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 for well-known Irish brands 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 widespread radio support on both sides of the Atlantic 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 has been 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.
“There were a few rehearsals where it was clear I hadn’t found the right people”, Robert explains, “but when we got it right, we really got it right, and everyone in the room was bringing something different and valuable to the table”. He adds, “You appreciate something far more when it’s taken you a long time to find it”.
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.
“We have a solid set, so when the right opportunities come up for us, we don’t have to get ready – because we’re already ready!”, Robert says.