Sarah Blackwood and Gianni (Luminati) Nicassio say that as soon as their son Romeo started eating solid foods, “he ate it all.”
“We gave him a huge bowl of olives when he was very young, like, right from the womb, for lack of a better term,” Nicassio told CBC Toronto.
“And I remember we just turned around and then came back and they were all gone, and he was like, like pointing at the bowl.”
The couple, who lead indie pop group Walk Off The Earth, now have a Juno-nominated son. At age four, he got the green light to Walk Out of the Land and Romeo Eats, Vol. 1 in the Youth Album of the Year category.
He is also the youngest Juno nominee since the awards began 52 years ago. Canadian actor and wonder Star Simu Liu hosts the 2022 show on Sunday.
Blackwood said she was shocked by Romeo’s passion for food at such a young age.
“We have two other kids…and we know sometimes they don’t have the most extensive palates, but he was just ready to eat anything and everything.”
A child of fruits and vegetables
Romeo’s journey from foodie baby to Juno nominee began when he and his dad started eating various fruits and vegetables together in their stories and social media livestreams.
“It all sort of happened naturally,” Nicassio said, “I was just eating random stuff, and he was like, ‘Dada, I want some,’ or whatever. And yeah, so I finally found my food soul mate.”
Blackwood said people connected to Romeo’s diverse palate were eager to see more.
“As we went along, because we knew people were interested, we just said, ‘Let’s do a show,’ and we put it up, we put up a set, we did a lot of research on all kinds of different foods, fruits and vegetables and foods.”
This is how the series Romeo eats was born, where Romeo and his father tried all kinds of foods, vegetables and fruits from all over the world.
The series encouraged other children and adults to try new foods.
“We get a lot of messages from people in their 30s and 40s who haven’t tried certain things in their entire lives,” Nicassio said.
“They’re like, wow, after seeing Romeo’s love for mushrooms, all of a sudden they like mushrooms now, like that’s really inspiring for old people too.”
A journey in music
As musicians, the presence of Blackwood and Nicassio is felt in the Romeo eats series.
Blackwood said that as they began to embark on production for the series, they came up with the idea of creating a song for each episode.
“In true Walk Off The Earth fashion, we took it to the next level. We made each song in a different genre.
“We made the lyrics hilarious, we were laughing so much in the writing room just writing the songs.”
This is how they ended up with different albums for each season.
Walk Out of the Land and Romeo Eats, Vol. 1 has firecrackers like The sushi songwhich is Romeo’s favorite.
Spin-offs in preparation
The Juno nominee said he was thrilled to wear “avocado pants” to the big event, taking place in Toronto this year, in honor of one of his favorite foods.
As for the future of Romeo eatsNicassio said they would like to continue making the series.
“I think we’re going to do some spin-offs. We already have one called Romeo Dinewhere he is invited to high-end restaurants and tests the entire menu.
“And we can make a Romeo grows up series because he really likes growing vegetables and tomatoes and stuff like that.”
Blackwood said she was thrilled to watch her children “grow up as artists and creators.”
“That’s kind of all we know how to do, so it’s nice to see that they’re interested in that kind of stuff.”