Following a spectacular performance at Hockley Hustle, we got to know talented Nottingham artist ROB.GREEN.
Q: When did you realise you wanted to be a professional singer?
I’ve always loved singing and writing music… along with lots of performance styles in general. As I taught myself the guitar and explored other kinds of performance eventually music took over! But I try and incorporate all my other interests in my music life too; especially on stage
Q: Who would you say have been your biggest influences as a singer?
Generally artists with great live shows I find very inspiring; regardless of genre. India Arie’s music has been one of my biggest influences; I can put a lot of pressure on myself, personally and professionally; her words and music have been a rock to me and have reminded me to keep to take time and to reflect. Q: Would you say you prefer being in the studio recording new material or playing live shows?
Live shows. Although I’m falling more in love with studio time; working on my latest material with Dave Tidmarsh and Mark Elliott has been such a great process and has taught me so much, during this summers tour schedule our studio time has become a great creative space
Q: What was the first music festival you went to – as a fan or indeed as an artist?
The first festival I ever went to was Splendour festival in 2012. I was performing on the courtyard stage; a small stage and I was so unknown and didn’t expect a big turnout but was so excited to perform. My friends, my manager Greg and I flyered the whole festival about the set and we ended up having a RAMMED stage! It was a great day and one of my fondest memories; (and they bumped me up to the second largest stage the following year! )
Q: Do you have a favourite venue/city to play live? (They don’t have to be the same!)
Nottingham. Over the last year I did 100 gigs, across the UK and two shows in the Netherlands. Audiences are SO different city to city and the exciting part of a show is getting to know an audience; connecting with them. WIth that said; a hometown show is ALWAYS instantly incredible. I love my hometown and the love for new music is REAL; especially at my favourite festival, Hockley Hustle… INSANE!
Q: If you had to only play festivals or headline sets for the rest of your career, which would you prefer?
Festivals. I love performing headline shows and putting a whole show together is such an exciting experience; but most of my inspiration for all of that comes from experiencing other artists. Plus Vibes innit!
Q: Do you have a favourite song to play live?
I wrote a poem that I decided to include in my set. It is called ‘Be Yourself’; I wrote it about the pressure we can feel to change something fundamental about ourselves to be ‘Normal’. It’s quite a vulnerable moment for me personally but such a great payoff to see an audience take it in. I like moments when address the feelings that make us feel most alien and then realise that EVERYONE has and is going through the exact same thing…!
Q: Following your gigs at Hockley Hustle, was there a particular moment you enjoyed the most?
THAT is a hard question… Performing with the UFO Orchestra was a particular highlight, hearing a sixty piece orchestra playing to Belief was INSANE – and the crowd really got into singing with me – which is always awesome!
Q: What do you think makes Nottingham so special for live music?
Nottingham is special because ALL genres of music are celebrated here, Dot to Dot and Hockley Hustle are testament to that, I mean how many festivals have classical orchestras, metal, punk, grime, hip hop, soul AND R&B local acts all on the same lineup? And COLLABORATING?! Many try to divide music; to label and distinguish its differences and then here’s Nottingham’s live scene – co-existing, co-supporting and thriving together.
Q: And finally… If you could have written one song in history yourself, what would you have preferred it to be?
I really don’t know? This is normally the point in the interview where you should show how old school and rootsy your tastes are but the one thing I’ve been thinking more and more recently is how much I would have LOVED to have been in the room when Emeli Sandé recorded her first album. Our Version Of Events was an album that really excited me creatively and was a great breakout album; her voice and writing style instantly excited me!
Photos courtesy of Outlaw Label