We’d like to introduce you to singer/songwriter Robin Shaw. At age 16, Robin started off as a street dancer competing in talent shows in hip-hop music in East Anglia and London, which included the TV show Britains Got Talent. In 2016, at age 23 Robin changed his direction and accomplished himself as a singer/songwriter after an audition in Soho, London. He began with a company called Regent Street Artists but is now an independent artist where he is recording with his same producer Chris Hall at a studio in Kings Cross. Robin is from South Norfolk and lives in Bressingham. He has a passion for songwriting and wordplay with his music styles ranging from hip hop to indie-pop.
We normally like to ask our guests some silly questions to get to know them before we push on with the more serious ones
What is the most useless talent you have?
Riding a bike and swimming is my useless talent as I cannot either ride or bike nor can I actually swim 🙂
What was the last tv series you watched on tv?
Afterlife Series 2 on Netflix. Both powerfully emotionally moving as well as hilarious.
Do you have any lucky items or objects or traditions?
I have a Saint Christopher which I do turn to or will rub if I need some luck or something to go well. It’s definitely a spiritual aspect for me to feel there could be saint Christopher potentially guiding me through different parts of life, although I’m not a religious person as such.
If you were a captain of a ship, what would you call it?
Shadow of the seas. Shadow because it’s the name of my Siberian husky dog. Plus it actually sounds really cool!
If you were talking to a younger version of you, what advice would you give yourself?
There are many things really. One would be to not worry at times. Opportunities will come along, just be patient. I would also say something that I already knew back then but I would say it again, your family and close friends are the most important things around. Also to stay kind. Kindness is the easiest thing to be in a world that can be very challenging. We all need it now and then.
And now to the more serious ones…
What first got you into music?
I started off as a street dancer competing in hip/hop talent shows. I enjoyed listening to Rnb and hip/hop music when I was a teenager and taught myself to freestyle dance as much as possible for different competitions. I always found music very powerful and a great way to deal with and process different situations in life. I studied English Literature for A-Levels and for as long as I can remember, I loved wordplay, writing stories and poems, etc. Writing my thoughts down was always something I enjoyed doing. It was after passing an audition in SoHo after being invited for a singing audition at a music company who was called back then ‘Downtown Artists’. I passed and have been working and recording with my music producer Chris Hall since 2016. Chris has built up his own professional studio in Kings Cross.
What is your favorite song to perform?
I’m not sure I could pick one so I’ll go with My favorite two songs which are between ‘Bus 2 Nowhere’ and ‘P45’. They are both very different in styles. ‘P45’ is far more rebellious and hip hop, ‘bus 2 nowhere’ is far more melodic and has a slightly more romantic feel. I feel like I’ve got the crowd’s attention more with these two when singing them, plus there’s more imagery in the wording in both which can add to the emotion and rhythm when performing.
With the pandemic, how have you found a way to get your music and your message out there?
I have found networking and contacting people have actually been slightly easier than before. Although you not always guaranteed a response, I’ve been really pleased that I’ve had momentum with my music being promoted via more publications just like yourself. Just 2 weeks ago, I woke up to find I was featured in a magazine in Mexico called ‘Cover MX’ which was just great, the next day it was featured in a magazine in the U.K. it’s so unpredictable during these times. Radio stations have helped whether they’ve been small community ones or BBC Introducing, I’ve been very fortunate with the support from these platforms. I have found myself building more connections as well with different DJ’s, other musicians and in many ways because there is less to do, people are more likely to respond than in the previous crazy, nonstop world we all experienced pre-COVID.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
I’ve been told various different and helpful little quotes that have helped me in my life both from family and friends. My dad always has told me to take little steps and to realize these things take time. My good mate Shano, once told me, “You’ll get a lot of rejections and No’s in life but eventually you’ll get a yes”. that has certainly been the case in this industry. You have to go through those No’s, which I’ve needed to learn to progress. It’s not always been easy but you do get better by it.
What’s sets your music apart? What is unique, or at least uncommon.
I can bring variety in my storytelling snd imagery in various genres such as Indie-Pop, hip/hop, rap and even Jazz. I like to challenge the slight norm of just being a one man genre. I’ve been fortunate with the producer I’ve got who is on the exact same wavelength as me and gets my vision and lyrics. That chemistry is key to production in my opinion. I would also say because I’ve got no real musical background or ever been to a ‘music type school’ or had any lessons of any kind adds to my determination. I feel I’ve been a slight underdog it in all and hopefully, that comes through in my approach to my music.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
As cliche, as it sounds my message, would simply be to believe in yourself. I once had my head of my sixth form me told me to discontinue my English Literature studies for A-Levels as I would let the school records down and It wouldn’t look good. I ignored that advice and passed English Literature. Had I of listened and took that on board, I may not have had the passion or interest in writing or being creative. It applies to anything, sport, teaching, anything, if you want something, believe in yourself. It’s the biggest tool you can have to give yourself the best chance.
What are your ambitions as a songwriter and musician from here?
To simply get my music heard as far and as wide as possible. I can’t wait to release my new projects in the near future. One of my songs is called ‘Today’s Generation’ which is a complete overview and perspective of political, revolutionary and cultural things that we have witnessed and happened over the last few years. It’s inspired by the song ‘We didn’t start the fire’ by Billy Joel. I also have ambitions of having my music licensed and used for possible commercial use in either film or advertising after assigning them to a company called ‘Sentric Music’ that would be a dream come true. I also really look forward to just recording again with my producer in London ( Chris Hall ) when it is safe to do so.
How do you go about writing a song, do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it?
In terms of writing a song, it starts off with random rhymes and lyrics that have been accumulated over a period of time. Once I see some sort of occurring theme in them, I try to roughly place them in some vague structure. It’s not always easy to nail a melody early on but the more I get the theme of the song and direction, the melody than just sort of comes with it. I’ve had some previous occasions where an original chorus has completely changed throughout the production process. In fact, that editing process in writing can be so exciting. You can never have it all set in stone early on, that’s just what I love learned and feel Anyway, as long as there is some direction. The input and view my producer has is crucial as it’s helped me develop my understanding of what I’m trying to do with my lyrics even more. Just go with the song and open your mind!