Maintaining a grounded sense of self in a world that can overwhelm the majority of us, Canadian-born solo artist Robert Nix creates intense pieces of music that speak to humanity in ways that can feel subtle but pack a powerful bunch. When he takes hold of an instrument and starts to sing, his quirky, yet catchy melodies and song style really grab hold to the listener. With a nostalgic feel of the synth era and a mixture of other genres, Robert has launched his newest album “Walk Down The Street.”
Below, I had the chance to correspond with Robert Nix to delve a little deeper into what makes him stand out from the rest of the crowd. Enjoy!
Melissa Arditti: The first time I listened to “Walk Down The Street” I immediately thought of Bauhaus/Peter Murphy. Do you find there’s a bit of them in your vocals?
Robert Nix: No one has ever mentioned Bauhaus but I've heard Michael Stipe, Ringo Starr, Jim Morrison, Ian Astbury, and I think that's it.
M.A: In your Number 9 track, "It's an Ode to Karen" I feel like I'm being transported into a symphony of sound. Who is Karen?
R.N: “Karen” is a girl I met close to 10 years ago. I still have regrets about not asking her out. I’m not sure where she is today...
M.A: Watching the video to "Walk down the street" is there an underlying message you want to convey to your audience?
R.N: The song is about 'self-realization' ('as you're walking down the street') I know I often ponder my own existence while walking down the street and then other elements fall into place as you're walking down the street-i.e. “you don't know who'll you'll meet” and then the idea that maybe in the end we're all just “nowhere men and women” (Beatle song: 'Nowhere Man') which fits into the ending lyric and disintegration scene(“or are you just another person walking down the street” disintegrating into nothingness)
M.A: You have quite the array of talents, playing keyboards, guitars and also singing. What other special gifts do you have?
R.N: In addition to music, I have some athletic gifts. I won a gold medal at age 13 for being in the fastest 400 meter relay team in the city of
. We ran the meet at Toronto . I'm an avid cyclist and have a racer which I use for transportation/exercise. I classify myself as a “semipro” rider and concentrate on quick short distance rides. Maple Leaf Gardens
M.A: Being a Canadian, how do you feel about the Canadian music scene in general?
R.N: With the exception for the band Rush (I am a big fan and have several of their albums!) I don't really follow the Canadian music scene or any other musical scene either. I know that sounds bad but I just seem to be a little too locked into composing my own stuff.
M.A: I read in your bio that you are an environmental advocate. How does your music bring awareness to causes that you care deeply about?
R.N: Yes I am an environmentalist and I'm for animal rights too. I went vegan 8 years ago, which is actually a win/win situation for both categories.
As far as my music bringing awareness-track 10 is entitled “Don't Eat The Animals” which puts forth the idea that people should at least checkout what goes on behind the scenes if they're going to eat meat, that's what I did. I made a conscious decision to dump all meat and fish, and in time, replaced dairy with soy milk/soy cheese.
I also currently have a petition on my Youtube site against the live skinning of animals in
M.A. Thanks Robert for the enlightening interview! Best of luck with your music and humanitarian efforts!
You can check out more of Robert’s work at: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/robertnix4
Feel free to see my Q&A with Robert Nix at Global Rhythm Magazine!