Rome Flynn has gone from ‘Murder’ to music, and he has Rihanna to thank. The ‘HTGAWM’ star tells HollywoodLife how Rih’s encouragement was instrumental in him pursuing this new career path.
As fans of A Star Is Born know, there can be 100 people in a room, and 99 of them don’t believe in you, but all it takes is one, and it just changes your whole life. It also helps if that one person is Rihanna. Just ask Rome Flynn, because it happened to him. In Oct. 2019, the actor — best known for his role as Gabriel Maddox on How To Get Away With Murder — posted an Instagram clip him singing John Mayer’s “Gravity.” This performance caught the eye of Rihanna, who sent him a congratulatory DM. “Yeah, it was random because I had never met her or anything,” Rome, 28, says in an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. “I was at the point where I was in the middle of trying to figure out what I was doing with music and acting. And it had become kind of difficult to maintain both at the same time. And I didn’t know what direction I wanted to go, and then I got a DM from [Rihanna] almost right after I was thinking about that situation.”
“She sent one of the videos I had put on my IG. She said that I had a great voice, and I was like, ‘Wow, I appreciate that, Queen,’” Rome tells HollywoodLife. The Bold and the Beautiful star would share a screenshot of the conversation (“Ri damn diculous!!! Man I didn’t know you could sing, much less sing this great! Great job, man”) afterward, just to prove that yes, Rihanna did DM him. And since it’s not every day that Rome has Rih’s attention, he decided to take his shot: “I told her to let me get that ‘R9’ and she told me to send her my EP first,” he tells HollywoodLife.
So, blame Rome for Rihanna delaying her long-awaited album (actually, don’t. Instead, check out his new song, “Keep Me In Mind,” which he released in April). While Rihanna’s encouragement did instill some confidence in Rome, he tells HollywoodLife that music has always been a first love. “I started doing music before acting came about, but acting just took off on its own, so I kind of put it aside until I had the time and space to revisit it again. But I’ve always loved music, you know, playing guitar and singing for years and years. I decided to wait until I was able to have the creative space to do it again.”
Mediapunch/Shutterstock“It was just something that I was drawn to at a young age,” he says after asked how he got into performing. “[F]inding an escape to write and record, teaching myself guitar. I think it was interesting to be able to learn something else that really made me want to do it.”
With HTGAWM concluding in April, Rome has transitioned from acting to music, but he says, “It’s all synonymous. I mean, especially nowadays, you can do anything, you know, right. But I’m trying to live in both places. Obviously, I love acting and still have other interests, but I’m just allowing myself to be more vulnerable with letting people see or hear music that I’m making.”
So, fans can expect him to continue doing both music and acting? “Yeah, yeah, definitely,” he tells HollywoodLife. “You know, it’s one of those things where what am I doing in that kind of space, like Jamie Foxx obviously, like, so many of the records, but also Oscar-winning actor, that’s kind of like the catalyst of what I would probably try to emulate in a way.”