Influenced by Elliott Smith, David Bowie, Pixies and Weezer, Robbo is an indie-folk singer/songwriter with some serious acoustic guitar skills. After a five-year hiatus (for lack of a better word), Robbo is blasting through your headphones with his new single ‘Ghosting’. We had a chance to speak with the man himself about ‘Ghosting’, motivation and discovering new music.
Why did you decide to enter the music industry?
Music has always been a huge part of my life. From growing up where music was always on in the house to now where I rarely go a day without listening to something. It’s something that I’ve always taken from to help myself out and I thought it’s time to try and give a little back.
Can you tell us about your single ‘Ghosting’?
Yeah, ‘Ghosting’ is mostly about social anxiety and the fear you get the morning after a night out. Was I too much? Did I piss people off? The overthinking that inevitably stumbles you into believing you need to hide away and give people a break.
What was the recording and writing process like?
I have a habit of overthinking a lot of what I do; a trait I’m sure many others share. So, when it comes to sitting down and writing songs, I can’t just sit down and decide to write something. It has to happen naturally. I have written some awful stuff when I’ve tried to write within a structure. ‘Ghosting’ was written on the sofa watching tv.
Recording is a much different process. I need the right setup, to be in the right room, at the right time; but, I also need to be in the right mood. If I’m not in the right mind space, everything will sound bad to me and I’ll have to try another day.
Does ‘Ghosting’ have any significant meaning for you?
Yeah, definitely. It’s heavily based on my experience with insecurity and self-doubt that I feel we all go through at one stage or another. For me, I feel it when I’m out with friends. I’m conscious of what sort of impression I’m leaving and, after a few beers, that fear goes, but it will always return the morning after.
What do you hope people will take from the single?
I hope people find some truth in it. I feel a lot of what I say and do is shared with the majority but isn’t something that is publicised. I hope that if I’m honest with my experience others can be too and we can all find some value in that.
What is more challenging to you – melody or lyrics?
Definitely lyrics. It’s so intimate. My music truly is a form of therapy for me. Lyrics are like diary entries and I’m just trying to get thoughts out in front of me so I can begin to understand them. So there’s a real battle between truthful lyrics and what I want to share with the world.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
It’s definitely one of the harder battles of my life, especially with everything that’s going on right now. A lot of it comes from forcing myself to do something until I enjoy it. Maybe I’m not in the mood to write and record, but I know if I set everything up and pick up the guitar the motivation will come.
How would you describe your sound?
Self-reflective. Very DIY and rough around the edges. I guess ‘Ghosting’ would be labelled as alternative folk, but I also took a lot of inspiration from bands like Violent Femmes, Girls, Car Seat Headrest and Pixies.
What do you think is the best way to discover new music?
Ask people what they’ve been listening to recently and look for connections. I love Spotify’s radio feature; if I hear something I like I always want to see what other songs it would sit nicely next to.
What does the rest of 2020 hold for Robbo?
What does it hold for any of us? Hopefully, soon enough I can get some live shows in as I’ve been working on some more stuff with a full band and a bigger sound. Maybe we’ll see an EP at some point this year.
Do you have a message for our readers?
Just keep going. I feel like it’s very easy in the current situation for every day to start merging into one like you’re stuck in a time loop. It’s important to remember tomorrow still exists and there’s always gonna be a new day. Stay safe and stay strong.