeli band from the 60’s), Shintaro Sakamoto, Bjork, Linkin Park, Destiny’s Child, Tyler The Creator, Fleet Foxes and Astrud Gilberto.
Can you tell us about the process of creating your latest studio work, M2M? What themes and ideas inspired the song, and how did you approach the production and recording process?
I wrote the song on a gloomy day in 2019. At the time, my main and only project was my band PowerSnap, and the song didn’t quite fit the vibe of our music so I put it to the side. Two years later, when the pandemic was dying down, I realized it was time for me to try out a solo path. I hit up two of my favorite producers who were also my close friends. ‘M2M’ was produced by the genius Daniel Blonde, who at first had to really convince me to let him take the song in a more electronic direction. And I’m so happy he did. The song does talk about over thinking so I feel like the way it all came about is kinda perfect.
You have mentioned struggling with your own gender identity and how this influenced your music. Can you talk more about this and how it has impacted your artistic journey?
I have indeed always struggled with my gender identity. I felt very butch as a kid and that always made me very insecure. As I grew up, I had a distinct aversion to most female musicians, especially in the Rock department. For years I felt betrayed by fate that I wasn’t born a guy. I hated being a woman. I wouldn’t let myself sing softly, I forced my voice into producing the most uncomfortable sounds just so I wouldn’t sound feminine. And it worked.
When I released the first single with my band PowerSnap, a number of reviews referred to me as a male singer, and it was the biggest compliment for me. 2 years ago, around the time I started my solo project, I went through some experiences that hit me in the face with the magnificent energy of the female voice. I learned to love the feminine side of my voice, and the feminine side of me. I love hearing women sing now, in all genres. I’m still learning and growing and evolving, but I feel more comfortable now with both my feminine and masculine sides.
Your music video for M2M features a range of different depictions of your personality and traits. How did you come up with the concept for the video, and what message do you hope to convey to your audience?
I had the general idea of making a very simple video with a bunch of different characters that all represent different sides of me, as a nod to how over-eclectic my music is. I reached out to my good friend and supreme director, NYC-based Margot Bennet, and she helped me develop and grow that idea to new heights. Her and I worked on the face/head choreography to a tee. Then she assembled a fantastic team of talented people and in a single day we shot the whole thing. The song is an anthem for over-thinkers, who often experience over-stimulation as well. I can say for myself that oftentimes, the over-stimulation is my own doing. All these different voices, different personalities in my head, trying to take center stage. It gets exhausting. And that’s what the video is trying to relay.
Your upcoming debut album is highly anticipated by your fans. Can you give us a sneak peek into what we can expect from the album, both musically and thematically? How does M2M fit into the broader narrative of the Album?
M2M was the only song that was written in a different time period than the rest of the songs on the album, and yet it felt like it fit in with them perfectly. The album is, more than anything, about letting go. Releasing those obsessive thoughts, letting peacefulness take their place. Accepting the fear of the unknown and diving into it. It was the soundtrack to a time I sometimes refer to as my “spiritual awakening” but not to make it sound too new-age-y, it’s about believing that there’s more to life than just depression (a concept that I could never fathom before writing this album). The Album will feature a variety of genres and languages. 5 songs in English, 3 in Hebrew and 1 in Japanese. The genres flow between Folk and R&B, with some winks to Rock, Electro Pop and Bossa Nova.
Finally, what message do you hope listeners take away from your music? What impact do you hope to have on your fans, and what legacy do you hope to leave as an artist?
All I ever wanted was for my music to help someone as much as the music of my favorite artists helped me. I hope my songs could be a life preserver for someone who needs it. I just want to give back to the world after music gave me so much.