Romain Virgo

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facebook_grey_tn_socialtwitter_grey_tn_socialIn the five years since he made history as the youngest winner of Television Jamaica’s (TVJ) popular “Rising Stars” talent competition at just 17-years-old, Romain Virgo has emerged as one of the island’s finest singer/songwriters whose innate skills ensure that quality, consciously themed roots reggae will continue to flourish. With the release of his self-titled debut album for VP Records in June 2010, the majority of the tracks produced by Donovan Germain, CEO of Kingston’s Penthouse Records, critics and fans alike were duly awed by Romain’s expansive vocal range and his ability to convey romantic longings with the same sincerity heard in his powerful breakthrough hit “Can’t Sleep”, which decries rampant gun use among Jamaican youth. The same year Romain commenced a hectic touring schedule that took him throughout the United States and all over Europe where his dynamic live performances have generated a large, loyal following.

Born in a small district called Stepney in the parish of St. Ann, Romain Virgo was raised in a Christian family that sang together each Saturday night and recorded their voices on cassettes, which they would play back on Sunday morning. While listening to their tapes one morning, a family friend inquired about one of the beautiful voices she heard; young Romain, however, didn’t pay much attention to the compliments that his singing typically engendered. “I never took it serious,” he reflected, “I said it is just people in the community that want to build my confidence. When I was about 10, I had the microphone and I was singing “Amazing Grace” in church because I like the sound of the echo there and everybody was saying whoa, you can really sing. That is when I started to take it seriously.”

Romain went on to become the lead singer for his church choir and by his mid-teens he was the leader of his high school choir. The Abouthnott Galimore High School Choir entered All Together Sing, the weekly scholastic choir contest broadcast on TVJ; they placed second out of sixty contenders and Romain’s powerful vocals established him as a national celebrity. “The competition was shown every Thursday night and that is how people started knowing me,” Romain recalled. “At the end of the competition in 2006, people were saying you need to enter Rising Stars next year.”

Romain did just that and he describes the experience as “a dream come true. I always wondered what it would be like to win. That night when the host of the show said that the winner for 2007 is Romain Virgo, I was like (he laughs and then suddenly is at a loss for words, overcome by recollections of that victorious moment), I couldn’t move. I was just looking up, giving God thanks.”

One of the prizes was an opportunity to record with Donovan Germain whose Penthouse label provided the launching pad for many successful artists including Tony Rebel, Wayne Wonder, Cutty Ranks, Sanchez and Buju Banton whom Germain managed for 18 years. Germain immediately recognized Romain’s vast potential and encouraged him to write his own songs. Romain took that advice and went on to pen several of the biggest hits featured on his debut album including the romantic “Wanna Go Home” and the chart topper “Can’t Sleep”.

Like its predecessor The System’s songs of struggle (“Minimum Wage”, “Another Day Another Dollar”, both produced by Germain), and survival (“Press On”, “Not Today”) are offset by numerous songs for the ladies. The story of a financially deprived yet charming suitor, the spirited “I Am Rich in Love”, produced (and written) by Nicholas “Niko” Browne, rose to the pinnacle position on reggae charts throughout Jamaica and in the US in late 2011. A smitten, sweetly crooning Romain is offered advice regarding his cheating woman through an unforgettable deejayed verse provided by Busy Signal on “Broken Heart”, destined to be another major hit for both artists; Romain pursues a woman he can’t quite attain on “Fantasize” but has better luck on “Ray of Sunshine” and the sensuous rub-a-dub tune “Fired Up Inside”.

 

Albums

Beautiful to Me (Single)

Lovesick

The System

Romain Virgo

 

Full Discography

 


Tour Dates

 

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