Roméo Testa has packed a lot of living into his 18 years. Born in Costa Rica and raised in southern California, he began playing the violin as an elementary school student, eventually adding guitar, viola, harmonica and mandolin to the list. When his brother passed away several years later, Testa — whose multi-pronged musical talents had earned him a scholarship at the Interlocken Music School in Michigan — began writing his own songs, looking to set his own life to music.
The End, his debut EP for ATO Records, collects six of those tunes, mixing pop-soul vocals with a thumping soundtrack of strings, drum machines, harmonies, glockenspiel and keys. Dan Wilson, frontman for Semisonic and songwriter for everyone from the Dixie Chicks to Adele, executive produced the project.
“For the last three years, I worked tirelessly to build a catalog of music,” says Testa, who’ll release his EP tomorrow morning. “The End represents every stage, every hardship, every experience that I’ve had during this time. I want to spark people’s interest in my music and give fans a good look at what’s to come.”
Sounds like The End is just the beginning.