Today we are so thrilled to introduce you to Robbie Vonn who dropped his debut EP ‘Hopeless Memories’ as a collaboration with singer Juliet Lyons and other musicians. It is so exciting that we actually discovered Robbie after he submitted music directly to us.
What got my attention straight away was the honesty with a fragile yet very powerful message. I was happy that Robbie agreed to sit down and reflect on this cinematic release.
I can’t wait to share his story… Let me introduce to Robbie Vonn.
Congratulations on your debut release! Tell us about the journey until the moment ‘Hopeless Memories’ saw the light of day!
Thanks for having me. This project started at the beginning of 2021, mostly as a personal desire to finish and rearrange a couple of songs I wrote a long time ago.
Initially I was not planning to release it, but the phenomenal contributions made by other artists changed my mind. It became a goal to make it right and release it towards the end of the year, which effectively happened on October 22, 2021.
Tell us more about how ‘Hopeless Memories’ was born. Do you remember the moment you got inspiration for it?
Life experiences are continuously happening and some of those trigger the desire to write about it. In my case, inspiration is only about 10% of the equation, there is a good 80% of effort and a good 10% of luck to get to a song you feel relatively comfortable about from a production standpoint.
Inspiration is only about 10% of the equation, there is a good 80% of effort and a good 10% of luck to get to a song you feel relatively comfortable aboutRobbie Vonn
What does it mean to you to be launching your music career in this challenging time?
It mostly feels like a paradox, if it were not because of the unexpected events of 2020, ‘Hopeless Memories’ would not have happened. Nowadays the process of making music seems to be more efficient, independent artists can do mostly everything with a laptop and expand from there.
Definitely uncertain but interesting and creative times.
Did the lockdown have an influence on how you create music?
Fortunately, or unfortunately, it was one of the deciding factors. The transition to a remote life, often in front of a laptop, made music inevitable. Songwriting became a regular activity the last two years.
The transition to a remote life, often in front of a laptop, made music inevitableROBBIE VONN
The EP is a collaboration between you and Juliet Lyons. How did the two of you meet?
I learned about her online. I sent her a message and invited her to give ‘If I’ a try.
I still feel exceptionally lucky to have her singing in this EP and I cannot be more grateful of her beautiful voice, dedication, and professionalism.
I have to say that I feel the same way about other artists. Brianna on cello (@brianna.tam.cello), Pablo on flamenco guitar (@pablodecadiz), and many others added that magic that not even in my dreams I would have been able to create. They deserve a lot of credit for this EP.
Did you come to Juliet with all ideas already finished or were you writing it together?
The three songs in ‘Hopeless Memories’ were already written at the time we connected. In a way that made it easier for both. Of course, Juliet’s style gave the songs a unique cinematic and emotional tone, which is exactly what I was looking for in this project.
Let’s talk about each of the songs in greater detail. Can you share what each of them mean to you?
For ‘Hopeless Memories’ I chose to write about those life experiences that for a moment make you feel completely hopeless: loss, unfairness and loneliness, and fading love.
‘Glowing Butterfly’ is about loss, the grieving process, and the difficult recovery.ROBBIE VONN
The glowing butterfly in the lyrics represents that tiny light of hope we keep deep inside us that helps us to navigate those devastating moments.
‘If I’ touches on the concept of loneliness and unfairness, more specifically, the desire and/or impossibility to have what most people have, like health, love, youth, etc.ROBBIE VONN
The song represents a person wondering “why” she or he cannot be that special or even a normal person, and “why” fairness has abandoned her/him to the point of imagining a lonely farewell from this world.
‘Sundown’ is about fading love, about that point where nothing and everything hurts, you do not even recognise yourself, and everything feels like a fading dream.ROBBIE VONN
There are a lot of thoughts like “Can’t understand the endless silence” or “is this the end?” that then evolve into acceptance (“there’s no enigma when nobody is around”) and concludes with one last goodbye: “all this life, hold it dear, fly away, and let me go”.
Again, not the happiest moments, but those that make you grow faster.
I heard so many artists share an idea that they think in cycles. Each EP is like creating a different world. If you could describe an EP in one sentence, what would it be?
For me an EP, or an album or Single, is a snapshot of your soul at a specific point of your life.
For me an EP is a snapshot of your soul at a specific point of your life.ROIBBIE VONN
Looks like your songs were discovered on quite a few playlists on Spotify. Do you have any tips for those who are just starting out how to be ahead of the playlisting game?
I do not think there is a formula but doing some research and reaching out to places where your music is a good fit seems to work relatively well.
Even with that not all my submissions were accepted, and that is fine, I do not expect that everybody likes this type of music.
What was your inspiration for the record? Did you have any songs or albums that you were listening to on repeat while in the process of writing and producing?
There are many songs I have on repeat since that I have memory. Some of those are clearly present in ‘Hopeless Memories.’
In ‘Sundown’ you can clearly sense the influence of “Entre dos Aguas” (Paco de Lucía), “Life in Mono” (Mono), “Ave María” (Shubert), and “Ofelia’s Lullaby” (Javier Navarrete).
“If I” is a contemporary adaptation of traditional Andean music. You can hear how the Andean winds come and go throughout the song. “El Aparecido” (Victor Jara) is probably the main inspiration for this piece, where traditional instruments such as charango and zampoña were replaced by acoustic guitar and piano.
“Glowing Butterfly” is a bit more chaotic from an inspirational perspective, in my mind is a blend of the entire “OK Computer” (Radiohead), Random Modular Synthesizers, “Apocalypse Now” (Muse), and “Identify” (Billy Corgan).
I know it is a lot but honestly, it is just the tip of the iceberg. I love music in most of its flavors.
What would you like to be remembered for?
As a person who did a positive contribution to humanity.
I would like to be remembered as a person who did a positive contribution to humanity.ROBBIE VONN
What was the inspiration behind the decision not to show your face?
‘Hopeless Memories’ is a project designed with three pillars in mind: lyrics, music, and art; that has been and will remain the focus. Everything else, including the person behind it, was not part of the plan. It helps to keep things in perspective, organised and focused. For future releases it might be different, who knows.
The artwork is absolutely stunning. There are so many details yet there is hope. Can you tell us about the process of creating it?
The artwork is precisely one of the key pillars of this project and I agree, it is stunning and blew my mind since I saw the first draft. Like my experience with Juliet, finding and working with Anxo (@anxovizcaino) was simply a blessing.
He made the process so simple. I sent to him a description of what I had in mind and a couple of days later I received back five concepts for me to pick from. Once we settled on “the one”, which was actually a blend of two of his ideas, he worked his magic and turned into the beautiful piece you see today.
Perhaps this life would make more senseRobbie Vonn – If I
Fairness, why did you desert me?
Always on my own
Do you remember the moment when the above lyrics came to you?
It was not just one moment. I look at it mostly as a universal thought. I have asked myself that question a couple of times in my life, I assume others have done the same in theirs, especially when you are going through difficult moments.
Music to me is the pinnacle of human expression.ROBBIE VONN
How would you define success in the music industry?
Success for me would be to know that someone related to the lyrics and the music, something like “I felt exactly the same way at some point of my life.”
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience?
I just want to say thank you for giving me the opportunity to share a bit of my debut EP. I am currently working on my next single and hope to be releasing it soon.
Make sure to connect with Robbie Vonn on »Instagram
We added Robbie Vonn to the playlist of all the artists we interviewed so far. Don’t be shy to give it a listen!