|01 - Hi there, Robin! First I would like to thank you for your time!!! I am sure all of the Melodic Net readers are hungry for this interview!!! Can you start telling us how and when you were sure you wanted to become a professional singer? Also, how did you first get involved in working with music?
I was born to sing, so I think as soon as I could eek out a sound I was already planting the seed. I would say I was probably 4 when I got up in the kitchen table as my world stage, and sang “Pennies From Heaven”, with my dad who, by the way, was my inspiration. My first professional opportunity was in Daytona Beach, which all started at a local jam session. I was spotted from the audience by a drummer (Ales London) who took an active interest in me. I had my first musical paying job the next week.
02 - I always like to ask that... Who were your biggest influences both as a singer and as a performer?
Back in the day it was Janis Joplin, Diana Ross and Barbara Streisand. Many other influences played a part in my style.
03 - Back in the seventies, you were a backing singer for bigger artists such as Melissa Manchester and Chaka Khan... And in 1979, your very first album, "Sweet Talk", was released. Can you talk about that period of your career?
I had become a working artist for anyone and anything I could. I never turned down an opportunity. My dearest friend and bandmate at the time, Guy Marshal, answered an add that read “production company looking for artist for record deal with major label“. I went down to this little house in Brooklyn and met the artistic team, including Kenny Lehman, producer of the famed “Dance Dance Dance”, with Nile Rodgers. I was signed within days and we began the creative process of “Sweet Talk”. This was the disco era, and this was a pop disco record, that included Luther Vandross and Irene Cara in the backgrounds for me. What can I say… It was like a dream come true. My first record recorded at Media Sound in NYC. Right next door was The Band, Desmond Child & Rouge, who later became my producer for “Trouble or Nothing”... ironic!
After that It was actually Arif Mardin (famed producer and mentor, along with Will Lee, famed bass player to the biggest artists who gave me my break as a backing artist and jingles. You won’t know this name but Bernie Drayton, a jingle producer in NY, gave me my first opportunity with a company called H.E.A., where I met the best singers and players in the music business. In addition, thanks to Will Lee, famous for his bass playing and fabulous voice and humor... I got through a lot of doors that probably would not have opened for me so easily. Certainly I had the talent, but it was still a very difficult door to break through. Of course I had to have the talent to begin with but, even so, I needed these guardian angels.
04 - Still about the "Sweet Talk" album... It is way different from everything else you have done later on. How do you like this album? As a musician myself, even though it maybe didn't please most of your fans you got in the eighties, I think it's a very good record, in the vein of Donna Summer and those incredible Disco Music singers that were big at the time... Why do you think it wasn't a big album as it could have been?
Well, those times were on the brink of what we all Love (the ‘80s)!!! Disco was dead and so was that record. However it was something for me to cut my teeth on.
05 - What were you doing during this near ten-year break between your first album and the huge "First Time" single?
Bringing up my daughter Olivia, being in love with my husband James and still doing some writing and producing, but in a place of motherhood and family. The best part of my life!
06 - "First Time"... Maybe the most important song in your career so far... Could you please tell us how the opportunity to record it and release it came up? It's a timeless song for sure, not only because of your impecable voice, but also because it was Coca Cola's theme song in 1988, which certainly made it as popular as it is till this day... What can you say about it all?
A jingle was born and then it became requested widely, so it was transformed into a song. I’m happy it was me to bring it to the world stage. It was meant to be for me. It literally kicked off my career. So you see... you never know where or when your break will come... just be ready for it! Great songs are born everyday, but the ones that make it truly need luck, timing and the right artist to make them a hit. This song had the right everything. I’m proud to be the one attached to it. Coca Cola was extremely supportive and still remains till this way. You can find the song in the Coca Cola Hall Of Fame alongside of Paul McCartney, Aretha Franklin, Paul Anka, and so many others that were fortunate enough to be a part of that family.
Watch the “First Time” promo video here:
07 - After the huge success of "First Time", you certainly deserved to release another album, this one being the classic "Trouble Or Nothing", released in 1989. What can you tell us about this masterpiece? How was it working with the stellar line-up featured on the album? How did it feel then having such a successful album ten years after the release of "Sweet Talk"?
This was another one of the best times of my entire life I have my fondest memories from the making of this album. Working with Desmond Child was an uplifting experience. He taught me a lot and remains a good friend to this day. There really is no comparison between “Sweet Talk” and “Trouble or Nothing”. They are a whole generation apart. I love moving with the times musically, I’m always up for change and this was it.
08 - Other than "First Time", the "Trouble Or Nothing" album had so many other awesome tunes like "Save Up All Your Tears", "Don't Lose Any Sleep", "Tears in the Rain", "Hide Your Heart"... What is your personal opinion about it? Have you got any favorite songs off it? If so, why do you consider them so special?
All fantastic songs! I feel very lucky to have been offered them as an artist. I would have to say that they all bring something different so, for all these reasons that I cannot even begin to describe, they are all connected to a separate emotion… They are all my favorites. To sum it up, they all hit home for me. Filled with energy, emotion, musicality, twists and turns and so much fun.
09 - Let's get down to your brand new album, "Love Is Coming"... Just a taste of the new songs "On The Bright Side", "Island", "Here I Am" and its title track gives the listener the great feeling of listening to the classic Robin Beck sound. How would you describe "Love Is Coming"?
It’s much more modern, but it still retains a mixture of that ‘80s energy. A pure Melodic Rock CD with a little extra something eclectic.
Watch the “Love Is Coming” promo video here:
10 - Can you talk a little about the making of "Love Is Coming"?
Clif Magness, James Christian and Tommy Denander were all a part of the making of it, but Clif was the creator of all the songs except for “Girl Like Me”, Written by Jeff Kent (RIP) and myself. There were a lot of files being sent but very close knit relationship between all of us. We were in constant contact for every little thing. In these days you do not have to be in the same room to get it done, as long as everybody is on the same page, and we were. Working with Clif Magness is a dream come true. His productions are flawless. James is the best vocal producer on the face of the Earth. As far as I’m concerned he can do no wrong! Then, who doesn’t know that Tommy Denander is one badass guitar player? We had a great team and I hope to do it again and again.
11 - Robin, were involved in the making of "Love Is Coming"? I mean, did you have anything to do with it, other than singing on it?
Yes, of course. I chose the songs and worked very closely with James and Clif during the making and finalizing the record.
12 - Needless to say, your fans really want to see you perform live. Will there be a tour to support the new album?
We are working on one right now, fingers crossed everything will go all right. We are shooting for Europe. There isn’t a place on the map that I wouldn’t want to go to play.
13 - What can fans expect from you in the near future?
I’m already working on a new album and I’m trying to put the tour together. I’ll keep you posted on my website robinbeckrocks.com for any future news.
14 - Thanks a million for your time to give Melodic Net this interview, Robin! Everybody is just crazy to listen to "Love Is Coming"!!! Any messages to your fans and to the Melodic Net readers? We all love you!!!
To all my fans, my love, respect and appreciation for all their support over the years. I wish you happiness, peace and health... But above all, in these times, safety and respect for all people and life in general. Keep in mind that “Love Is Coming” and love really is the answer to it all.