Valentine Celebrates 26-Years And Beyond With New Album
In the early 90’s, Robby Valentine (aka: Robert Kempe) had a huge hit with his debut single, ‘Over And Over Again’. The untitled debut album earned him the Silver Harp award and a loyal following in Japan. With the release, ‘Bizarro World’ (2014), this multi-instrumental talent also ranked high on the charts. Valentine’s Bizarro World landed him a deal with one of the largest record labels in Japan: King Records; and a distribution deal in the United Kingdom.
Whether there would be a new album after Bizarro World release at the end of 2014 and the subsequent Bizarro World tour was still a question. The recording of Bizarro World dates back to 2010. Since then Valentine had been struggling with years of writers-block. Instead of spending time attempting to create songs that felt forced, he opted to cover about thirty songs of his lifelong idol, Queen. That resulted in 'The Queen Album' and 'The Queen EP-1', followed by many Queen tribute-performances at home and abroad. Although touring with Valentine’s tribute to Queen was a great experience, the lack of inspiration for new songs only increased.
In May 2016, Valentine was struck by a serious eye infection which resulted in 75% of vision loss, and doctors discovered he has an immune system disorder. "I lay ill in bed for weeks, but at some point my mind became much clearer than it had been in recent years. I focused my attention to the boxes of half-written songs that I had been working on for years. Within no time, all of the songs were complete, including lyrics, and I was inspired with even more new ideas. You could say that when I lost my vision, I gained my sight.”
Depression over his loss of vision was unavoidable, but in the end, this personal suffering put Robby back on the musical track he had been missing for so long. That journey has resulted in a completely self-recorded new album: THE ALLIANCE
The album is rich with songs that capture the unmistakable Valentine sound, but as expected with all Valentine productions, it escapes genre boxing by tapping into many music styles. Despite the diversity in the songs, this album can be characterized as - Stadion Rock. In the same way as his previous success, the listener will encounter very heavy songs, but also a nice blend of ballads, which stand out for the simplicity of piano and vocals.
Valentine's music is always unique, but all his songs have a common thread which is a sort of life script of this multi-talented artist: from the love for his 6-year-old daughter, to intense depressions that have been ravaging him for years, to his interest in conspiracy theories His latest obstinate endeavor, Fuck You Fame, has a common thread to predecessor album, 'Bizarro World'. Both albums are a wake-up call to stand for who you are and not to deny your true self to anyone, for any reason.
Throughout his career, Valentine has been the embodiment of loyalty to who you are. With his love for artists such as: David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and John Waite, Valentine was born as an artist from the ‘Glam’ era, where artists looked like artists. During the Glam era men wore make-up and had big hair, but in the 1990s the ‘Grunge’ scene entered and destroyed the Glam look. In the end, even his former band members felt that his alternative appearance prevented the progression of the band, so they parted ways. Fortunately, those days are over, and Valentine moved forward in spite of it all. Valentine remained true to himself and has had a fresh start with stellar band members: Andre Borgman, Luuk van Gerven, en Paul Coenradie, (whom have been performing together for many years now). It should also be noted that Valentine even tossed away his American dream by refusing his record label’s request for him to cut his hair short and to put on a denim jacket. In essence, he shot a middle finger to the music industry, which laid groundwork for his new song Soldiers of Light, subtitle Fuck you Fame
In other countries, Glam was more and more appreciated, which perhaps explains the relatively quiet reception of Bizarro World in his home country compared to the big reception elsewhere. In Japan, Germany and England Valentine's music is still devoured by dedicated following of fans, and his Bizarro World tour was met with sold out shows in the aforementioned countries; concluding with the tour in Tokyo.
Nevertheless, the Netherlands is also eagerly awaiting new work from Valentine, which is evident from the enormous interest in the recently set up crowdfunding to support the new album release. Meanwhile, negotiations are in progress with Japan based, King Records, to release THE ALLIANCE on their record label.
Would you like to attend the album release party? If you purchase ‘Ticket A’ crowdfunding perk, it includes entrance to the album release party plus €5 discount on retail price of THE ALLIANCE album. There is also the possibility to purchase one of the larger packages, which places the buyer’s name in the album booklet; there are many options that allow access to exclusive demos and other music.