On Ninja Tune
The young electronic musician known as Romare wears his inspiration on his sleeve – in fact, he takes his very name from it. Having studied African American Visual Culture at University, he had his ‘Sex Pistols moment’ when he came across the work of Romare Bearden. The African American’s collaged, cut’n’paste artworks inspired the young musician to apply a similar technique to music – an approach that was hugely fruitful, and remains central to his work today. After stints as a drummer and guitarist throughout school and university, he moved to Paris where he picked up the turntables and began mixing his own music with samples from second hand records. Romare the musician was born and the template for his debut record.
Underground hothouse Black Acre signed him in 2012, adding him to a formidable roster that included Loops Haunt, Fantastic Mr Fox, Blue Daisy and Dark Sky. The imprint put out his first release Meditations on Afrocentrism in March of that year. He began to play shows, making enough money to finance a move to London. Ensconced in the vast musical melting pot of the capital, he began work on his second EP Love Songs: Part One. Romare’s songs were included on compilations by heavyweights such as Bonobo and Tiga, as well as the Brownswood Recordings imprint.
His debut album, Projections, is named after a pivotal exhibition of his namesake and likewise explores various elements of American life. The album is in many ways a homage to the cycle of cultural appropriation in America. “Work Song” is a tribute to the classic American and namesake work song, whilst “Rainbow” is a celebration of disco. Projections expertly catalogues the movements of influence within music. The album doesn’t just sample music and vocal snatches, but also other sources such as documentaries and marries live instrumentation with the sampling palette.
With fierce support from by the likes of Benji B, Gilles Peterson and Huw Stephens, Romare’s music has, rightfully, already caused a stir. The stage is now set for his stunning debut album, Projections.