Local Music Spotlight: Antny Rome
Lindsey Lanham | Assistant A&E Editor
South Carolina native Antny Rome has brought his new wave music and art to ODU. Having just dropped a new music video for “Runaway/Beautiful Death,” the artist is ready to prove to Norfolk what he can do.
“Runaway” is a painfully open and personal track. It starts off with a haunting series of keys. Then it quickly delves into a heavy beat. Rome sings, “I cannot lie, I got a taint on my pride / And my heart is bleeding / I’m tired of dreaming,” which he said was one of his favorite parts of the song.
Rome just released the video for the songs on April 12. Inspired by the movie “Enter the Void,” the video flip-flops between Rome smoking and performing and clips from various movies like “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Mad Max.”
After “Runaway” finishes, the video pushes into a psychedelic sequence, complete with bright colors and funky shapes as it goes into more scenes from the movies. “Beautiful Mind” is a gorgeous, heavy beat that features dark whispers and intense feedback. The song ends with heavy breathing in the listener’s ear; a unique, unforgettable way to end a song.
Not just inspired by “Enter the Void,” Rome said the project was also personal. “I really wanted people to get a glimpse inside my head with ‘Beautiful Death’ and maybe a understanding of my life and why I think or act the way I do with ‘Runaway.’”
The album, titled “survive or… EVOLV,” will be released May 30. “The whole album is one big story that takes you on a journey through one of the toughest periods in my life. It’s a very, very dark project. It’s unapologetically revealing, this album is me,” Rome said.
“Musically I am inspired by anything that makes me feel. I love all genres. I listen to a lot of Radiohead, Nirvana, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin,” Rome said when asked who inspires him. “Of course I listen to hip hop, though, but I only respect the artists who push boundaries and have good lyrical content. Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Doug Finesse, Kevin Abstract, Daniel Ceaser, King Krule and Jack TP are all really dope artists that I listen to a lot. Honestly, just anything dope. I’m very open minded towards anything.”
Rome isn’t just into music, though. The graphic design major also dabbles in designing clothes and creating illustrations. His art can be found on his website, which features a large variety of his collages and drawings.
Rome’s passion lies in music. “I’d rather be on tour instead of being in school, though. That’s my purpose.”
“Runaway” and “Beautiful Death” are just the start of the project. “These two songs mean everything to me. The version of a ‘Runaway’ that’s on the video isn’t even the full version though, there’s a whole second verse. ‘Beautiful Death’ was made during one of lowest points of my depression, and if I didn’t create that song, I don’t know. I’m just glad I know how to express myself,” Rome said.
The up-and-coming artist got off to a strong start with “Runaway” and “Beautiful Death.” If the rest of “survive or.. EVOLV” is anything like these two, it will continue to be layered, complex and sincere and well worth any attention it gets.
“This whole album has been in the making for a little over a year. Every second of sound you hear is planned and deliberate. I hope people who feel the way I do can relate and find comfort through listening to my music,” Rome said.
Keep a look out for “survive or… EVOLV,” which is sure to be one of the better hip-hop albums Norfolk locals have heard in a long time. While waiting for the album to drop, fans can keep up with Rome by following him on Twitter, Instagram or SoundCloud at @antnyrome.