Caroline Romano on turning her emotions into music and creating a hit song with R3HAB

Caroline Romano's "I Still Remember (R3HAB Remix)" is the song you *need* in your life rn. The perfect mash-up of wistful songwriting and a dance party-worthy beat, it's the must-add to your "fall bops" playlist. 

So who *is* the girl behind the music? Caroline, 19, has been making music since elementary school—"I was that shy, reserved kid who really only played guitar and listened to recordings," she reminisces—and it was her passion that pushed her parents to move with her to Nashville when she was only thirteen (much like one of her musical role models, Taylor Swift). 

Even though years have gone by (and she's found *tons* of success with her tunes), Caroline still feels close to that 13-year-old beginner. "I was living this other life back then," she explains of her pre-Nashville days. "Trying to fit in as this girl in South Mississippi—it just wasn't working for me. I was a loner. Not by choice, I just couldn't find my people. I dealt with some bullying and meanness and that was tough. I didn't fit in. I felt like I was supposed to be part of another world."

In music, Caroline's found her world. "I decided to write about that feeling of being an outsider," she admits. "It became my journal—just this cathartic outpouring of my day-to-day thoughts and experiences. I remember writing this song called Inside, about accepting yourself and your body for who you are." 

Her advice for aspiring young artists: Be authentic, be yourself. Moving to Nashville didn't automatically put Caroline in the "in crowd"—"Though I've found my place and purpose, I still feel like an outsider at times," she confesses. "In music, I'm outgoing and energetic, but when it comes to everyday life I struggle to open up and connect with people my age."


the first totally natural and casually candid photo of 19!🎂🌸 so far it’s very plaid. hope that’s a good sign.

A post shared by Caroline Romano (@carolineromanomusic) on

It's that outsider status that continues to push her to reflect and grow her art. "Whenever I'm handling a lot of feelings and emotions, I know I have to put that on paper," she explains, even when she's dealing with a lack of musical inspiration or frustrating writer's block. "I never sit down and think I have to write about a specific thing. I'm very emotionally driven."

Want more Caroline? We caught up with the singer about how she wrote a hit track, her dreams for the future and a *hilarious* BTS moment from her music vid...

Girls' Life: Tell us about "I Still Remember." 

Caroline: I knew it was a special song from the start. I remember writing it back in 2018 with two of my friends in Nashville. It was one of my favorite co-writing moments—where you're just hanging out with your friends and it turns into you all writing music together. I think you can hear that. It's upbeat, energetic, but lyrically it's raw and real. We were talking about young relationships and how you can never forget those "firsts" in life. I was happy we held out until the end of 2019 when we were able to bring it to R3HAB. He ended up remixing it—which is just incredible—and elevating the song to an entirely different level. He brought that Charli XCX sound, that pumped-up juxtaposition, and I think that's exactly what it needed. The whole creative process was just unbelievable. It's definitely my favorite release so far. 

Any fun facts from filming the music video?

Caroline: There was this mannequin—his name was Teddy. He was a rental and I was so disappointed I couldn't keep him. It definitely made for some awkward and hilarious scene changes when the grown men on the crew had to run in and change this mannequin. It was...interesting. 

Favorite lyric in the song?

Caroline: The opening line of the chorus. You get to me. People can interpret that any way they want to. I think it just shows how all-consuming someone can be in your life, the stickiness of love and relationships even if they're long-gone. It's something I've experienced and I think it's relatable. 

I hope people feel like getting up and dancing and moving when they hear this song. Or that they're driving at night and blaring it out the car windows. Those are the greatest musical moments—when you just *feel* it in your body. I hope it takes them back to that first love or unforgettable experience in their life. 

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

Caroline: I think I have the biggest dreams a person could possibly have. I want to take it as far and wide and grand as it can go. I'm not going to put limits on what or who I can be.

I never thought, back at 13, that I would be doing this. So as long as I get to keep making music and share pieces of my life with people and perform, I know I'll be happy. That's kind of my goal. 

Image: Sonni Louise via Caroline Romano/Instagram

by Katherine Hammer | 10/6/2020