Rome Flynn is a man of many talents. Not only is he an Emmy-award winning actor, but now he’s also ready to become a face of R&B.
The Afro-Cuban entertainer just released his new, sultry single “Keep Me In Mind.” It serves as a follow up to his 2019 teaser “Brand New.”
He’s also starring in the final season of Shonda Rhimes’ hit series How To Get Away With Murder.
I recently got the chance to chat with Flynn about “Keep Me In Mind,” the HTGAWM finale, how one should shoot their shot at him, him being called “Walmart Wes” and more. Check out our conversation below:
How have you been adjusting to Quarantine?
Rome: It hasn’t been a huge adjustment. For me, if I’m not working or doing something busy, I’m at home. So it’s been easier for me. I got instruments around my house. I got things to distract me.
What instruments do you play?
Rome: I play piano, electric guitar, acoustic, bass and drums. I think that’s it.
So you play the whole band?
Rome: Basically (laughs).
You’re currently starring in How To Get Away With Murder, and it’s wrapping up. These last few episodes have been bananas. My friends and I have been going back and forth on what we think is going to happen. Do you think the fans will appreciate it how it wraps up?
Rome: You know you hope. I think there are going to be people that won’t be happy. You can’t please everybody. The only thing that you really can look forward to is that something unexpected will happen.
Of course. (laughs)
Rome: That’s like the only thing you can try to hope for — is something that you don’t expect to end the way it ends. I think people will have that aspect of it.
Now your no stranger to acting, but what have you learned about your craft from being on the series.
Rome: I’ve learned a lot. I’ve got to work with a lot of amazing actors and talents like Viola Davis, Cicely Tyson and Billy Brown. And also Glynn Turman who was nominated for an Emmy for his role last season. The seasoned vets I’ve been able to be around and work with closely… Just being around them — they just make you better. So I’ve been extremely fortunate to work on this show with these prolific Black actors and actresses who really are at the top of their craft.
Definitely. Your new single “Keep Me In Mind” is out right now. And I gotta tell you, it’s fire.
Rome: Thank you.
What inspired the song?
Rome: I wrote this song back in March. And I realized it was like a universal thing. A lot of people think it’s about somebody cheating, but it’s not to me. It’s kind of a reflection on how sometimes people get trapped in their circumstances. In a relationship, we kind of take a backseat sometimes. And this song is just to remind you to keep me in mind. You don’t have to go through the situation that you’re in. You’re in control of who you give your time to. You should be treated how you see yourself.
Now the song you dropped last year “Brand New” was upbeat with a sensual side message. But this song is more direct and showcases a deeper and richer side of your voice and your pen. Was that an intentional transition between the two?
Rome: “Brand New” was a record that I did with this artist and this writer named Breland. He’s super talented.
Breland… “My Truck?”
Rome: Yep, yep, yep.
Rome: Before he actually blew up doing the country trap stuff, he is still is a great writer, but that’s also only what he did. He only wrote songs. So I went to Atlanta and we worked together on a few records. “Brand New” was one of them. He was really instrumental for that record. So his voice is in there as far as his perspective. As far as “Keep Me In Mind,” it’s the brainchild of me being in the studio by myself and the engineer. So that’s why you get a different tone and also a different intimate connection with the record. I wrote it alone. There wasn’t anyone else influencing me beside Elijah Blake who’s a homie of mine and dope artist. He was in the studio when I wrote the hook. He’s an amazing vocal arranger, so I brought him to just get his ear on what I was doing. So it’s two separate messages, so like a progression. The EP Imma drop is gonna kind of be similar in a way.
Your EP will be out later this year. Will we get more of songs like “Keep Me In Mind” or will your project explore a few more styles of R&B but still come solely from your perspective?
Rome: It’s going to be two in-betweens. I have a body of work that mirrors “Keep Me In Mind.” I’m already done with it. There is other stuff that I do have. I’ve got up-tempo stuff like dancehall stuff. I just have so many different sounds. I’m going to put a mixtape together for that. But as far as the EP, it’ll mirror that part of my life when I wrote: “Keep Me In Mind.”
That sounds dope. Should we be looking for any features on your EP?
Rome: I’m not putting a lot of stress on it, but I do have a couple of friends that are super talented artists. I’ve been talking to Bia a lot. I want to work with more women for this EP if I do work with any. I was talking to Sevyn about working together. We got good energy and chemistry. If something like that does pan out, I would love it. But I’m totally okay with putting this EP out with just me on it — just from my perspective.
Got you. Now a couple of weeks ago on Twitter, you shared your height in feet, inches and centimeters and clarified that you’re single. How could anyone who wants you to keep them in mind shoot their shot?
Rome: (laughs) I actually put that out because I got so tired of all the speculation and people speaking for me. A lot fans carry misinformation and talk for me. “No, no, he’s married. He’s this. He’s that.” So I just wanted to be like, “Look, these are the facts. If you see anybody that’s misinformed, send this to them.” I think a lot of people thought I was talking about somebody specific. They thought it was like a, you know… (laughs)
A drag. (laughs)
Rome: Yeah they thought I was dragging somebody. (laughs) “If you see this let her know how I feel haha.” It just coincidentally came out that way. But yeah, it’s difficult for me as far as shooting your shot. People shoot their shot at me all day long. And I’m fine with that. That’s cool. I just think people got to be a little more original. Instead of sliding and saying, “Hey, I’m shooting my shot.” I don’t know if that counts as a shot. I’ve had people moms reach out to me. They’ll hit me and say my daughter’s graduating college… she’s doing this and that. They’ll send a picture and the girl won’t even know their mom is doing this which is hilarious. So I guess my advice is to just be original. It’s real trendy out right now. That kind of stuff don’t catch my eye.
Be original. Speaking of the twitterverse, your name has been in the mix to play Hercules since news broke about the live-action remake. But you’re also a lot of fan picks to play Prince Naveen should a Princess and The Frog live-action happen. If you could be in one, which one would you choose?
Rome: Hmmm. I’m going to say Hercules because that’s the one that’s being made. (laughs) I would love to be Prince Naveen, I just don’t see any plans of Disney doing it. I would love to do either of those characters. It’s always super flattering when people say they could see me as anybody else. It encourages me to keep going.
Now one final question for you, since we’re already in the twitterverse. A few weeks ago people were asking you about not appearing in many scenes in an episode of HTGAWM. And you responded back and said it’s because they called you “Walmart Wes.”
I saw it as sarcasm, but how you’d feel about being called “Walmart Wes?”
Rome: I just wanted to join in on the fun man.
Rome: From the moment I got there, there was friction from fans about me. You know, it’s not their fault. It’s the fact that I’m brown skin and Alfred’s also brown skin. People saw me as his replacement. He was such a beloved character that when I got there people already kind of brushed me off. So that’s when the “Walmart Wes” stuff started happening. Initially, I was like damn. (laughs) Give me a chance. I think that over time they did. And now they see Gabriel. Either they hate him or they love him, and that means I’ve done my job well. But I just wanted to laugh with them and let them know I see what they’re saying. And Walmart’s cool man. We need Walmart. Everybody goes to Walmart.
Rome: They hit themselves. They at Walmart all the time. It’s like they need me. That’s all I’m saying. (laughs)
Rome Flynn’s new single “Keep Me in Mind” is available for purchase and streaming on digital platforms now.
You can check out the official video for his single below: