Caroline Romano’s “Stream of Consciousness”

“listen to me ramble cause i need someone to understand”

Pop singer/songwriter Caroline Romano is already on her way to stardom. After the release of original “Masterpiece,” featuring pop sensation Jacob Whitesides, the Mississippi native was credited by Popmania with releasing “the best music video of 2017.”

While the song was Romano’s first collaboration with a marquee artist, she has shared the stage with an impressive resume of others. TeensWannaKnow has said of Romano, “there is something very genuine about her, which we really like and think you will too. She deserves a much bigger audience!”

Romano got that audience in October of 2016, when she appeared on the nationally televised HLN network show MichaeLA with television personality Michaela Pereira. She performed a deeply personal song entitled “Inside,” written to bring comfort to teenagers like herself who have struggled with the issue of body shaming. Romano has worked hard to be a voice for everyone who has felt the pain and destructive effects of bullying, and has partnered with the PACER organization to address this important topic in the age of social media.

Growing up in Mississippi, which artists inspired you to a career in music?

I’d say my interest in pursuing a career in music started from simply listening to artists that my parents enjoyed when I was younger. I was exposed to a lot of music by Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Queen, Elvis Presley and many other iconic members of the industry. Of course, growing up in a state full of blues heritage, music has surrounded me from the beginning. Once I was old enough to start figuring out what music I personally loved listening to, artists like Taylor Swift, Kesha, Avril Lavigne and Shawn Mendes were very influential to me and the beginnings of my career.

Your song “Inside” reflects on the struggle with the issue of body shaming for teenagers. Was it harder to put the words on paper or perform the song for the first time on national television? How can we work together to stop cyber bullying?

I’d say both aspects of creating and performing the song were scary, but not necessarily difficult for me to do. When I really have something on my mind that I’m feeling or want to write about, the words flow effortlessly. For “Inside” in particular, it felt as if I had these words and a message that I had no option other than to share. I was just a messenger in the scheme of a really important message. Performing the song on national television at such a young age was definitely nerve racking, mostly in the sense that I was afraid of what the people who had been a part of my bullying back home would think. In the end, it was extremely liberating, and I am so proud of that song and the impact it had on my life. Treating others the way you would want to be treated is simply the best way to work together to stop bullying of any capacity. It’s something that is told to us a lot, but I don’t think we often listen.

How did the collaboration with Jacob Whitesides on “Masterpiece” showcase you as an emerging artist?

Masterpiece” changed the game for me in many ways, as I feel like it showed that I was someone worth listening to. It helped me get my foot in the door as a real, working artist, rather than just some kid with a guitar. “Masterpiece” and the collaboration with Jacob brought forth a lot of firsts for me, such as my first real single release, a full-production music video, press, a bigger social following and more. I am so grateful that I was able to collab with Jacob on such an amazing project, and I think it showcased how seriously I was about to take the start of my music career.

What was the inspiration for your storyboard for your “Games” music video?

In my opinion, “Games” is such a dramatic pop song. In thinking about what I wanted the video to look like, I knew it had to be moody and even a little theatrical. I think the use of specific colors, as well as the silhouette in the video, created a really cool picture of the song and its meaning.

Hearing your songs on Radio Disney and other stations. Realizing your voice/message is being heard by so many, and taken to heart. How does this feel, and how can others find outlets to express themselves in a safe environment?

It’s truly an overwhelming moment of excitement, gratitude, and wonder to know that your song, your words and feelings, are being heard by more people than you could ever imagine. It was a surreal experience hearing my song on the radio for the first time, and it truly ignited the spark in me to continue to write music with a message, to write songs I really want others to hear. The opportunity I’ve been given to share these bits and pieces of my life is not something I take lightly. I think the best way to find an outlet of expression is to take a look at the things that truly set your soul on fire. Whatever makes you happy, healthy, and whatever challenges you to be better is a wonderful thing to pour yourself into. It may take some time of trial and error to find this passion, but I promise it’s out there. The most important thing is to never stop looking for it, because it will change you for the best.

Wish there had been a song like “The Dark Side of 17" when I was in high school. An honest look at how hard it is hearing these are supposed to be the ‘best days of your life’ and thinking, “I hope not.” Thank you for putting down the lyrics that so many are living, or have lived, but couldn’t find the words to express. How can we best reach teens who feel lost?

Thank you for saying that, it means more than anything to see that others are continuing to relate to the music and lyrics I create in my most vulnerable moments. “The Dark Side of 17” is, in fact, the darkest song I’ve ever released, and it was scary to take that leap. I think now more than ever, kids are connected to everything, and we have more opportunities for our future than ever before. Still, I find we are so lonely, so fearful, and often lost in this sea of said opportunity. I, for one, grew really tired of people telling me to savor every moment of my teenage years, which I am still living. I wanted to write this song as a way to reach out and ask, “Is anyone else feeling this way? Am I the only one really depressed with the way 17 is working out for me?” It turns out that more people feel this way than not, and this knowledge helped me tremendously. It truly just takes a moment of honesty, a second of being real with people to find out that you’re not so alone. We’re really not that different, and more and more I realize we are all living the same lives, just walking different paths.

“Stream of Consciousness” — So often we forget to stop and just listen so others can be heard. Or to take the time to filter the noise of everyday life and realize what is most important. What’s the best advice you’ve received on how to stay connected?

My dad is someone who seems to always be in tune to the needs of others, and his advice has stayed with me to this day. He’s always told me to pick one person, a stranger or close, wherever you are. If I’m in a write, on a set, at home with friends or family, or even in the grocery store, I try to pick one person to listen to, even if they don’t know they need to be heard. Even if it’s a small gesture or acknowledgement of something they did, or something they’re wearing, I try to make sure they know that I notice them. Being noticed goes a long way. The smallest words have brought me out of the darkest days, and it’s so important to me that I try to help others the same way.

Taking time for yourself — what are your go-to’s for self care? Reading — What are your favorite books/authors?

Working out is one of my favorite forms of self-care. It provides me with an amazing escape from what’s going on around me, and it leaves me feeling so much better than before I started. I’m also big into skincare, makeup, and just doing little things that I know make me happy when I’m feeling low. I honestly have been so terrible with reading lately, and it’s something I’m really trying to get back into, as I it provides me with a lot of creative inspiration. I do try to pick up a new book of poetry pretty often, as they’re often quick and simple, but leave me with a lot to think about for the rest of the day.

Saw you put together Sun-Kissed Songstress, a spring break playlist with your favorite women of pop. Who are other up-and-coming artists we should add to our playlists?

I am literally obsessed with the artist BENEE. I think she has such a unique sound and song structure, and I’ve really loved watching her explode in the industry lately. Catie Turner is another artist I can’t stop listening to. Her lyrics are unreal. Ivy Adara and Waterparks are amazing as well!

Where are your go-to spots in Nashville? What is your go-to order when you go to Killebrew Coffee in Nashville?

My top three spots for coffee and food in Nashville are Killebrew Coffee (obviously!), Fido and Frothy Monkey! My only coffee order will always be an iced latte with almond milk. There’s seriously nothing better, and these three places have the best in Nashville!

Saw your Facebook post that you’ll “stop wearing black when they make a darker color”. Who are your favorite fashion designers? Any favorite pantsuits?

This is a tough one! I’m a fan of so many different brands and designers, it really just varies! I don’t find myself really going back to one particular designer, rather than just whatever is catching my eye. (Most of the time it’s whatever outfit is the most comfortable lol!) However, I am obsessed with the brand I.AM.GIA. I’ve worn a lot of their outfits for performances, as I think their clothes not only move great on stage, but always have that edgy flair I look for!

You channeled Cruella Deville for Halloween — what’s your favorite Disney movie? Might it be “Aristocats”? How is your cat doing?

Haha, I have to say that my favorite Disney movie is either “Mulan” or “The Little Mermaid.” I think I definitely resonated with the female empowerment, “don’t wait for your prince,” message that both of those movies showcased. I know I went as Mulan for Halloween when I was little! “Aristocats” is definitely up there though. Mochi, my cat, is doing great, thank you for asking! He is very mischievous at the moment, but I love him to death!

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