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Bucks go for ‘Glory’ as the opening track to their next championship run

You can’t separate sports and music. Think about all the songs that found their way into the game and become tradition — “ Seven Nation Army,” “ Jump Around,” “ Where the Streets Have No Name.” You hear them in your daily life … nothing. You put them in an arena, and it’s 18,000 people with chills running down every one of their spines.

L.A.-based and Milwaukee-born Trevis Romell, who uses “ Romell” as his stage name, is about to unleash that feeling on Bucks fans. Because the two-time (soon to be three-time) champions licensed his new single “Glory” to use as an official anthem throughout the season.

Hit play on the track, and in the time it takes Giannis to get to the rim (not long), you’ll be on board with the team’s choice. The very first sound you hear is unmistakably anthemic, and every sound after keeps that promise. It’s a “run through a brick wall” kind of song.

But how does a Milwaukee kid who found music in church grow up to take center stage for his hometown team on opening night? How does a song released in September become part of the season soundtrack for an NBA title contender?

HYFIN’s Kim Shine found out when she sat down with Romell at Radio Milwaukee before his first Fiserv Forum rehearsal in advance of Saturday’s pregame performance (musicians gotta practice, too).
Romell brings "Glory" to his hometown

The transcribed interview below has been edited for length and clarity.

KS: How’re you feeling today?

Romell: I feel real good, I feel blessed. Fresh off the plane. Had to come straight here. Facts. I had to get some food first , then I had to pull up here. But yeah, it's first stop. First stop.

KS: You're here for a really important reason, a really big reason dealing with the Bucks.

Romell: Yeah.

KS: Congratulations on having this theme-song anthem for the Bucks, for the new season, your song “Glory.” Talk about that.

Romell: “Glory,” kind of self-explanatory. But being a kid from Milwaukee, we're not given anything. Everything is earned here, and we all feel like we deserve something here. And I just had to express that. And I figured out how to express things out loud the right way, when before I wouldn’t. It's the glory. We deserve to be on top. That's where we were two years ago, the Bucks. We should be back to back right now, but Middleton was hurt. But we ain't going to talk about that.

KS: Nope. The focus is you right now.

Romell: But “Glory,” it's a worldly track. It's for everybody. It's for everybody. It's not just for one genre; it's for everybody.

KS: When fans hear this song, of course you want them to be pumped at the game. But you just said, "It's for everybody." What do you want fans to take away from that?

Romell: To actually overcome every obstacle possible, to think the unthinkable is possible. Anything is possible in this world. We don't have these thoughts in our heads for no reason. We have to live them out loud, and you deserve that. So, “Glory.”

KS: That’s a good message. And I know that Giannis, the rest of the team, that's what they want fans to experience and feel when they come to the games too. But how did you hook up with the Bucks to make this happen?

Romell: Actually, I just dropped the record. Shout out my man Greg at Position Music. I dropped the record, put it out as I do, because I do a lot of things for TV and film because that's primarily where I've been for a while, just doing music there and stuff. And I put the record out, and then DJ Shawna, the official Bucks DJ, she just texted me and was like, "Yo, send me that MP3." I didn't think nothing of it. I'm like, "Yeah, I got you." Sent it to her. Next thing I know, I'm in a whole thread with the whole Bucks organization. Like, "Yo, this is it. We need you, we need this record. Would you come perform?" I'm like, "Yeah." You feel me?

It really just happened. It really happened, and it's all God's timing. Everything is about timing. It just feels like this was the perfect moment for it to actually be fully displayed. It's been out, but this is going to be like a coming-out party. It is honestly probably my single release for this, it kind of feels like.

KS: It's awesome to just do it in your hometown. There's nothing like that.

Romell: Facts. For my town, my team. I'm one of those fans that's going crazy and watching the games, yelling. We won the championship, I was running the streets yelling. I lost my voice for two days. I'm a real-life Bucks fan, Packer fan, all of that. So to be able to come home and really just celebrate with my city and my team and what I've been working on away from home, to come back here and do this is real special, like a full-circle moment.

KS: So you're going to be performing for the pregame on Saturday, for the home game that's here, for the new season. Tell us about that.

Romell: I'm excited. I can't give away everything yet on what's going on.

KS: Aw, man, come on.

Romell: Honestly, I can't because I ain't even did the rehearsals yet, so I don't know what's going on. I told you this is my first stop. They've told me a few things of what's going to happen, and I'm excited for it. I'm just super excited to be a part of this, and it's going to be super magical because I remember those moments of seeing the home opener and just how excited . But now I'm going to be the one down there. It's crazy. It's crazy.

KS: How long have you been in the industry?

Romell: For about 15 years.

KS: How does this experience stack up against everything else that you've done?

Romell: Oh, this like my Grammy. It's like my Grammy right here, for real, for real. You got to think, being from Milwaukee, you want that support from home. Sometimes as artists, we try to force our way to get that support, but we really don't get it. Coming home to do something for the Bucks, that's worldly. We love the Bucks here. And that's the ultimate stamp on “I'm doing something right. I'm actually in the right direction.” I wasn't begging, I wasn't doing nothing. I was just working. And that's what Milwaukee is about — just work, and it'll happen.

KS: When you wrote this song, were you thinking that this should be a sports anthem?

Romell: That's all I write. Honestly, that's all I think about every song. If you go through what I do, I always think about stadiums, big. Where could this be? Where could this go? Everything I do, I want it to be anthemic. I want it to be literally somebody's anthem, somebody somewhere. So I definitely always have that in mind.

KS: That's a great way to think when you're writing, because you're coming out of yourself.

Romell: 100%.

KS: And you're thinking about the listener and, “How can I inspire you?”

Romell: And at the same time, how can I still inspire myself? Because I still listen to records that I do, and I still get that same feeling of just a consumer. If I feel that way about it, I know somebody will feel that way about it.

KS: We talked about the experience and how that's stacked up. But this exposure, how does that propel you even more?

Romell: We got to figure that out. I don't know. Honestly, I've been doing a lot of great things, grace of God. I'm very, very happy on what I'm doing with the TV and film world. But this is probably one of the biggest moments as far as exposure because you finally seeing the face with the music now, and everything is kind of matching up. I'm prepared for it. I've been working for it all my life. But this is definitely one of those moments where it's like, "Yo. All right, they looking dead at me." Like, "Nah, bro. You by yourself out here, kid." Straight up.

KS: So when you perform, is it just going to be you, or can we expect some surprises maybe from the team? What should fans expect on Saturday?

Romell: I don't know. I got to go to rehearsals first. Like I said, it's going to be entertaining. Straight up. But it's going to be anthemic, it's going to be beautiful. Might have a choir. You feel me? Might. We will. It's going to be dope, man. It's going to be dope. It's going to be energy. It's going to start slow, but that energy is going to come. I'm ready for it, though. I'm ready.

KS: When you think about these sports theme songs, what is your favorite one? Is there one in your mind that you're like, "Man, this is the greatest one?"

Romell: The one that I've done? Or just any one, period?

KS: Just any one.

Romell: I don't know the name. Oooooh, oh-oh-oh-oh, oooooh ooooh. Genius. It's nothing. It's just melody and just energy. Build up, build up, build up. That's going to be around forever, and it is always going to give you the same feeling, that momentum, that energy of, "Let's go." I love that. I love doing that music.

KS: Now that you're in this moment — full-circle moment like you said — anything else that comes to you?

Romell: Honestly, I just want to enjoy this moment because I've worked so hard to have this moment. I just want to kind of stay present in this moment right now. It's not nothing else I really want to tap into or talk about because this is all I'm thinking about. And this is all I dreamed of right here, of doing something for my city and displaying my talents for my city on the biggest stage. And that's one of the best franchises in the world, the Bucks. So I'm just real thankful and just focused and just super present right now. Super present.

KS: We appreciate you again for coming. Thank you for talking to us about it. It is a big deal, and we wish you the best.

Romell: I appreciate you.

KS: Go Bucks.

Romell: Yeah!