Monday, 21 July 2014

PLAYING IT COOL: Romain Virgo riffs on home life, the fans, and what's next

FRAME OF MIND: "I want to start viewing my career like its just starting again," the stage star says.

Energetic doesn't even begin to describe reggae sensation Romain Virgo. As many of his fans already know, he can work the stage like nobody's business and woo the crowd like a seasoned pro twice his age. No wonder he's considered the next Beres Hammond.

But away from the spotlight? Lowkey is how he prefers to pass the time. "I'm not the kind of person you're gonna see at the party up in the video light," he avers. "One of the greatest things about where I live is my neighbours are the kind of people who like to interact, so everybody comes over to my place from time to time, and we just vibe. It's like family away from family. So that is one of the things that keeps me going."

As with any performing artist, fan support is also a vital source of motivation for the entertainer, who has no crazy fan encounter stories to share but never tires of interacting with his loyalists of all ages. Unsurprisingly, he found himself surrounded by adoring fans (including a few contestants) following his stellar performance at the Miss Jamaica festival Queen coronation show in Kingston on Saturday. "The fanbase continues to grow, and I just appreciate it more," he admits. "And every time I see them come up to me for autographs and pictures, my management and I try to accommodate as many of them as we can. Sometimes we can't stay for everybody, but we try to do as much as possible."

With a couple of new videos in the works for the summer and his third studio album scheduled to drop in the first quarter of 2015, Virgo's life and career continue to take interesting turns.

Up next for Team Romain Virgo: a brand-new Kingston office, complete with a booking agency and recording studio. "For everybody that's been working with us over the years, that's where the headquarters is going to be," explains the singer and Rising Stars graduate, who is turning 25 next year. "I want to start viewing my career like its just starting again. A brand-new career. It's going in the direction that I've always wanted it to go, but like any serious artist I want to step it up and show the growth and maturity."

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