It has only been five years since Romain Virgo made history as the youngest winner of TVJ's popular “Rising Stars” - Jamaica's equivalent to American Idol. In this short time frame, Romain teamed up with reggae producer Donovan Germain to record several chart-topping reggae hits (“Can’t Sleep” and “Wanna Go Home”), released a stellar debut album with VP, won numerous awards within the Caribbean community and made history as the first Jamaican artist to perform at Academy of Country Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee.
He continues this success with his second full-length release The System. Recorded primarily at the legendary Penthouse Studio, these 15 lyrically sophisticated tracks offer compelling accounts of the challenges of living the ghetto life. Songs like “Minimum Wage”, “Another Day Another Dollar,” Press On” and “Not Today” are clear examples of the struggle that many face on a daily basis. And on the gritty first single “I Know Better,” Romain cautions the youth to refrain from picking up the gun despite their desperate circumstances.
The album would not be complete without a set of Romain’s romantic antics. His ability to swoon the ladies is evident on tracks like the 2011 reggae chart topper “I Am Rich in Love,” “Broken Heart” featuring Busy Signal, the sensuous rub-a-dub tune “Fired Up Inside” and on a rendition of Adele’s haunting “Don’t You Remember,” which is currently receiving rotation in Japan.
Born in a small district called Stepney in the parish of St. Ann, Romain grew up singing the church and his high school choir. In 2006, his choir placed second on a weekly scholastic choir contest, All Together Sing, broadcasted on Jamaica’s TVJ. Romain’s powerful vocals on the show established him as a national celebrity, so he decided to enter the TVJ's 2007 “Rising Stars” competition. His dream came true and as the winner, he had the opportunity to record with esteemed Jamaican producer Donovan Germain, whose Penthouse label provided the launching pad for many successful artists including Tony Rebel, Wayne Wonder, Cutty Ranks, Sanchez and Buju Banton.
In June 2010 he inked a deal with VP Records and released his debut self-titled album. After touring the U.S. and Europe the same year, Romain began to woo fans around the globe with his expansive vocal range, mature lyrics and dynamic live stage shows. Last year in 2011, Romain teamed up with country veteran Larry Gatlin and recreated their 1979 hit “All The Gold In California” for VP Records’ critically-acclaimed “Reggae’s Gone Country” compilation.
Larry Gatlin invited him to perform the song alongside the Gatlin Brothers at the annual Academy of Country Music Awards held in Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, where he received a standing ovation from country music’s elite. In 2012, he was named Artist of the Year by JaRIA (Jamaica Reggae Industry Association) in February and honored as Recording Artist of the Year, Best Male Vocalist and Most Consistent Artist at this year’s Linkage (Reggae) Awards.
The System Track Listing:
1. The System
2. Minimum Wage
3. Another Day Another Dollar
4. Food Fi The Plate
5. Dem A Coward
6. I Know Better
7. Mama's Song
8. Not Today
9. I Am Rich In Love
10. Ray Of Sunshine
12. Fired Up Inside
13. Don't You Remember
14. Broken Heart ft. Busy Signal
15. Press On