Fresh off appearing on British talent competiton The Voice UK 2016, Tobias Robertson from South Wales, had a chat with Trackd about the one song he wishes he had written, the musicians he’d like to collaborate with, and how he’s using Trackd to produce his next release! Enjoy!
Trackd: Who are you?
Tobias Robertson: I am Tobias Robertson, 23 year old self employed musician and soon to be (hopefully) owner of a music studio.
T: Where is home?
TR: I live in Newport, South Wales, but work in and around all parts of Wales from East to West and occasionally pop along the M4 to visit Bristol and other places I’m needed.
T: Many people may recognise you from The Voice in 2016. What positives and negatives came out of performing live on national television?
TR: I’ve been performing music live since I was 16, but had never done something as big as national TV until this year. It was an incredible experience and the team that create The Voice are an incredible bunch of people, and lovely to boot. I’ve thought about the experience often since it finished and what I took away from it was that in all honesty TV fame is short lived and I’m glad of that. I got kind of bored of having the same conversation several times a day. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in any way regretting doing the show, it was fantastic! In short, I wouldn’t do it again but I’m glad I did it.
T: Do you have a songwriting process? Where do you get your inspiration from?
TR: My songwriting has always been a very real kind of therapy for me. As a kid there were feelings I had and thoughts in my head that I didn’t want to burden people with and writing them down in song became the easiest way to decipher my own thoughts. To express any bad feelings without inflicting them on my friends was such a great discovery. When I performed them I was terrified but people really enjoyed them and I enjoyed being so honest on stage and telling people about my life. My inspiration comes purely from my own experience, sometimes it’s a feeling that I’ve had and I imagine a story that creates that feeling and other times it’s a real story that’s happened to me. “People often ask “What/who was that song about?” and I sometimes have to bend the truth or not tell people because they’ll know the person.
T: What’s your favourite song to perform live?
TR: My favourite song to perform live is a song called “Time For You” that I wrote about being busy but making time for loved ones. I think everyone feels that so they get where I’m coming from with it. It’s got a bit of humour in it but at it’s core it’s about strengthening love with time spent. It’s my favourite at the moment, but that could change at any time.
T: Is there one song out there you wished you’d written?
TR: There are several but if there was one song I wished I’d written above all it would have to be Superstition by Stevie Wonder. Imagine being in that studio when the completed master stopped playing for that first time. Crazy.
T: Collaboration is key in music. Give us your top 3 musicians who you’d love collaborate with and why?
TR: I would love to collaborate with a musician called Chris Thile as he’s got a brilliant mind and uses a lot of unusual chord progressions. Second, I would choose Elton John because imagine the wealth of knowledge that man holds in his head! Third and final choice has to be Pino Palladino because that man could teach you anything about groove, feel and placement. I have to say this was really hard and if I’m allowed honourable mentions then Charlie Winston, Victor Wooten, Bernard Perdie, anyone from Toto, Newton Faulkner.
T: What’s next on the horizon for Tobias Robertson?
TR: My next steps involve working on self producing an EP with some new bandmates I’ve acquired. We’re currently using Trackd to write the parts. I record a demo and then invite them all to add their parts, then we use the chat to discuss what fits. Once they’re done then we can rehearse and record. Then it’s on to planning the release, getting a music video or two done. Then seeing if a tour could become possible sometime next year! Thanks for your time, I appreciate anyone who lets me ramble about my passions…
Interview by Charlotte Final – Trackd talk at Bridgend College, October 2016
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