Romain Virgo

Romain Virgo is scheduled to perform in concert in the UK this April, hot on the heels of his new album, Lovesick. The much-acclaimed reggae star will be accompanied by Sevana, a rising star from Protoje’s own team of Jamaican hit makers. With a wealth of hits including Stay With Me, Soul Provider and Can’t Sleep accompanying brand new material from the new album, this promises to be a very special night.

Hinting at what fans can expect from the much-anticipated Lovesick, Romain said, “This is my third album, and we are trying to just make it different and give people a different sound. We always try to introduce people to different aspects, different sides of my talent”. We caught up with Romain to find out some more about the new album and live show.

Please tell us a little about the concept of the album Lovesick
Lovesick is a love story. Most of the topics I touch on in this story are actually a series of things that I personally have been through, and I just wanted to put them in songs knowing that people around the world will hear at least one thing that they themselves have been through.

You covered ‘Stay With Me’. Did Sam Smith ever hear it and comment?
I remember when I did the cover of Stay With Me, Toddla T from BBC 1Xtra tweeted Sam Smith and asked if he had heard my cover of his song, and his reply was, “Yes I just listened it… it’s wicked!” It was a great feeling to hear a positive feedback from the original singer of the song.

‘Caress Me’ was part of a Dennis Brown project. How did you choose that song, and what did it mean to you?
Caress Me was actually chosen by Neil Diamond from VP records for a Dennis Brown project; after recording the song a lot of fans, especially the sound systems, fell in love with this new version.

‘In This Together’ is produced by Donovan Germain from Penthouse. What influence has he had on your career?
Donavon Germain is more than just a producer. To date, he has been there to help with the direction of my career. Actually, he’s the person who also helped me to realise that I can write songs, if I just believe in myself. I will never forget his buying me a book called, Song Writing For Dummies.

‘Now’ has more of a dancehall vibe. What influences did you call upon to write this song?
I always think about my stage performance, and things I could add to make it more diverse as time goes by, and I always know that I need a few more up-tempo vibes that still have the topic of ‘love’ written all over them. After getting the riddim from Frenchie, that was how Now came about.

‘Day In Day Out’ has a realism and sound system vibe to it. And it’s over six minutes long! Please tell us a little about this track.
Day In Day Out is basically talking about the battles that most couples around the world go through on a daily basis, while pointing fingers at who was wrong or right. This song was written by myself and Niko Browne from Lifeline Music, and also produced by him. In the recording session with our musicians we didn’t plan for it to be six minutes long, but there was a different kind of energy in the studio that evening, and we just allowed that energy to flow.

You worked with many different producers on the album, including Sting International based in the USA and Silly Walks, out of Germany, as well as the cream of Jamaican producers. Was the album recorded around the world, or mainly from one studio?
The only songs on Lovesick that were recorded outside of Jamaica were the ones produced by Sting International, which we recorded in New York. All the other overseas labels, including Silly Walks and Maximum Sound, were recorded in Jamaica at Niko Browne’s Lifeline Recording Studio or in other studios.

Why was now the right time to bring the tour to the UK?
The album is just a month away, and my dream was to take it on the road and present it to the fans. The UK has always been one of my favourite places around the world to perform – so that’s why I just believe everything is happening in a perfect timing.

Apart from performing, what are you looking forward to most whilst here?
I never get the opportunity to really get to see the UK. It’s always been an ‘in and out’ situation in the past, so hopefully this time I can get to go out and see the sights some more, in whatever city we’re playing.

Sevana is supporting you on the tour; what’s your relationship like?
It is such a joyful feeling to know that Sevana is going to be in the UK with us. She’s an artist who I truly admired from the days when she used to sing in her little group in the Rising Stars talent competition in Jamaica. There’s something about soulful singers that just always seems to draw me in, and she is definitely one of them. I’m super proud of her achievements in music thus far, and I know she will do great things in the future.

You are both performing with a full, live band; how much rehearsal time do you need with the band to prepare?
The Unit Band is my personal band, that travels all over the world with me. Even though they know every single song that I’ve ever recorded, we never take our performances lightly. We always rehearse as much as we can before we go out; even if it’s the same set, there’s no limit to the amount of time we use to prepare.

What can ticket holders expect from the experience?
We always try to make every single performance memorable, so everyone who’s coming out to see us perform should just expect nothing less.

UK Tour Dates

Wed 4th April – Birmingham, O2 Institute2
Thur 5th April – Manchester, Band On The Wall
Fri 6th April    – Leeds, The Wardrobe
Sat 7th April   – Cardiff, Tramshed
Sun 8th April  – London, Scala

Tickets are available from www.shoobs.com and at all venues.