Robert O'Connor is playing the long game.
“I don’t care for passing trends”, says the Dublin-born singer/songwriter, “I’m here to make classic songs that make you feel something – and when you listen to them again in ten years’ time, they still pack the same punch”.
Robert spent the entirety of 2018 rebuilding his brand after a five year absence from the music scene. He worked as a journalist and social media manager during this period, acquiring a skill set he believes is valuable to him today as a self-managed artist.
“The life of an independent artist is a busy one. I’m writing the songs, then once they’re recorded the real work starts – hustling for radio play, trying to entice bloggers and journalists to write about you, keeping all of your social media up-to-date and making yourself essentially look like you have a team – when really it’s just you. Ultimately, I’m a sales man, and I’m also the product”.
As well as receiving radio support with his singles “You Found Me”, “No Second Chances” and “Real Good Fight”, there has been critical acclaim in abundance. Caesar Live’n’Loud said “No Second Chances” has “all it takes to become an instant classic”, while Reyt Good Magazine called “You Found Me” a “great pop song with solid instrumentation and a powerful chorus”. Pop, Rinse, Repeat hailed “Real Good Fight” as “honest songwriting the world needs a whole lot more of”
If 2018 was about building the brand, 2019 was about building the band. Robert took two months at the top of the year to assemble a live band that would allow him to bring his new recordings to the live stage, eventually striking gold when he got Fillipe (drums), Veki (electric guitar) and Gavin (acoustic guitar) in a room together.
The band began playing on Dublin’s live scene in spring and Robert believes the four-piece have found their sound as a band, performing a mix of new and back catalogue material, all in their signature style, which is at once nostalgic and Nashville-influenced.
Robert's first release of 2020, “Older ‘20” sees him collaborate with EDM artist Skynem GT for the second time, after the Peruvian producer won a remix contest run by Robert to remix his single “Real Good Fight” last summer.
Speaking about the collaboration, Robert said: “We connected in a way that we knew there was more to explore beyond one remix. Skynem GT’s EDM sonic palette and my country storytelling lyric and vocal are an unlikely fit, but we’re lucky as artists that right now we live in an era of genre-bending”
Robert has never been fearful of musical experimentation, often complimenting his commercial country pop singles with remix packages that rework his tracks into dancefloor fillers. He explains: “I grew up in the ‘90s listening to a mix of pure pop and dance, and later in my ‘20s I came to indie and country – I’ve no doubt my songwriting is a product of that". In 2020, Robert says, he has an appetite for more: “More singles, more gigs, more collaborations, more listeners, and most importantly – more risks!”