Since his debut single ‘Late Nights & Traffic Lights’ has been released, Robert Bearsby has quickly become an artist to watch over the coming year.
How do you feel about the response to your debut single ‘Late Nights & Traffic Lights’?
I have been blown away by the response to Late Nights to be honest. I never thought it would do as well as it has. It’s nice because as a songwriter you spend your life writing songs and you just don’t know if they’re any good, until you put them out there. To release a song and find out that people don’t hate it is a great feeling!
When you first started pursuing music why in particular did you initially not want to sing?
I didn’t ever see myself as a singer and I still don’t really. I get really intimidated when ‘proper’ singers watch me sing. I’ve only had one singing lesson in my life because my parents bought me one for a Christmas present last year, so I’m not trained at all. It’s just something I enjoy doing so I’m going to keep doing it.
The video for ‘Late Nights, Traffic Lights’, I felt was very intimate. Will your next video for ‘I’ll Adore You, For Tonight’ have a similar theme or have a different direction?
I’m really glad that came across, I wanted to do something very simple and intimate because for me the message in the song was so strong, and I didn’t want to take anything away from it. I don’t want to be too self indulgent with my music videos, (just yet), so for now i’m sticking with the performance style video. The idea behind the video for ‘I’ll Adore You, For Tonight’, was to do a performance with my band and give the amazing musicians that play with me, some airtime and let people see their faces.
Do you think living in New Zealand and Australia changed your perspective as a musician and if so how?
When I was working in New Zealand, I was the Marketing Manager of a bar/venue and we had some amazing artists and DJ’s come through which opened me up to a whole new side of music. I’d never really got on board with electronic music or hip hop until then, and now I love it. I think as a songwriter it’s important to listen to everything as you never know where you’re going to get ideas from. Rather than change my perspective I think it just opened my mind a little bit more.
When you were unable to record your first EP before you left for New Zealand, did you ever consider no longer wanting to pursue music?
Yes definitely. I kind of left with this “sod it” attitude and I didn’t play my guitar again properly for a year or so. It wasn’t until I was forced to pick it up because of my circumstances and busk for a living, that I really got back into it and remembered how much I love it. Thank god I did! Some of my friends in New Zealand didn’t even know I played or sung at all, and it wasn’t until Late Nights came out that they found out. I got a few ‘WHAT!?’ messages from people via
Facebook when the video first went up.
When you first started pursuing music why in particular did you initially not want to sing?
I didn’t ever see myself as a singer and I still don’t really. I get really intimidated when ‘proper’ singers watch me sing. I’ve only had one singing lesson in my life because my parents bought me one for a Christmas present last year so I’m not trained at all. It’s just something I enjoy doing so I’m going to keep doing it.
Would you say that now you are more confident as a vocalist and do you believe in your own abilities as a singer more?
Yeah, I think I am finally becoming more confident in my voice. It’s strange because the more you use it the more you can do with it. Six months ago I could never have sung some of the stuff that I can sing now, so I’m just hoping that I continue to learn and improve.
Has your time in New Zealand and Australia inspired your song writing style, and what have you been writing about since?
I gained a lot of life experience in my time abroad, and so I would say yes it definitely has. I think anyone who has travelled would say the same thing though. I write about all the experiences I’ve had and the people I have met. In all honesty I don’t plan it. Earlier today I was listening to music on the tube and just wrote the lyrics to a whole song out of nowhere. They come to me when they come to me, I never want to try and force it.
How much do you feel busking has played a part, in the type of musician you are today?
I think it shaped the musician I am today. I had to learn so much so quickly because I didn’t have another option. More than anything it helped build my confidence with singing and it got me back into music again.
Do you feel that when writing songs it is best to be honest and autobiographical?
Yes, absolutely! I can’t fake it when I write lyrics so I have to write very introspectively, about the way I feel and the things that I have experienced. People aren’t stupid and if your songs don’t mean anything to you they will see straight through it.
What can we expect from your debut EP ‘These Are The Good Old Days’ when released early next year?
There is going to be some new songs, some old songs and hopefully some big sing-a-long choruses. I am going to be collaborating more with my band and letting them have more of an input into the new songs, so I think they’ll have more of a live feel about them. The truth is I don’t know, but i’m excited about it!
What was your reaction to the fact that your first headline show sold out the venue and how do you feel the gig really went?
I didn’t actually realise that it had sold out at first, because there were no pre-sale tickets available, so I had no idea how it was going to go until the night. It wasn’t until I walked out to the bar area just before my set and found out that 5 people were stood in the entrance, because they couldn’t get in. Then I had this jaw drop… “woah” moment.
What would you say has been your best gig experience so far?
My best gig experience so far would probably have to be MusicVCancer up in Hartlepool up North. I met some fantastic musicians, It was for a great cause and the audience were all there to get involved, have fun and just enjoy the evening. What more could you want!
What are you listening to at the moment and does anything that you are listening to influence your music in any way?
Yes and no. The music I listen to definitely inspires me to try and better myself musically, but I also think it’s important to just stick to what you do and to not try and copy anyone. I never listen to music and think “i’m going to write a song like this!”
Would you ever consider collaborating with any other artists in the future?
Yeah absolutely, at the moment i’m quite focused on writing all of my own stuff and trying to make it as good as it can be. But if I ever got to a point where I had the opportunity to collaborate with other artists, I definitely would.
What are your thoughts on current music trends and the music industry in general at the moment?
There definitely seems to be a lot of movement in music at the moment. I am going to make a bold statement. I think music was becoming a lot more dance focused and electronic. But I think the next big thing is going to be punk. You can already see in the fashion world that punk is starting to appear more and more, and so I think the music will come with it. You heard it here first! I do love the variety of music available now I think there’s so many great artists about doing great things. It’s a tough industry to get into but I genuinely don’t know what else to do with my life. Someone once told me “find something you enjoy so much that you’d do it for free, and then try and find someone to pay you for it.” and that’s exactly what i’m trying to do!
Would you have ever considered entering a TV talent show like The X-Factor or Britain’s Got Talent to help start your music career?
I don’t know, I think I will keep doing what i’m doing for a while and see what happens. I don’t hate on those programs like some people do. They do what they do and people enjoy it, so I just leave them to it. To be honest it’s a ready made audience and as a singer/songwriter if you can get through to the millions of people watching the TV stages why wouldn’t you do it? A good friend of mine is trying out this year so I wish him the best of luck… and a support slot if he wins!
Do you plan to bring out a full album at some point after the release of your EP?
I’m not sure to be honest. I like the idea of EP’s because you can bring them out more frequently than albums so it gives your followers more to hear about. There’s nothing worse than a band that just keeps saying “hey, buy our album, hey, buy our album… hey, buy our album”. It gets frustrating and makes you want to stop following them. Like I said I never plan too far in advance, I am just taking it bit by bit and step by step. I plan to continue to write music for the rest of my life whether it’s professionally or not, so i’m just going to keep writing songs and we’ll just have to see what happens.
Robert’s upcoming single ‘I’ll Adore You, For Tonight’ will be available at all major digital retailers, on November 24th.
Written by Harry Towse