Robin Kelly - Singer, Songwriter, Recording
"Robin Kelly is an artist worthy of audience, respect, and praise."
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
New Zealand guitarist, singer-songwriter Robin Kelly releases “Something Magical” in 2010. This is his 4th release so far. Overall this release from Robin Kelly is extremely impressive. Its strong suit is his strong musical variety, deep emotional peaks and valleys, and thought provoking subject matter. Kelly's' conventional wisdom is simply priceless. He tells each story with peaceful tranquility, hope, and pure honesty. When this CD is over you will be dazzled by his wisdom, touched by his message, and mesmerized by his vocal presence. My hats off to entire the production team as "Something Magical” is clearly an industry standard production. Its obvious listening to the music of Robin Kelly – he is a traveler with many interesting stories to tell. Robin Kelly is an artist worthy of audience, respect, and praise.
IMD - Something Magical is your 4th release, how does it differ from your previous releases?
ROBIN KELLYEach album has had a different flavor. ‘Black Ice ‘(12 yrs before AC/DC's version) was dark and rootsy, Silk and Knives my first with Mike McCarthy softer, lighter but with a cutting edge, ‘Shimmer’ guitar country rock based, and ‘Something Magical’ folk based with a gospel feel. A more personal statement, with songs that fit into my presentations. In general the more bare bones guitar vocal songs like The Moment connect best in this setting.
IMD Listening to your music I get the impression artists like John Lennon and Don McLean had some musical influence – am I off the mark there?
ROBIN KELLY Completely right – Lennon was an extra ordinary songwriter, whose lyrics cut like a knife through McCartney’s softer lyrics and melodies. Don McLean – a master story weaver – I saw him live once and was inspired.
IMD Have you ever heard “Starry Starry Night” by Don McLean? What do you think about that particular song?
ROBIN KELLY A magical song –probably the most poetic song ever. Both a story and a painting.
In general I try to paint pictures with my songs –evoking a mystical image, but occasionally I write a narrative song – eg Running Wild, The Dusty Road….
Favorite narrative song of all time Dylan’s Desolation Row
IMD Who have been some of your biggest musical influences over the years?
ROBIN KELLY The writers that emerged in the 60s and 70s that embraced songs about anything. So obviously Dylan, Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Byrds, Kinks (Ray Davies), Roxy Music, early Elton John, Van Morrison. Emmylou Harris, Allyson Kraus and more recently Ryan Adams and Ron Sexsmith.
IMD Who gets to be you all time favorite artist?
ROBIN KELLY I think Bob Dylan. Favorite Dylan quote: “When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it –don’t back down and don’t give up – then you going to mystify a lot of folks.”
IMD What do want your fans to take away from your music?
ROBIN KELLY I want them to create their own images from the songs. My style tries not to get in the way of this. I would like to think that repeated listening brings new insights.
Whatever I write seems to have a peaceful effect – as you know I carry very little angst.
"When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it –
don’t back down and don’t give up – then you going to mystify a lot of folks.”
IMD What was the best concert you’ve ever been to?
ROBIN KELLY Last year’s Leonard Cohen concert. Astounding band, and a profound experience all round.
A close second, seeing Elton John circa 1973 in a converted North London cinema. 3 hours and the first time he performed Candle in the Wind.
IMD As I understand it you are a Holistic Healing, how does your music tie into that?
ROBIN KELLY Creativity and intuition are often a focus in my one to one consultations. Music –not just New Age music – has a known scientific effect on our immune systems. Its about walking the talk.
I am a writer on my 3rd book, so do a lot of presentations which incorporate music to keep people relaxed and entertained.
IMD How did you get into that in the first place?
ROBIN KELLY Drawn to Chinese medicine once I introduced acupuncture into my medical practice in the early eighties. Bit of a long story after that, got most on my website under About Us.
IMD What part of New Zealand do you reside?
ROBIN KELLY North Shore of Auckland, North Island largest city with 1.2 million
IMD How’s the music scene there?
ROBIN KELLY Active, Neil Finn (Crowded House) lives here, good new singer songwriters Ladyhawke etc. And of course the brilliant Flight of the Conchords
IMD What’s next for Robin Kelly?
ROBIN KELLY The doors are opening for more presentations and performances on the back of my successful writing –with better fees from corporate etc. I would love to have the opportunity for more music based performance with the session musicians used on my albums – Mike and guitarist Rob Galley. It is tough for singer songwriters with original material, especially older folk like myself, as many of my generation connect principally with the music of their youth – a nostalgic thing. I want to challenge this, and inspire all ages to take a risk with their creativity. I am writing a new book The Human Hologram, the title of my recent presentations, all about how we appear to live in a virtual reality. Doing a lot of radio and some film work. Juggling all this with my busy practice. I want the quality of my music to match my other work. Hard copy CD's are sold, almost exclusively via live gigs. As my busy life doesn’t include gigging around in bars and cafes, I need to capitalize on the media exposure I get to promote my music. On a commercial level, I’m keen to expose my songs to other artists ( eg Michael Buble!), movie sound tracks etc. Why all this – of all the things I do, my music is my most fun, alive thing I do. I want it to pay its way, not just be subsidized by my other projects.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
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