Rome wasn’t built in a day.
We’ve all heard that adage before. It meant that great things or achievements need time and careful effort in order to be accomplished properly. For Manila-born-and-raised artist, No Rome, the path to success was almost the same.
We caught up with London-based Filipino artist No Rome moments before he went on stage as The 1975’s opening act for the A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships tour in Manila.
The boy on the rise
Guendoline Viray Rome Gomez took up the stage name No Rome when he was still residing in Manila, creating music and doing gigs. His passion was creating electronic music, the melodies and lyrics flowing from his brain to his laptop and mixers with the kind of ease that screams he was born for this.
“I’m inspired by shoegaze and R&B,” No Rome says when asked to describe how his music sounds like. He continues, “I make situational pop music. So whatever the situation is like, if I hear it, I would have a song, I’d write it down.”
To him, his music isn’t boxed within singular concepts such as heartbreak, which seems to be where most artists bank these days. According to his SoundCloud description, his music is “a personification of teen love, melancholy & everything in between.”
An almost overnight fame. Almost.
Before destiny in the form of London, a record label, and a certain band called The 1975 found him, he was performing in gigs across the metro. A shy boy who shied away from media interviews telling people it was low self-esteem that made him hide his face from the camera.
But there’s nothing to be shy about. In his early 20s, Rome already had a BBC Worldwide Music Feature, his own BBC Artist Page, an MTV feature, and two EPs under his belt, Fantasy (2013) and Hurry Home & Rest (2015). He was even requested by Canadian producer Ryan Hemsworth to open for his show in Manila last 2016 and afterwards, Rome released his track, Seventeen, as part of Ryan Hemsworth’s Secret Songs label.
All this before signing under Jamie Oborne’s UK-based label, Dirty Hit.
The London life with The 1975
“This record, because we’re producing it ourselves and engineering it ourselves, @no_rome kind of became a bit of a muse of mine.” @Truman_Black on new @the1975. Listen:https://t.co/CmN6yvYgnx pic.twitter.com/AtySQ82IK7
— Beats 1 (@Beats1) May 24, 2018
The internet did its part. Ryan Hemsworth actually discovered No Rome on SoundCloud and almost a year later, Dirty Hit discovered him the same way. After No Rome’s despedida party back in 2017, he flew to London, signed under British independent record label Dirty Hit, and began working closely with label-mate The 1975.
In a 2018 interview with Beats 1, The 1975 frontman Matty Healy even referred to No Rome as his muse saying Rome’s ideas are “on parallel with everything” him and The 1975 drummer George Daniel were doing.
“Me and Matty we’ve worked on my record, the two EPs,” Rome shares, “[It’s] a learning experience for me but it’s more like a nice creative space because we kind of like know each other’s sound now.”
The first Filipino to play at Coachella
No Rome was slowly gaining a name in the international music scene. He was further pushed to the spotlight when he made his Coachella debut with The 1975 last April. He performed his song, Narcissist featuring Matty Healy. The song is a single off his EP RIP Indo Hisashi which was co-produced by Matty and George.
Around the world with the boys from The 1975
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“This show is special because my mom’s here,” Rome shares with us.
It would be a mere 2 hours before he takes to the MOA Arena stage and performs to a screaming crowd of thousands of Filipinos. He says he gets nervous all the time but he just thinks to himself that this is no different than when he used to play in small bars and small crowds. Music is still music, it’s just a larger crowd.
Rome has been on tour with The 1975 for the band’s Asia tour of A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships album, but even before that, the band has taken him everywhere. Bromance is in the air and during the Manila concert, bromance was evident on stage as Matty kissed Rome on the cheeks and hugged him after the Narcissist performance.
No Rome: Lost in the music
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Rome has produced 4 EPs so far, the latest one being Crying in the Prettiest Places (2019). He shares with us that he’s currently most excited for his album and doing more shows. If his previous EPs are anything to judge by, No Rome is becoming better and better in his craft and we’re confident that by the time his album lands, it will be a fantastic collection of tunes.
No doubts about the future
Despite flying half-way across the world to pursue his music and having all these opportunities landing on his lap, Rome assures us that he is still the same shy boy that held that despedida party back in 2017.
“I’m still a small-town boy. I’m still shy and I suck at interviews,” he says with a laugh. To counter his statement I would like to say that he most definitely does not suck at interviews. Among all the other things I found out about him, the fact that, as an artist, he remains grounded is one of the best things.
There is no doubt that Rome Gomez is well on his way to becoming one of the best artists of this generation. Filled with passion and creativity, he continues to inspire his fellow Filipinos to keep dreaming and keep building on the things they love doing the most no matter what people say because one day, everything will pay off.
Rome’s journey as an artist is far from over. In the years to follow, we’re certain we’ll be listening to more of his new songs. He is, after all, here to stay.
Listen to No Rome
No Rome will be coming back to the Manila for his solo show at Market! Market! Activity Center on October 6, 2019. To know more details, click here.