Niklaus Romero Showcases His ‘Duality’ On Thrilling Debut EP

In the world of musical debuts, it’s not always common to listen to a project and feel like you truly know an artist. But Niklaus Romero found a way to distinctly introduce his vision and sound on his debut EP, Duality! Over the course of six tracks, he completes a full story arc and lets listeners into his world with interesting sounds that are just as thrilling as his promising artistic future. 

“Making music is so interesting to me,” Niklaus tells TREMG. “I’ve never done anything in the music world before now. I think it’s really amazing how your artistry and personal life almost grow together. Before Duality, I felt so heavy, so dark. And now that it’s out, it’s like a breath of fresh air, the curtains opening up or a weight lifted off my shoulders. I look at the world so differently now. It’s also given me a new sense of confidence in myself that I think, without Duality, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve. I feel so… ready!”

Opening with the high-octane “Vampire Lover,” Duality proves that Niklaus is ready for superstardom. It sets the stage for a project full of honesty and confidence, describing his feelings in an unclear relationship that he wants to be more defined and equal. The frustrated energy carries over into the ominous “Playing Both Sides,” which he names as his current favorite track from the EP. Tinged with frantic guitar and pouncing 808 beats, it’d fit right in on trending pop-punk playlists featuring artists like jxdn and Machine Gun Kelly.

“I call it the Duality anthem, mainly because it really covers the whole imagery of 2’s that I was trying to accomplish with this project,” Niklaus explains. “The short story about it is that it’s about the point in time with a friend group where tensions are running high and it’s come time to all sit down and hash it out. The lyrics go through the song almost chronologically, like the start to end of a game… Who’s talking about who? What do they know? What aren’t they telling you? Who’s gonna win? How are you gonna make it out alive? By playing both sides.”

With a dose of theatrics, “Villain” sees Niklaus saying goodbye to a toxic situation and recognizing that he deserves better, all while playing the part of a villain like the other person makes him out to be. It boasts his favorite lyric on the project: “looking real good lying in the bed you made for me.” 

“It was a really important line for the song because the track really is satire,” he explains. “I don’t actually think I’m the villain. But I got pretty invested in the idea of surrendering to what people say, and choosing to spin the narrative by stepping into the role of the character people are painting me out to be: the villain. The whole superhero aspect of the song was an accident, I didn’t intend for that to happen, but I think it’s beautiful that it did.”

The standout climax of the EP, “Red Escape” ties together the themes of betrayal and confusion present throughout the narrative. But this time, it feels different, both because of the stripped-down piano backing and the more symbolic, cryptic lyrics. While parts of the lyrics ring clearly (“you ripped out my heart but how am I still here?”), others are cleverly veiled to be something only the subject can fully understand (“I’m going on and on about a make-believe version of a car I never sat in”). It’s the perfect balance between sharing his true feelings and keeping some sides of the story private.

“All 5 of the other tracks were made to surround ‘Red Escape,’” Niklaus explains. “It was really fun to take a break from the high energy of the EP, strip it all away and sit down with a piano to tell this story. It’s of course the most vulnerable track on an already honest EP and I have to admit, I didn’t have the best time creating it. Of course, the actual craft of the track was an incredibly amazing experience, however, it was one that I kept putting off. Before I ever walked into a studio or attempted to sing, I had the idea of what I thought could potentially be a song. A little over two years ago, ‘Red Escape’ lived in my notes app as an outlet for me to chronicle an experience I was going through during my time in college.”

“Immortal” returns to the jamming pop-punk sound of earlier songs, and it’s here where one of the EP’s main influences shines. Niklaus cites Avril Lavigne as one of the project’s key inspirations and we could totally see her hopping on a remix of this track. After the heavier atmosphere of “Red Escape,” “Immortal” sees Niklaus moving past a relationship that held him down and embracing a more confident perspective as the other person is struggling to forget him.

On the closing track, “Dead End,” Niklaus creates a misty air of fluctuation between hope and hopelessness. It’s the perfect way to wrap up the frustration of the project in a neatly tied, ripped-up bow that reflects how things will get better no matter how you’re feeling at the moment. Possibly the lyrics that best sum up the EP: “Tomorrow will be different, it has to be. I’m all fine, just hit a dead end.”

Duality is a beautifully chaotic exploration of the ups and downs of young adulthood, touching on heartache, troubles with friends, inner conflict, and worlds more that you need to listen to truly understand. It’s everything you want in a debut from an up-and-coming artist: it’s thought-provoking, draws from beloved genres while still offering something new, and lets you into a new world of buried thoughts and newly-emerging feelings.

“If there’s one takeaway I hope listeners get out of Duality, it’s that it’s okay to feel the way you do,” Niklaus shares. “When you go through really hard times, it’s natural to act out and to sometimes lose yourself. These things can really consume a person. But once the dust settles and the sun comes up, it’s just about letting go, moving on.”

You can find Duality on your favorite streaming services now, and get to know Niklaus Romero on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter! Keep reading for more from our conversation with the rising star. 


Congrats on your new EP, Duality! How does it feel to finally share the project with the world?

It feels so surreal. I mean, completing and sharing any kind of creative project is one of the most fulfilling feelings in the world. Before now, I never had any creative outlet to actually show who I am, and where I’ve been. Having the opportunity to be so candid about my experiences has been a wild ride. I’m so eternally grateful to have been able to do this and for all the incredible people who were a part of it. I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

Is there a certain lyric on Duality that you’re particularly proud of?

I’d say “Looking real good lying in the bed you made for me” from “Villain.” It was a really important line for the song because the track really is satire. I don’t actually think I’m the villain. But I got pretty invested in the idea of surrendering to what people say, and choosing to spin the narrative by stepping into the role of the character people are painting me out to be: the villain. The whole superhero aspect of the song was an accident, I didn’t intend for that to happen, but I think it’s beautiful that it did. After all, I have tracks called “Vampire Lover” and “Immortal” on Duality. I think it’s pretty clear what the theme was.

Duality is an immersive mix of pop-punk, trap beats, and even some piano moments. Who are some artists who inspired the EP’s sound?

Easy – Avril Lavigne. My earliest memories of music were watching her music videos on MTV in the late 2000s with my older sister in our living room. There’s something so timeless about her music. She has this incredible ability to encapsulate that sort of adolescent angst and effectively touch every other generation with it. You can’t not relate to Avril’s discography, it’s so universal.

My favorite song on the project was the stripped-back piano track “Red Escape.” What was the writing process like for that song versus the more energetic moments on the EP?

All 5 of the other tracks were made to surround “Red Escape.” It was really fun to take a break from the high energy of the EP, strip it all away and sit down with a piano to tell this story. It’s of course the most vulnerable track on an already honest EP and I have to admit, I didn’t have the best time creating it. Of course, the actual craft of the track was an incredibly amazing experience, however, it was one that I kept putting off. Before I ever walked into a studio or attempted to sing, I had the idea of what I thought could potentially be a song. A little over two years ago, “Red Escape” lived in my notes app as an outlet for me to chronicle an experience I was going through during my time in college. In terms of material, I was most definitely not lacking. I had so much about this experience written down. What was the hardest part was trying to narrow everything down in an effort to convey the overall story I wanted to tell. “Red Escape” is the only song on the EP that isn’t about me.

Which song on Duality means the most to you?

This answer changes often now that the EP is out, but it has to be “Playing Both Sides.” I call it the Duality anthem, mainly because it really covers the whole imagery of 2’s that I was trying to accomplish with this project. The short story about it is that it’s about the point in time with a friend group where tensions are running high and it’s come time to all sit down and hash it out. The lyrics go through the song almost chronologically, like the start to end of a game… Maybe even a baseball game, if you listen closely enough. Even once you all get over whatever’s going on and let go, this still proves to have been a really trying time. Who’s talking about who? What do they know? What aren’t they telling you? Who’s gonna win? How are you gonna make it out alive?— By playing both sides. I know we aren’t talking about life and death here. But when the people you surround yourself with become your entire life, it can really feel that way. I wanted it to sound nerve wreaking… like, full-on fight-or-flight mode. “Playing Both Sides” has to be one of my favorite tracks on the EP.

Which tracks on the EP took the most and least amount of time to create?

It really varied, everything went by so fast! I mean, we only started the EP near the end of November 2021. But, least amount of time: “Villain.” Most amount of time: “Red Escape.”

How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since you started working on Duality?

Making music is so interesting to me. I’ve never done anything in the music world before now. I think it’s really amazing how your artistry and personal life almost grow together. Before Duality, I felt so heavy, so dark. And now that it’s out, it’s like a breath of fresh air, the curtains opening up or a weight lifted off my shoulders. I look at the world so differently now. It’s also given me a new sense of confidence in myself that I think, without Duality, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve. I feel so… ready!

We at TREMG love getting to know new artists who haven’t gotten the success or attention they deserve. Who are some of your favorite underrated artists at the moment?

Where do I begin? One artist I can’t get enough of right now would have to be Andrea Russett. She was a really important figure in my early teen years on YouTube. I remember getting so lost in her videos, she made her audience feel so not alone and she’s a big reason for my growth as a person. I can recall this photo booth video of her singing a Katy Perry song leaking on YouTube when she was working as a radio host. Her voice was so incredible and I couldn’t wait to hear what else she could do! When she released her debut in late 2020, Darkest Hour, I couldn’t be more excited. Andrea is an artist with such a story to tell.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention that the questions didn’t touch on?

If there’s one takeaway I hope listeners get out of Duality, it’s that it’s okay to feel the way you do. When you go through really hard times, it’s natural to act out and to sometimes lose yourself. These things can really consume a person. But once the dust settles and the sun comes up, it’s just about letting go, moving on. There are two sides to every story, and you aren’t gonna be the main character in each one. People have their own reasons, their own lives to deal. The best you can do is have hope that tomorrow will be different because it has to be. These stories in Duality and even my debut single, “What’s Your Vibe?” deal with me from 19 to 20 years old, and now two years later, I’m 22 years old and I’m really just now moving on. So take your time, because that’s all we have.

Artist Spotlight Entertainment News Music TMZ TREMG news

Madison Murray View All →

Hi! I’m Madison Murray, a pop culture and music writer who also loves writing about lifestyle and fashion. I have credits on sites like TREMG, The Honey POP, Genius, Young Hollywood, and Audible Addixion, as well as my own Melodic Musings blog. Find me on socials @madisonmwrites!

1 Comment Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: