Rich Robbins bridges the gap between city and suburbia with Summertime raps and vibes
Written by Vocalo Radio on July 30, 2019
Rich Robbins was raised in Philly but he now calls the Chicago area home, and his music bridges the suburban and city life. Rich’s new 3-track EP is called STARFISH and he spoke with Jill Hopkins about the new project and the Summertime vibes that it serves.
You bridge city and suburban life in your art, how do you go about closing that gap? And why is it important for you to do so?
So, I was born in the Chicago area, moved to Philly when I was very young, and then lived there for over 10 years. Then I moved back to the Chicago area. I moved to Oak Park. And so that’s kind of where the suburban area came in. I come from very diverse backgrounds. Even my family is just filled with a lot of different looking people and so for me, family and where you were from, it was just always kind of one melting pot, you know, and I guess as you grow older, you learn how segregated and separated everything really is. As a child, that just didn’t make sense to me. We’re all human, as corny as it sounds, right? We’re all human beings.
What is the new EP telling us about your career and the spot in your life where you are right now?
There’s one thing that I teach my students all the time when they’re writing poems, and it’s to come up with a thesis for the poem. I’ve taken that idea and put it in my process of making music. I’m always like, all right, what’s the thesis of this song, what’s the song really about. For example, on “Please Don’t Tow My Car,” the idea was that everything is working out for me today, so please don’t tow my car. As simple as that. But I think it’s also about, you know, just missing your opportunity. If you park somewhere you’re not supposed to, it’ll have a rippling effect And that’ll kind of be explored. we’re dropping a music video for it. That will be a little bit more explore this idea of like a very small decision. You know, park somewhere, you’re not supposed to end up having like this rippling effect of missing opportunities because of that one little decision.
You’ve already accomplished quite a bit in your career, but you clearly have your sights set for something more?
I’m hungry, you know. I really feel like, and my song “Don’t Fail Me Now” touched on this, that we’re very close to something that is a turning point. I have some days when I wake up and it’s honestly tough. Social media is a hell of a beast and you can definitely find yourself caught up and comparing yourself with other artists – that artist is booking all these shows, and I want to book shows like that artist, and you end up feeling like you’re not doing enough. But then there’s also the side of being really really grateful. I was just asked recently if my career stopped right here, would I be proud of what I’ve accomplished? And I absolutely would! But then there’s that other side of me that’s like, so much more is waiting!
Listen to our full interview with Rich Robbins as he breaks down each of the tracks from his new EP STARFISH: