ICYMI, Filipino London-based musician No Rome dropped his highly-anticipated debut album ‘It’s All Smiles’ this month. The 10-track LP is another milestone in the 24-year-old’s impressive career, which includes fire collabs with The 1975, Charlie XCX, and solo releases that boasts millions of streams on Spotify.
But in case you’ve missed out on Rome, or you need a refresher on his work, don’t fret. We recently caught up with the man himself and asked for recos on the ideal No Rome playlist, one that’s perfect for newbies and fans alike. Take a peep at his choices, along with the brief deets of each track.
#1 and #2 I Want U and When She Comes Around
I’m biased to these two because they’re the recent ones (laughs). I Want U is my baby because I got to be very experimental with it with all the influences I had, from the structure to the progression of the music.
When She Comes Around is a song about that whole idea of ‘I love you, but this how far we go’. Some people say it’s a sad song, but I think it’s very sweet, because it’s about having closure with somebody, rather than never seeing them again.
I have a line there where it goes ‘There must be someone who loves you. I know there’s somebody there’. It’s very confirming [of the person’s value].
#3 Hurry Home (feat. beabadoobee & Jay Som)
[On working with fellow Filo artists beabadoobee & Jay Som] I think it was really cool because we’re fans of each other’s music. Being fellow Filipinos is the best bonus because I think it’s beautiful, and also the fact that [Hurry Home] is different from the genre of music we usually produce.
I feel like I have such an emotional attachment with Seventeen, with it being the song that got people to listen to me on a bigger scale. I made it in my bedroom, without feature collaborations. There’s a whole sentimental value there that I don’t think I’d ever get to replace.
It’s always awesome for me to hear people say that Seventeen made them nostalgic because that’s what I wanted to emulate. Everyone has had their ‘Seventeen’ moment where you’re crossing over to becoming a grown-up, and you’re a bit scared of the transition, but it turns out to be not that bad.
#5 Narcissist (feat. the 1975)
Narcissist because it’s just a banger (laughs). It’s so fun. The song, the video, the trip overseas with Matty (Healy). It was also one of the early works that introduced me to people.
[On working with the 1975] It taught me to have a focus and drive for the love of music and pushing for it. Being hyperfocused and really seeing it deeper than what it is.
It was something I’m not super used to, but that was the energy we had in the studio. There was a constant exchange of stories and inspirations, and it was nice to be in a room with people who saw music as bigger than audio. It’s something you dedicate your life to.
#6 and #7 Pink & Spinning (feat. Charlie XCX and the 1975)
Pink is a song I had for ages on me and I kept going back to it because I wanted to release something personal. So it became like a collage of experiences I had during a certain part of my life.
Spinning is special to me because it was a manifestation of a body of work. Me, Matty, and George [Daniel] wanted Charlie [XCX] on it, we managed to work things out, and it became a collab with all of the people I respected and adored in one track.