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Baby's Presents: DeathbyRomy
Thursday October 7, 2021
+ Doors @9:30 PM
~+ Show @10:00 PM
Los Angeles singer, songwriter, and dark-pop provocateur DeathbyRomy never fails to please the fantasy-driven eye. She pours both pain and euphoria into her catchy yet dark music, pitting electronic melodies and propulsive beats against hypnotic vocals and deeply personal lyrics. It’s a careful balance that sounds strikingly organic. This intricate union creates a hyper-stimulating reality meticulously designed for herself and her listeners.
The young woman born Romy Flores credits artists such as Björk and Kanye West for showing her how to create a dynamic body of work all while delivering a cohesive artistic world through music. But despite their influence, that foundation was laid by her growing up biracial and bilingual in Los Angeles, where a swirl of cultures, characters, passions, and ambitions combine to form a distinct whole. Her Mexican heritage ingrained a deeper appreciation for the harmony of life and death, drawing inspiration from traditions such as Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). While it may appear macabre, her vision is rooted in a holistic appreciation for life. “In Mexican culture, death is just another part of the human cycle,” says Romy. “Every year, we celebrate our relatives joining us back on Earth. I believe a soul never really dies.”
By the age of 5, she was already crafting a complex vision of her sought-after fantasy world in songs she’d write on the bus to and from school. In between, she’d imagine herself as an accomplished musician. “I guess without even realizing it,” says Romy, “I started envisioning myself as the confident woman I hoped to become.”
Finding that confidence wasn’t easy. Romy was bullied in high school for her eccentric and unapologetic approach to self-expression. “I got made fun of,” she relays, “but around the time I started getting really sick of struggling with my peers, I started getting praise on the internet.” She’d begun uploading her music to SoundCloud at 15 and, shortly thereafter, chose to get a GED so she could move on without distraction. In 2018 she self-released her first album, Monsters, powered by gut-wrenching vocals, eerie beatwork, and emotion-stoking soundscapes.
Romy’s 2019 Capitol Records debut EP, Love u — to Death, was short yet deeply captivating, emphasizing her unique interweaving of electronic innovation, rock ‘n’ roll passion, and the raw honesty of rap. As Romy’s sound took shape, so did her DeathbyRomy persona: the Harajuku punk fashion and makeup inspired by the decay and beauty found in death ultimately forming her powerful and alluring presence.
Forming such an all-encompassing identity was also her way of gaining power over the negative thoughts that continually hindered her growth. Having struggled with depressive thoughts for as long as she has been dreaming up songs, the two are often innately intertwined. Her art has not only helped her heal, but also allowed her to help others by keeping an open conversation with fans, who reach out seeking a sense of belonging and recognition after hearing the honesty and pain in her songs. That connection pushes Romy to stay true to the world she has created and continues to build on. “My artist name is an attempt to see myself as beautiful,” she reveals. “Death by something beautiful speaks to this greater meaning that this life is our death, so why not strive to live the most?”