30 Sep 2023

Romy on dealing with devastating loss through dance music

From Music 101, 2:00 pm on 30 September 2023

Award winning musician Romy of The XX shares how big moments of grief inspired an uplifting dance record full of emotive club classics. 

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Romy Madley Croft cut her teeth in music as a member of the London-based indie pop trio The XX. The group formed in 2005 when Oliver Sim, Jamie Smith, and Romy began making music together in high school.

In 2009, the trio won the Mercury Prize for best album in the UK and Ireland, recognising their unique debut album xx, which also went platinum in England. Now the lead guitarist and singer has begun a new solo project releasing her debut album Mid Air on September 8. 


Romy Photo: Vic Lentaigne

Mid Air marks a new chapter musically, where Romy experiments with DJing and singing a lot more. The result is a sprawling new record full of emotive club classics. 

The project began about five years ago when she was writing songs for other artists to sing, outside of The XX. During that time she met Fred Again and the two wrote a lot of music together. After some quiet encouragement from those close to her, Romy eventually considered releasing music under her own name. 

“From a place of self-confidence, I didn't see myself as a solo artist”. 

Fred Again co-produced Loveher, a pop song celebrating the rush of being in love with a woman. The track encapsulates what it’s like in the early and thrilling days of a new relationship. 

Romy’s wife, the photographer Vic Lentaigne, began collaborating in the midst of the pandemic, shooting music videos for Mid Air

 “She (Vic) remembered in the music video for 'Enjoy Your Life' that my Aunty had some Super 8 footage of my mum when she was younger and incorporated that into the video. Which was really meaningful for me”. 

Lauded jazz-folk artist Beverly Glenn Copeland is another special feature appearing on her track 'Mid Air'. A musician whose output resonates deeply with Romy. 

“I'm so grateful he let me sing his words and sample his voice in 'Enjoy Your Life'. To be able to share his voice in its true form in the Interlude is so special to me”. 

She is excited to reconnect with Oliver and Jamie of The XX and bring back the new skills she has learned, DJing, singing, and producing more. Explaining the three always want to learn new skills to bring back to the band. 

“We always want to keep evolving”

Peaches was a queer artist who influenced Romy as a young performer. 

“As a producer, the way she was using drum machines in electronic music had a big impact on me and the possibilities of what you can do with electronic music”.

'Enjoy Your Life' has become an unofficial anthem for those who have lost their loved ones.

Romy was inspired to write after hearing Beverly Glenn Copeland’s song, "La Vita' and his lyrics- My mother said to me enjoy your life”.

Hundreds of fan comments are praising the anthem online, particularly those grieving the loss of a loved one. 

“My mum passed away when I was 11 and my dad when I was 20.

"I’ve had these big moments of grief, In my experience it really puts things into perspective. You think Wow life is short and I want to make the best of things and then life goes on and things get stressful and it’s easy to lose sight of that intention”.  

Many of the tracks feel like they were really designed for the club. As a teenager, Romy snuck into a queer club in Soho. A pivotal moment that began her love affair with dance music. 

“Talking about grief in a club was the intention ”