• Tallie Spencer

Darkskinromeo talks inspiration behind 'Roses & Diamonds' EP

"We live in an era where artists can actually own and distribute their own art so I personally feel I owe it to those who paved the way for me."

Meet Darkskinromeo. An artist from Orange County, based in LA, who's definitely someone to watch on the music scene. He recently released his project 'Roses & Diamonds' which showcases his artistry on another level. The project includes seven tracks total, all of which tell a story about things that he's experienced within the last year -- some of those things being love, transitioning into a new job, ownership and signing a new deal. It's easy to see how Darkskinromeo pulls from his real life experiences and makes for an authentic compilation of music that anyone can relate to.

"The EP is basically paying homage to me closing that previous chapter of my life whilst simultaneously ushering in a bold new era and direction for myself artistically," Darkskinromeo said in a recent interview with Remixd Magazine.

There are plenty of standout tracks on the EP, including "King," "My Love" ft. heartspace, and "Groov." The entire project though is a soothing and smooth R&B project that can ultimately be described as a vibe. It's something that's easy to listen to and has something for everyone on it.

Some of his inspirations include Pharrell, Partynextdoor, Chris Brown, and Brent Faiyaz, just to name a few -- so it's clear to see that his aspiration for greatness reflects in the quality of his music.

Keep reading to learn more about Darkskinromeo and his music journey, and be sure to stream 'Roses & Diamonds' below.

What city are you from/ Where are you based now?

I grew up in Orange County. I’ve been living in LA since 2012.

What is your artist name? What is your real name? How did you get your artist name? Darkskinromeo. My real name is Taylor. Originally my artist name was R&D (Roses & Diamonds). I loved that name but branding wise, it just never stuck how I’d hoped it would. I ultimately chose Darkskinromeo because in the play by Shakespeare, Romeo is arranged to court another woman until he sees Juliet and realizes she is his destiny. I would get really good grades in high school so everyone always had high expectations of me. I felt like I had to join the professional world and get a “credible job.” I fell in love with music instead though. I threw the “Darkskin” on there to make it more me.

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music?

I decided in 2012, my freshman year of college, that I was going to pursue a career in music.

Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?

Definitely. My parents are coming up on their 50th wedding anniversary next year. I grew up with a lot of love in my home. Being respectful, hardworking, kind, and just an overall good person was very important to me. I have always had an extremely positive outlook on life and I try to weave that into my music as much as possible. Also, I am the first person in my family to have been born in California. I champion that at all times lol.

How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?

The intersection of R&B, Pop, and Hip-Hop.

What ultimately inspired you to dedicate yourself to a music career?

My older brother. He signed a production deal with Eminem under the Shady Records imprint in 2006. He would let me slide with him to some of his mixing sessions as I got a little older. From the first time I heard his beats coming through the monitors, I knew I wanted to f**k with the music. The feeling was indescribable.

What’s one reason you are passionate about music and what inspires you?

That’s hard. There are too many reasons lol. Here’s my top three. 1.) The ability to create something from nothing. Basically the power of the universe in motion. 2.) The power to connect and bring people together all over the world. 3.) I do it for all the talented black

artists and musicians who were f**ked over by the industry in the past. We live in an era where artists can actually own and distribute their own art so I personally feel I owe it to those who paved the way for me. People, history, emotions, relationships, etc. inspire me.

Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?

I do. The youth. I am a substitute teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Educating our children and staying connected to the community is very important to me. In a broader sense, I love movies, fashion, reading, real estate, dancing, etc. To stay creative I just stay on my vibe and in my element. I try to keep an open mind. Creativity has many outlets.

What were you doing before music?

There really was no “before music” for me. It was always around and a part of my life in some way or another. I tried different instruments when I was younger, sang in the church choir, performed in talent shows, and even produced for a little while. But, if I HAD to say then it would be basketball. I hooped from preschool all the way to varsity in high school. Ball was definitely life.

Who are some of your main musical influences?

Pharrell, Partynextdoor, Chris Brown, Brent Faiyaz, Kanye, Vince Staples, Bryson Tiller, Ty Dolla $ign, Nipsey Hussle, and a lot of 80’s/90’s R&B to name a few. I honestly have too many though. We could talk about that forever.

What are some of your music career goals for the future?

Financial independence, touring, plaques, working out of different studios, and working with artists who inspire me.

Tell us the name of the project you are currently promoting? What inspired this project?

The project I am currently promoting is my latest EP, Roses & Diamonds. Again, I recently changed my name from R&D to Darksinromeo. The EP is basically paying homage to me closing that previous chapter of my life whilst simultaneously ushering in a bold new era and direction for myself artistically.

Date that this project dropped or is set to drop?

I released Roses & Diamonds on my birthday, July 23rd.

What is this project about in your own words?

This project was really about giving listeners a tangible piece of my soul. All 7 songs were recorded between 2019 to 2021. A lot happened in that time. Job transition, pandemic, signed my first deal, lost Nipsey & Kobe, left a relationship, found new love, Lakers & Dodgers brought home titles, a whole lotta s**t lol. Each song represents a real moment in time for me and the feelings/emotions that came with those circumstances. I just wanted to be vulnerable and create something that was representative of what was going on in my world.

Lastly, ownership. This is the first release that I can say I truly OWN top to bottom. I got all my paperwork straight on this one and that was a HUGE accomplishment for me just on principle.

Is there a specific song on this project that speaks to you most? If so, what’s It called and what’s it about?

Nope. You love all your kids the same lol. Just for different reasons.

What’s one of your most proud moments of your music career so far?

Headlining at the Peppermint Club in West Hollywood! You had to be there.

What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for? Include some dates if you have them.

You can definitely expect more visuals and content surrounding the Roses & Diamonds EP. I’m a quality over quantity type guy. My catalogue is strong. I just need to invest more into finding creative ways to market it which I have been, but as an independent artist that takes time and patience. Also, I’ve been cooking with my boy DashxDigital in the lab as of recently. He used to be in a big group called Cold Flamez from Long Beach back in the early 2000’s. He’s God body with this music s**t. A true architect of a sound that is still very present today. Look’ em up. Some real legendary We$t Coa$t s**t going on forsure. No dates but we definitely been putting the work in. We’ll see what happens.

What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from this project?

Be yourself. That’s the one thing you can 100% do better than anybody else.

Where can we follow you on social media? Include links.

IG + Twitter + YouTube: @Darkskinromeo_