TL Romeo (The Rose That Grew From Concrete)
Hardships are very common in post-war countries so Romeo John Kollie wasn't no stranger to it. He was born on June 23, 2000, in Kesselley Blvd, Monrovia, Liberia. His family later moved a little over an hour further from the city to a more rural area at the time called Johnsonville. Romeo was raised in his family church where he sang and led the children choir, bible studies, and occasionally did evangelistic work with his father. At this time he was mostly hooked on gospel music but later grew to like the american band "West Life" after hearing his neighbor play their songs. Romeo later fell in love with Nigerian breakout artists at the time Timaya & P Square. Even Though he loved their music, Romeo wasn't only drawn to other countries' breakout artists, he also liked Takun J music a lot and used to write out his lyrics to learn to memorize it. When Romeo wasn’t partaking in church or other family activities, he was mostly roaming around with his older cousins and friends looking to join local soccer leagues. He enrolled at Wat Day Care & Elementary School, where he stayed until graduating from the sixth grade. Post-graduation, Romeo's half-Older brother took custody of him as a father/legal guardian, and moved to the US after successfully winning the electronic diversity visa program. This wasn’t the end of Romeo’s relationship with music, but in fact just a break. While spending the remainder of his childhood in both Willingboro, NJ, and Brooklyn, NY, Romeo didn't partake in music like before, but he still loved listening to Artists like, Meek Mill, and Drake. The summer before his freshman year of HS Romeo father got a job offer in Iowa, so they relocated from the east coast to the midwest where he attended West High School, in Iowa City, IA. After the move to the midwest, Romeo grew to love Chief Keef music, the late Speaker Knockerz and Lil Uzi Vert.
Aside from TL Roméo previous work from his junior & senior year of High School, which could be found on his soundcloud account, Romeo officially started building his highly commendable catalog in early 2019. On March 18th of 2019, TL Roméo debuted "Chapter 1: Endurance" as his first project. A year later in late 2020 during the quarantined age, he dropped Roméo vs TL bridging the gap between the sequel to Chapter 1, "Chapter 2: New Beginnings" which he dropped during the first quarter of 2021, on January 12th. He brought a wave of excitement to his long-lasting loyal supporters when his song “Like That” appeared on KD no Kevin Durant 2 by Chicago's own Ayoo Kd. Fans constantly applauds and glorifies TL Romeo for his outstanding performance on the song, and it currently sits in his top 5 on apple music. This project also featured Trippie Redd, and Romeo's verse was a favor returned to Ayoo Kd for their visual to a previous collaboration titled "Designer". Before dropping his debut project "Chapter 1: Endurance", Romeo returned to the east coast and stayed in his old neighborhood, in Brooklyn NY. While in New York he attended Talents management workshops with Nine9 Agency, which he completed and got a certificate for. He also built relationships with a couple notable engineers, and recorded the majority of his debut project at Contrackz Music Studios. Within and prior to the timeline of him advancing his musical catalog, Romeo also dropped a few highly commendable visuals filled with intellectual themes and mind blowing storylines. The music video to his well anticipated single titled “For Me” brought him to local stardom within the iowa city area in mid 2018 before he returned to the east coast. He resides in Brooklyn but travels back and forth from NY to IA. TL Romeo is set to drop a limited edition coffee table size book called “4 Starters”, which details his musical journey and gives out tips and guidelines to youngsters embarking on similar journeys. It may seem like he has done a lot, but not to Romeo. He has high hopes for the future, he has plans to keep building his catalog and tapping into other creative fields as his career grows and unfolds.
Musical Influences & Art:
TL Romeo musical influences vary because his environments had a mixture of different genres. Nevertheless, for the most part Chief Keef re-lit the spark and you could tell from Romeo’s earlier songs. Chief Keef didn’t only break barriers at such a young age, it was his ability to be free and be himself as a young teen that inspired numerous kids around the globe. Listening to Keef made Romeo tap into the version of himself he grew apart from due to courage loss. Before even releasing music or telling anyone he wrote songs, Romeo was constantly getting compared to breakout artists by school mates and acquaintances, they would often playfully call him Speaker Knockerz, Playboi carti, and Rich Homie Quan etc. Romeo didn’t recite or show anybody his songs because he was insecure of his accent, having been bullied about it in the past so he kept it a secret. But when Speaker Knockerz broke out onto the music scene, his playful and exuberant accent over wobbly, bass beats caught Romeo’s attention and broke him out of his shell. He then bought a microphone from amazon, which he used with a sock over it to record. Iowa was out of touch with the urban world, this often led him to frustration because he was the only one on his type of vibration. This was a long lasting problem for him which later made him return to the east coast. Next came Lil Uzi Vert , Uzi’s breakout made Romeo acknowledge that there's more to the musical path than just songs. He admired his character development and became to create one of his own. He implemented a symbol of his endurance through the trials & tribulations he faced at an early age with a tattooed red rose growing from concrete, it sits on the wrist of Romeo’s right hand and is almost the entire size of his wrist. The tattoo symbolizes endeavors and strength, which motivates him at his lowest points. He builds on the Rose That Grew From Concrete concept with his music substance and character development. He also has a tattoo of his debut project over his heart, and the sequel for it on his lower stomach. It’s safe to say Romeo music has become very meaningful to him. He hopes to inspire others with his story as his journey unfolds.