ROMAN SCOTT is a 25-year-old singer/songwriter from Brighton. His debut single “Hold This Down” was picked up by both Indie Shuffle and Hilly Dilly and went on to reach No. 1 on Spotify’s ‘Global Viral Chart’ racking up 850k plays in 2 weeks.
Others might have been cursed by success, however, Roman is not sleeping on his laurels and continues to create music offering a darker, more alternative approach to pop. He caught my eye with a video for “Addicted To Love”. Earlier this week his latest single “Shxt Storm” entered Indie TOP 39.
How would you describe your music?
I’d say I’m a very sadistic writer, I like pain, being quite blatant and calling shit out like it is. I like stuff to be very on the line; sometimes it’s nice to tip it as well. At the same time, I see myself as quite caring and sensitive, so that’s where I find I channel a lot of emotional writing.
Sonically, it can go anywhere; I love soul, jazz, electronic pop music. Love playing around with weird sounds, rhythms, I just do what makes me feel something when I’m making music. I feel like black music is my real jam, it gets me in my stomach. I remember when I was younger watching MTV and having a go at my mum that I wasn’t black.
How does your creative process look like?
It depends where I am in my creative vibe. I can be making a beat and get a spurt of creativity, then throw a load of stuff down and bam! Or I can spend hours and hours working on one bloody verse on the guitar. It’s up to you to decide what you should persist with and whether it’s worth it. Persistence is key, but you don’t want it to break you.
Go with your gut; you know deep down what you should pursue.
How do you know when the song is finished?
It’s like a strange pop moment, and I mean that when I say it, I can be working on a track and then all of a sudden it’s like it falls into place and just clicks. I’m quite weird to work with, I make a lot of odd noises, clicks and twitches when working, a bit like turrets, so when a track suddenly clicks it’s like a spasm that shouts through me.
This year you already released three sick singles. Can you share the story behind each track?
When I first met my ex-girlfriend, she asked me to write a song for pretty girls on roller skates. She was a pro skater and I was like hell yeah, challenge accepted. I constantly had in mind sun drench vibes with a girl stepping to the beat in her skates, hence to ‘boots strapped in with her sun-kissed skin’ line. It was originally named “RollaGirl”, but we changed it for various reasons, but mainly because “Addicted To Love” felt more fitting to the song.
I found as time went on the relationship changed and deeper undertones kept coming out within the song. This is where the music video stemmed from, this type of turmoil torture love leaves you with. Was a pretty crazy journey this track.
Talking about the video for “Addicted to Love”, is this is how your regular Friday night looks like?
It is more of a Tuesday night for me. My regular Friday night varies.
Sometimes I’m out painting the town red, sometimes I’m dancing with the devil.
Not gonna lie, I don’t think I can speak about most of the things I’ve done, not here anyway.
What was it like to be tied to the bed naked while there was a crew of people in the room?
The director was a close friend of mine, and we used to do all sorts of crazy shit growing up. I did kind of like the vulnerability of it, especially as I can be quite insecure, really pushing your limits is fun. You come out of it feeling good about yourself.
Once you let go, you’d be surprised how free you end up feeling
I started writing this when I broke up with a previous partner, it was something I wanted to feel in that relationship, but I screwed it up and couldn’t get into the headspace I wanted. It wasn’t till I met someone new that I could get to the same place thus leaving the track open-ended for like a year and a half. I’m happy with it now and feel it gives you a gentle warm hum when it’s on in the background.
This song is a bit of an FU moment. I got in a pretty silly situation, got together with someone who had a partner and it was bad man; I fell for her. I knew it couldn’t be anything, but I did anyway. Anyways, this stemmed from. I came back one evening, she and her partner were in the living room watching a series pretending to be one happy family with my housemates, and I was like.. you what? Expect me to shake your man’s hand after three nights ago I just went down on you. Nah, get out.
You come round here again with him – There’ll be a Shxt Storm
Brighton is well known for having a great music scene. Does living in Brighton make it easier to create music and collaborate with others?
The music scene is great but I haven’t done a whole lot of writing collabs recently. I wanna be working with more songwriter/producer type people and it’s hard to find them! If you know people in Brighton tell them to hit me up.
What is your favourite track to perform live?
“She Has All Her Men For Dinner”. I say this because I’ve literally just written it, and if you wanna hear it you have to come see us live.
Music to me is connecting
When asked about the soundtrack to his life, Roman chose “Sweat” amongst other songs by Chet Faker, D’Angelo, Electric Guest, Klyne, Dustin Tebutt, Charlie Cunningham, Kevin Morby, Villagers & Mamas Gun.
What are pros & cons of creating music in the 21st century?
Well, for starters this day and age you have to pretty much do everything yourself, so whilst you’re trying to write records, you’re becoming a producer, photographer, marketing, media guru, branding wizard, your own PA, your manager, you’re also probably trying to understand contracts from any deals that come up and now becoming a lawyer… Jezzz the list goes on man.
It’s completely different to how they did it back 30 years. But then you can’t complain because now how the industry has become we have a much more diverse range of music and now the power is in the people’s hands to decide what they like instead of you only like what you’re given by record companies, it’s a much richer market. This does make it harder to tackle, but it’s much more rewarding when it works out. I think now is a great time to be alive and be making music. So much opportunity.
What is your opinion on music streaming services?
F*cking love it. It’s created a whole new world of immense opportunity for up and coming artists, and you get paid?! What’s not to like. Anyone who slates it just doesn’t understand it. I’m sure if their track blew up on a streaming platform they’d be quick to change their mind.
What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Count your blessing, opportunities and offers that present themselves in your life.
Little things are worth taking when they arise even if they might not be entirely right for you, they help you grow and become who you’re meant to be. Don’t beat yourself up when things don’t work out. That’s something I still battle with.
How would you define success in the music business?
To be respected and recognised by artists in the industry for the work you produce.
What would be your advice for those who want to create music but feel stuck or are afraid to show their work?
Create and release what you produce, even if it’s not right or you’re scared. People love to see progression and development; they want to follow a journey. Also, It’s important to face what you fear and enjoy the fact you fear stuff. It’s what can help to drive your progression, especially when you learn to love the fear factor of life. Sounds cliche, but it’s true. Kind of like when you’re watching a scary film, you hate the point when it’s about to make you jump, but when it’s over it’s the best bit about the film.
Fear is a good thing! Ride it. Channel it. Push yourself.
What can we expect from you in 2018?
Shows. Watch this space for live shows, I’ve now got a full band projecting my vision, and they’re mad tight. It’s super dope, follow my dates on social media and my website. Also, more music coming as well. Stay tuned. Peace.