Rommel Real, your All-around Melophile

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Rommel, our playlist sharer this week, is one of the few people I know who has a varied taste in music. Let’s see which playlist he shares.😁

1. Please introduce yourself.
Hi. My name is Rommel Real, from Davao City. I am currently a Ph.D. student and used to
teach in a university. I love making puns related to music, politics, and my surname.

2. What do you do?
In fact, I am currently doing a Ph.D. in mathematics in Australia, focusing on how maths make wonderful images! You can watch me talk about it in the link below:


On the side, if I need a break from Ph.D., I love going to concerts around, from small-sized gigs to concert halls, especially hardcore and heavy metal ones. I also do cycling around the park, and go to the cinema!

3. How did you come to love music? How would you consider yourself, a melophile or a melomaniac?
I spend around five hours a day listening to music, whether while doing work or doing nothing at all. I’m not sure if that’s already melomaniac. Definitely, I can call myself a melophile. I love discovering new and old music. It helps me stay motivated.

Oh, it started with my father’s cassette tapes. He introduced me to classics like The Police and Paul McCartney. Then my brother got into louder stuff, so he got me into 90s alternative music and heavy metal. Eventually, I would introduce my brother to much heavier stuff. Haha. But upon growing up I ended exploring different types of music, from listening to the radio (NU 107, Killer Bee, etc.) to reading music-related websites (NME, Pulp, Stereogum, etc.) to going to local gigs and meeting like-minded melophiles! So now I listen to almost any genre out there, from K-pop to black metal. Haha.

4. What’s your most favorite genre and why? Sorry, but you can only choose one.
Hip-hop. I think it’s the most adventurous genre at the moment. It’s a genre that can be both confrontational and moody at the same time. When you listen from early rap music from the 90s (gangsta rap, west coast, east coast), then early 2000s (Eminem, Clipse, etc.) to the more experimental ones (MF Doom, JPEGMAFIA, woot!) and the present trailblazers (Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Tyler, the Creator to name a few), you have to be amazed on how the genre transforms and how so many really genre-pushing albums do come out anytime! You cannot just ignore how artistically rich the genre is.

5. Who’s your most favorite artist in the world and why? Okay, you may choose two.
Tough question. But here we go.

Death Grips. I remember avoiding listening to rap music for like five years, and it stopped when I encountered Death Grips. I was simply blown away upon hearing their debut mixtape Exmilitary, and since then I’ve followed everything they released. They make an experimental brand of hip-hop that sounds weird, often haunting, sometimes easy, yet catchy and sometimes dance-able. At this point, they can sound whatever the way they want, and that excites me. Also, they write songs about the dark side of the human condition, and that stuff appeals to me big time. Check out their album The Money Store, a modern music masterpiece!

Also, Joy Division! I like my music punk-ish, but moody and dance-able and they’re simply like that. I’ve listened to everything they released during their short yet impactful career. I somehow relate to their songs from the fear of being alone to tiresome relationships.  Woot! To add, they have the coolest band logo in the world.

6. What’s your most favorite song in the world and why? You may choose three.

What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye: It’s a soulful, political song that has, unfortunately, remained relevant up to the present time.

There is a Light that Never Goes Out – The Smiths: The most bittersweet song that I really love from Johnny Marr and co.

Hanggang Kailan – Orange and Lemons: If I have to pick one from a Filipino artist, this one. This has both the indie/Brit-rock sensibilities and that charm you get from Pinoy ballads.

7. Please tell us something about your playlist.
I may appreciate almost any type of music, but there are some that stay with you. A year ago, I and a few good friends co-created a playlist of all the songs we often hear on those long, tiring, often emotional taxi rides. We ended up having a highly diverse 200+ songs ranging from Air Supply, Carpenters to Bee Gees and Hall and Oates, from the 70s to even early 2000s, including songs you don’t even know you like. This is guaranteed to make you nostalgic whether you’re in the taxi or just in your room. Some songs include:

Every Time You Go Away – Paul Young (perfect after-date song lol)

The One You Love – Glenn Frey (it has the sexiest saxophone part in a song)

Carrie – Europe (because things they change, my friend)

Halik – Aegis (because why not)

I’d go to this playlist when I just want something easy when things get tough at work or at play. And you should too. Check it out.


Art by Jim Morada

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