Roman Alexander is one of those songwriters and artists who is consistently making impact with each new song he releases and/or writes. As his “Party Mode” became the latest hit for country superstar Dustin Lynch, he’s recently been hyping the anticipation for his upcoming EP Downtime through hot song releases “Mess Me Up” and “One Tequila.” With a CMA Fest performance and his new EP on tap this week, we caught up with Roman to talk with him about the enthusiasm of the fans in town during CMA Fest, what new songs you can expect to hear from him during his performance, and much more!

(Interview by: Jeffrey Kurtis

1) The 50th CMA Fest is coming up in just a few weeks now and you’re a part of it. What are you looking forward to most about being on the lineup for this milestone event?

Well, CMA Fest is always an exciting time for everybody in Nashville, not just musicians or the fans coming from out of town but the locals. It brings a lot of lively business and traffic to the city and to the people. For me as an artist, I think the most exciting thing is definitely the fans.

They’re very enthusiastic, and very excited to celebrate what makes Country music such a special genre, whether it’s seeing upcoming acts, established acts, new talent, current talent. It’s an honor to be part of the lineup and part of the culture of Country music.

2) You play the Hard Rock Stage on day #1; Thursday afternoon at 12:55 PM. In what ways do you feel that by playing this early in the festival, you can capture the fans heightened enthusiasm since it’s day one?

Everyone’s fresh! People are just starting the weekend off, so they won't be hungover or too tired. But really no matter when you play, CMA fans are always enthusiastic, which we love as artists. I think day one is going to be just as energetic as the last day. It’ll definitely be cool because I think there will be a lot of people taking off work, and everyone that saved up all year to come out to this festival are pumped to get the official stages going.

3) Plugging your performance here...why do fans absolutely need to add yours to their calendars and what can they expect from it?

My new EP, Downtime, is coming out next week on June 16th and we’ll be playing a lot of those songs – so everyone will get to see and hear a bunch of new and unreleased music. If they’ve never heard of me before, it gives them the opportunity to see our energy. I really got to dial in our set when we got to open for Sam Hunt last Summer in amphitheaters, which was a blast. It’s hard to capture that energy on Tiktok or social media, so I’ll be glad for everyone to feel that energy for themselves in person. And I have a current single called, “One Tequila,” come prepared to have a drink or two!

4) Last year (2022) was your first CMA Fest. What did you learn by playing last year – the do’s and don’ts- that you’re going to take with you into your performance this year?

Well, I learned last year not to wear too tight of pants on stage because my pants ripped while I was mid-performance - that was pretty embarrassing! We still had a good time though and turned it into some laughs. All the 'do's' honestly are just to have fun, go out there and do the best you can, and leave it all on the stage! At the end of the day people are there to see new artists and their favorite artists alike, so everybody's pretty graceful and sweet. I try to be as present and accessible to anyone who wants to meet, take a picture, or have a drink if our schedule allows it.

5) Besides the performance itself, are you taking part in any other events throughout CMA Fest weekend?

Having a good time with my friends and family - I have a lot of family coming to town. This is one of the highlights of their Summer, so I’ll be hanging out with family and friends and watching some of my other favorite artists play.

6) Tell us a little bit about your newest single, “One Tequila.”

Well - it’s a drinking song! But more uniquely, it’s about tequila which is my favorite alcohol, and it’s fun, and it’s something different than I’ve ever put out before. It’s got energy and tempo, but it’s also a bit of a sultry take on your standard drinking song. I love mixing the two vibes together. We got to do a really cool video around the song where I play an undercover cop trying to take down a Tequila baroness. Very Narcos inspired. Of course, a few tequila drinks in, I have to debate on whether to fall in love or do my job. We will conclude it with a second part of the story, which is the “Downtime” video that will be out soon.

7) You mentioned your new EP, Downtime, releasing on June 16, 2023. Why did you feel “One Tequila” was a great first introduction to the EP as a whole?

“One Tequila” has so much energy and tempo and was actually the first song we put a story-based video around, but the true EP introduction was back in February when we released, “Mess Me Up.” “Mess Me Up” really highlighted where I was when we started the creative process for this EP, so it was a perfect introduction to this set of songs. And watch out because we may have some “Mess Me Up” references in some tour dates that are coming up!

8) Which one song from the EP can you not wait for your fans to hear? And why that song...what does it mean to you?

All of these songs are on the EP for a reason - because I love them. “One Tequila’s” got the tempo. “Mess Me Up” has the emotion, and push and pull feel of a relationship. “Downtime” has that smooth and sexy feel, but I think the one that’s very underrated on the radar for right now, that’s starting to make a surge on social media would be “Fried Green Tomatoes.” It highlights so many references from my musical icons, and gives a nod to the sounds that got me into being a Country artist in the first place, so I’m excited for everyone to hear the full track with the EP.

9) We can’t let this chat go by without congratulating you on your songwriting success with Dustin Lynch’s “Party Mode.” When you wrote that song, did you absolutely know that it was a hit or was its success excitingly unexpected?

Well, the song says ‘Party Mode’ a million times throughout the song, which can be a good and a bad thing when you’re writing the songs. We knew we had a catchy tune when we wrote it, but you never really know if it will annoy people or get stuck in their heads – it’s a fine line. At the time I thought it could be either Dustin’s biggest song of his career as our co-writer, Jerry

Flowers, has once quoted, or it could be the worst song of his career. It turned out to do pretty darn good, so you know, I think now I expected it to be a hit, but back then, we just didn’t know.

10) We always end with this one, but what one piece of advice can you offer to someone who is just starting out and trying to break into the music industry?

“Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. Take your time with the process and don’t rush anything, and make sure that you know what you love. Make sure that what you do is what you actually love. There’s going to be a lot of people that try to sway you in two different directions and at the end of the day the only opinion that truly matters is your own.”


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