Three years ago, a soft spoken teenager walked away with the title of Digicel Rising Stars and since then there has been no looking back. Romain Virgo recently returned from a North American tour and with a self titled album scheduled to drop on June 8 the singer says he’s looking forward to bigger things.
With successful shows in New York, California, Boston, Florida and Texas to promote the upcoming album, Romain says he’s happy that his material was well received: “It’s one of the greatest feelings to hear the people singing the lines of the songs and enjoying themselves.” The singer will team up with Busy Signal and Morgan Heritage for a European tour this summer but before that he’ll make several stops across the Caribbean prior to the release of his debut album.
Thirteen of the fifteen tracks on the album were written by Romain and he says the vibe of the first album is very representative of where his music is at right now: “On the album we have Roots Reggae and Lover’s Rock. We have Dancehall music on it as well and we have a little R&B flavour on it too. I hope everybody will go out and get a copy of the album. It’s my first album and I’m very excited. It’s my way of introducing myself to the world.”
Still completing a Bachelor’s degree in performance majoring in Voice with a minor in Keyboard, the artiste says school has been good and he’s been able to manage working on his career while getting an education: “Everything is going good so far and before I left for the tour in North America I had to do some extra work to compensate for when I’d be out of school. It can be difficult going to school and doing music especially if you have an album out; you have more work to do, because when your album is out you have to do a lot of promotions. It’s kind of rough on my side but it doesn’t matter how long it takes I’m going to finish school. I wanted to go to Edna Manley College from I was a child, long before I won Digicel Rising Stars so I’m making the best of the opportunity.”
Despite being a huge success, Romain says he will never forget how his love for music began and his humble beginnings. The singer says growing up in a Christian family has allowed him to remain grounded while dealing with his success. He says after leading his high school Abuthnott Gallimore to second place in the All Together Sing competition in 2006, he was encouraged to try out for Season 3 of the Digicel Rising Stars competition but he was unsuccessful: “I auditioned but I did not get through because the judges said I chose the wrong song but I came back in 2007 and auditioned with Percy Sledge’s When a Man Loves a Woman and that was better received.”
The 2007 Digicel Rising Stars’ winner has been nominated for several local and regional awards as testimony to his talent. Romain Virgo is now signed to VP Records which will see him releasing his first album, a self titled venture in June of this year.