Ask Jeannette Claudine Romeu what she does, and you’ll get a collection of answers. The fifth-generation musician is by turns a pianist, a drummer, a D.J., a painter, a writer, a philanthropist and a teacher. Romeu’s biggest challenge has always been honing her focus. “There are so many things I love,” Romeu explained. “It is difficult for me to do only one at a time.”
Instead, Romeu has turned her many passions into a collection of careers. By day, she maintains two online magazines on vegan eating and performs in occasional classical piano concerts. By night, she is Galaxy Girl, an electronica music personality and trance artist with a dedicated following.
Romeu was born in Havana but grew up in Madrid. Her musical appetite was whetted early—she began studying piano with her grandmother at three. By four, she had launched her singing career by putting together an album in which she sang in French, Spanish, and English. Romeu soon took to composing and singing for television.”I was born with a special music gift,” Romeu says. “It has always come easy to me.”
Legendary producer Tom Dowd became a mentor for Romeu.
Romeu’s devotion to classical performance shifted to jazz when she moved to New York City during high school. Instead of perfecting sonatas, Romeu began improvising pieces with her father, a musician who played with Nat King Cole. “It was a big asset for me to be able to play classical, it helped me immensely,” Romeu said. “Piano is a very demanding instrument and once you know how to write and how to read music, everything else seems to be very simple and very easy to learn.”
After graduating from high school, Romeu attended the University of Miami to study veterinary medicine. But two years in, she returned to her first love –music (“I wasn’t doing too well with my biology,” she quipped). She auditioned for the jazz performance program and was immediately accepted. “I was really ahead of my time, that really helped me a lot,” she said.
Romeu continued to play piano after college, recording an album with her father and another with Tom Dowd, a producer best known for his work with Aretha Franklin and Eric Clapton. Dowd became a mentor for Romeu. When he passed away, Romeu decided it was time to try something new.
This time, she took up drums and bass and began composing and recording electronic music. She soon took to the stage as Galaxy Girl, a futuristic identity that was inspired by a group of teenage fans who refused to call her any other name. As Galaxy Girl, Romeu has performed at electronic music and trance festivals all over the world. When she performs, she is surrounded by a sea of keyboards, and sports flamboyant outfits that match her music, such as a flight suit covered with tiny electronic lights and lit-up piping. Sometimes she is surrounded by dancers decked out Cirque du Soleil-style. Demand for her music has spawned “Galaxy Girl TV” as well as a Galaxy Girl magazine.
Applying entrepreneurial zeal to a multiplicity of ventures has given Jeanette the freedom to enjoy a variety of expressive activities that add satisfaction to her life. And she enjoys sharing her music as “spiritual” way of extending hope to others. “I consider myself a spiritual person, and it’s okay to be spiritual, nothing wrong with that,” she said. “Through my art, I try to tell people that it’s okay to have hope.” Through her actions, Romeu also inspires her fans to turn that hope into happiness by discovering their strengths, making a plan, and charting a course for success.