Marrying R&B and hip hop with electro, electronic production with keyboards and synths, Robert Robert makes music for you to kick back and relax to. In short, it’s as chill as he is. We spoke with the Montreal-based musician about his musical beginnings, music-making process, and plans for the future—which, if his current trajectory continues, is sure to be a bright one.
At five, Robert Robert picked up his first instrument, but cycling through piano, bass, and acoustic guitar, he couldn’t find the right fit. That is, until the tender age of 12 when he discovered electronic music. His dad and aunt introduced him to composition — his aunt showed him everything to do with music theory, while his father encouraged him the whole way through. By 15, his career was already in full swing. And by 19, he was attending the Musitechnic school and had released his first EP, Pastel, in September of 2014.
Needless to say, Robert Robert is still young.
But what he describes as his Latin-inspired music with hints of hip hop shows a precocious ear. “I try to mix everything, so I can hear what I want to hear.” And what he wants to hear is the “sense of peacefulness” that comes across in his beats, which—after listening to a couple of Robert Robert’s tracks—is probably all you’ll want to hear too.
Q: Why did you choose Robert Robert as your artist name?
A: I think life wanted it to be that way.
Taking things as they come, Robert Robert is inspired by everything visual and finds that his music often expresses what he sees in pictures or paintings. Though he doesn’t have lyrics in his songs, he still wants to convey the emotions that he experiences through his music. Along with the music itself, he accomplishes this through his album art, which expresses the colourful personality behind his tracks.
His passion? “being capable of producing what I want to hear,” says Robert. “In general, when I start something, I try to think of what I want to listen to, a sound that I can’t find anywhere else. I like the fact that the complete identity [of it] revolves around my music.” A lot of the help he gets producing those sounds comes from his current mentor—Laurent Malo, the musician/director/founder and creative director of SILVERSTAG Records—who has helped him produce video-clips and album art.
He believes that Montreal’s small size helps to make these kinds of partnerships possible, and is helping him to succeed at a young age. “[Montreal’s size] is an advantage, because the stage is smaller, so the exchanges are easier to make.”
In terms of his plans for the future, Robert Robert will be releasing a new EP in June. Differing greatly from the sound of Pastel, it’s set to feature five songs that he collaborated on with other artists who sing and rap on the tracks. You can catch him live in June and July at one of his shows, though they won’t all be in Montreal: “I try to do as many shows as possible, and before starting another project I want people to have heard my name somewhere [else].”
Robert Robert cited eclectic influences that included Mac DeMarco, Tyler, The Creator, Boards of Canada, and the vibe of Chance The Rapper for their unique personalities and sounds.