She grew up on The Beatles, The Supremes, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. But in her home, there was Barbra Streisand on the radio morning, noon and night since she was five years old. There was very little music in her house while growing up with only an old static clock radio to listen to.
Basically, she had no formal vocal training. Growing up in Brooklyn in the seventies Robin learned a lot about R&B, and the Beatles and Carol King, right there on the stoops and corner of her block.
Robin was just a kid when she left home to find herself in Daytona Beach Florida searching for her dream to sing in a rock band.
She was discovered by a local musician (Alex London) who got Robin her first professional job with guitarist Johnny Conklin. Robin learned the art of singing standards, before she moved on to local cover bands singing hit songs before she was finally asked to go out on the road at seventeen to sing in a band called Deep South. Soon after that, Robin landed her first recording contract for a single entitled “Still In Love”, after being discovered while playing in a Detroit club.
Back in New York, Robin started to work on different projects including the Broadway musical Got To Go Disco and finally started a proper recording career with the release of her first album Sweet Talk in 1979 with Kenny Lehman of the famed “Dance, Dance, Dance.” While living in the Big Apple, she started to become involved in the jingle business and it was during that period that she got to work with some of the greatest musicians in the world.
This was the springboard to a new start in her recording career. The subsequent album Trouble or Nothin featured contributions from such luminaries as Steve Lukather (Toto), Paul Stanley (KISS), Diane Warren, long standing writing partner Jeff Kent and Desmond Child to name a few. Robin has never stopped being regarded as one of the premier female AOR singer/artists ever! (She has recorded many more albums – you can read more about them on her web site).
Robin’s solo career and writing has always been the most important part of her focus. However, through the years her talents have been called upon many times for session work alongside some of the music greats of 20th century. She has performed with Patty Austin, headlined with Tina Turner and Richard Marx and recorded with top artists such as: David Bowie, Michael Bolton, Deep Purple and Cher to name but a few.
Robin continues to be a driving force, an innovator and a true leader in her genre. One of the dynamics that makes Robin so special and unique is that she truly appreciates and loves her fans as much as they appreciate and love her. The proof of this is right there in the music.
– From Robin Beck Website…You can read much more about her life and work on there.
Jessica: Robin, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview for TSM. I’m honored with the opportunity to have you in the magazine.
Robin: Thank you Jessica. I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with you.
Jessica: I know that since you were nine years old you dreamed about being an artist/songwriter. And you wrote your first song at ten years old called “The Key To My Heart.” What inspired you to write this song? Tell us about it.
Robin: Not really sure…it just came out one day while riding in the back seat of my brothers Chevy to a Hal Roach audition for the new little Rascals variety show which I was up for. It was a fantasy to be a singer or an actress as a little girl. I had no idea that it would become my reality back then. Maybe it was all those Shirley Temple movies, or The Wizard of Oz that got my imagination going.
Jessica: You were also involved in the jingle business. It was during this time, with a certain jingle, that your name first came to prominence singing the Coca-Cola theme tune “The First Time,” which became an international hit. Wow, I bet you didn’t anticipate that a Coca-Cola theme tune would become such a hit! What led to your involvement with this jingle business? I know you worked with some of the greatest musicians in the world. So, it must have been a wonderful learning experience for you too. Describe one of your most memorable experiences.
Robin: I didn’t anticipate this! It was just another day in the studio, a gig. I always felt honored when chosen to sing a song. I mean this was what it was all about for me, but the most memorable experience can not simply be boiled down to just one. I’ve worked with the best of the best…from Patty Austin to Valerie Simpson, Little Richard to George Benson, and even Cher and Michael Bolton to mention a few. I’ve enjoyed them all and with each one a different experience and comradery. I guess it would be fair to say that I will never forget my first time in the studio though, with a crowd of advertising people on the other side of the glass, while I sang my first national commercial for a different soda pop “Mr. Pib” the answer to “Dr. Pepper.” But then again…being called in the middle of the night to be told that I was needed in the UK to do the Top Of the Pops because my new single was about to shoot to number one in the UK in a week was mind blowing…O.K., maybe that’s the one. lol
Jessica: Tell us about your latest album The Great Escape. And why did you call the album this?
Robin: The Great Escape is the second album on my own label, Her Majesty’s Music Room. Finally. having the freedom to sing what I write has been liberating. There are eleven cuts of which nine are a collaboration between me, Tommy Denander (Swedish producer, writer, Guitarist) and my husband James Christian (Producer, writer, player and House Of Lords, lead singer). Together we created The Great Escape.
I like to write about things that I feel and that I know about. The main topics are usually relationship based…Kind of therapeutic and in ways filled with reflection. I think most of the subjects are relatable. It’s very important for me to try to reach people on an emotional level where they can see themselves in the story and say hey that song is about me. I want to touch them and have my songs bring out a certain truth in them.
The title The Great Escape is two fold. There is that ultimate enjoyment of plugging into something that takes you away and that in itself is a great escape, and then there is the song itself that may cause you to think about possible mistakes and regrets. I like the the first option best.
Jessica: What’s your process for writing lyrics?
Robin: Usually the music, vibe and the pulse of the song will spur on a title for me. Sometimes I dream the story or a lyric, and will wake up in the middle of the night and have to sing it into my phone, or I’ll forget by morning. Then there are moments just driving in my car, and a melody, or a lyric will pop into my head…I’ll sing it into my phone so I don’t forget it. Once I’ve written the song we tweak it, James and I, in production.
Jessica: What advice would you give to aspiring artists and songwriters?
Robin: The best advice I can give to anyone is to follow their dream and never give up on themselves. It’s not gonna happen all at once, it never does so hang in there. You have to work hard for what you want and then even harder if you’re lucky enough to get in on any level. Holding on to success is harder than the actual climb…but the climb is the best part so take it all in and never for granted.
Robin: If I had the power I would find a cure for greed. If a cure for greed could be found I believe there would be so much less suffering in the world. People have to open their hearts more if they really want change. I think this is the key to getting there.
Jessica: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Robin: “Remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall — think of it, ALWAYS” Author unknown
Jessica: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about you?
Robin: Yes, a few things…I would love to let you all in on a new band that I’m Managing, Kane’d. Three sisters from Wales. Rock n’ Roll at it’s finest – Keep your ears up for them. Visit me at my website: www.robinbeckrocks.com and get in on the music lottery… and stay tuned for lots of great things to come by signing up for my newsletter. Join me on Facebook and say hi.
Jessica: Thanks so much again for doing this interview and wish you continued success. All the best for 2011!
Robin: Thank you too Jessica and have a blissful New Year! Peace <3