One of the main reasons Lorde landed at Lava Records and began her U.S. chart rise is because Natalia Romiszewski was having a terrible day on a rainy afternoon late last year.
The veteran music supervisor, who founded consulting company Sound Language in 2009, says she was “hating life and bitching about it” one day in November when her friend Victoria Tsigonis, who works in artist management and online marketing at Weapon of Choice, sent her a link to “Royals.” Lorde’s “The Love Club” EP had been released for free in the singer’s native country less than a week earlier, and Tsigonis had a friend in New Zealand who had passed it along to her.
“She said, ‘Listen to this. It will make you feel better,'” Romiszewski recalls. “I heard it and I was like, ‘Holy fuck.'”
Romiszewski promptly sent the song to Lava head Jason Flom, whom she has known since 2009 and for whom she had performed some spot A&R work. The two have similar musical tastes and frequently exchange new music online. “As a music supervisor, it’s my job to know stuff before anyone else, and that’s his job as well,” Romiszewski says.
A month later, Romiszewski delivered a similar forewarning about Lorde to Tom Windish: While hanging out with the Windish Agency president at a show last December, Romiszewski hyped up the mysterious teenager as the “next big thing,” and Windish asked her to introduce him to Flom, who was in discussions with Lorde’s management about a label deal at the time. Lorde inked a deal with the Windish Agency shortly after, and Windish says, “I’m happy to give [Romiszewski] credit for it.”
Tipping off a label head and a booking giant to the same undiscovered superstar before their competitors caught the scent has certainly paid dividends for Romiszewski: The New York resident, who joined branding company Man Made Music as director of business development and music strategy in June 2012, says she’s now joining Lava as an A&R representative. Romiszewski is still discussing her specific role with Flom, but she says that she’ll likely be working as a consultant with Lorde and other artists on the label roster.
Romiszewski says her “prom queen” moment occurred when she attended Lorde’s packed New York debut at Le Poisson Rouge in August: With Flom, Windish and many other industry executives in attendance, Romiszewski says she was blown away by the performance of her rainy-day discovery. The music supervisor even got to meet Lorde backstage after the show, and the teenager gave her a hug.
“She thanked me,” Romiszewski says, “and I was like, ‘Shut the fuck up. I should be thanking you!’ Jason did all of this-I was just the lucky person who heard it in the right place at the right time.”