No Rome has today released the striking video for ‘5 Ways To Bleach Your Hair’, a screamo-pop highlight of acclaimed second EP, ‘Crying in the Prettiest Places’. With the visual featuring a cameo from Matt Healy on drums, No Rome continues his extensive run of shows supporting The 1975: he also recently played his debut headline show in New York, with a further solo UK date at this year’s Reading & Leeds festival announced.
A truly global young talent, No Rome’s poignantly personal, genre-splicing approach to modern life is as embedded in his work as it is the kaleidoscopic shades that makeup ‘5 Ways To Bleach Your Hair’. Here is a young talent who innately connect the worlds of music, design, fashion and art, and on just his second EP – ‘Crying in the Prettiest Places’ – appears to move between genre and feeling with extraordinary ease: ‘Pink’, for instance, is a bittersweet slice of hip-hop that feels both lonely and libidinous, whilst the aspirational R&B of ‘Cashmoney’ taps into Rome’s at-times-extreme upbringing in The Philippines.
Born in a tough Manila neighbourhood, No Rome grew up keeping one eye over his shoulder: the most densely populated city in the world – with mountains and the beach also in close proximity in either direction – this was a conservative, “concrete jungle” with little room for reinvention. As an emo kid who’d wear skinny jeans (from the ‘petite’ women’s section of clothing stores) and tight T-shirts, Rome started learning self-defence to protect himself, before finding a better form outlet in producing beats aged 12. His early taste spanned Slipknot to 2Pac, and the New Order and David Bowie records that Rome found in his Dad’s stacks of vinyl. By his mid-teens, Rome had moved on to shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, eventually finding a niche in “shoegaze R&B” that he continues to explore on ‘Crying in the Prettiest Places’. His early Soundcloud demos picked up attention from the likes of Ryan Hemsworth and members of Brockhampton; then, label-mate, collaborator and (in the ‘5 Ways To Bleach Your Hair’, temporary drummer) Matt Healy.
Just as No Rome’s music is a bellwether for pop’s expansive new possibilities, his bold eye-popping aesthetic can help to open people’s minds. He speaks thoughtfully candidly about the implications of his decision to live out loud, in full colour. “My videos are people who dress like me, who have hair colours like me,” he says. “[Hopefully people] start to think, that’s the future, it’s going to be normal you know.” With No Rome, the future seems in safe hands.
Check out ‘5 Ways To Bleach Your Hair’ – BELOW:
‘Crying in the Prettiest Places’ – tracklisting
1. ‘5 Ways to Bleach Your Hair’
2. ‘Stoned In The Valley’
5. ‘Rimbaud, Come and Sit For A While’
6. ‘All Up In My Head’