Remember the feeling that you get from listening to soul music? Some would argue that the genre has become almost non-existent, with a few exceptions such as James Fauntleroy and D’Angelo.
We know better.
Enter Rob Milton, a singer/song-writer originally from New Jersey currently residing in Virginia. With a smooth voice that has proven to be versatile over any type of production, the 25-year old continues to reinvent and create new lanes not only for himself, but for his music.
We not only have the honor of premiering Rob’s new Stewart Villain-produced single, “Tragic,” but we also were able to chop it up with Rob to gain more insight into the single as well as Milton’s forthcoming project, Rebirth.
Your last single, “Bad Habit” has a very unique, modern soul and funk oriented sound to it. Does Rebirth follow in that sound or is it more versatile?
This album has a little bit of everything on it. If you’re looking for that funk and that soul there are records like “Bad Habit,” “Last Time,” “Holding On (Your Love),” and even “Let It Die” for you. But there are also hip hop-heavy joints like “Classic” and “Tragic.” The album is also sprinkled with a dash of Gnarls Barkley flair here and there. I’m a huge fan of their work, so I covered “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul” and “Transformer,” because they just fit well with where the album was going.
There’s also “Love (Everywhere)” which is this big bonus joint at the end that makes you feel like you’re on an island somewhere and enjoying an abundance of love. We all should feel that way more often. Loved! All in all, Gabe Niles, Black Spade and Stewart Villain blessed me with some incredibly ill soundscapes to paint over and I believe that the people will love what we created for this album.
Tell us more about the new record you’re sharing with us today, “Tragic,” which features fellow Richmond resident Chance Fischer.
“Tragic” is one of the darker records on the album. Everybody seems to be on board and in your corner when everything’s going right. But when the party stops, when the record stops spinning, when things get rocky, who will still be around? You see who is really valuable in your life when thing’s get rough. That’s what “Tragic” is about. And of course I had to get Chance Fischer on it. He always shows up for the challenge and brings something special to everything that he touches.
Are these stories on Rebirth more personal or observational as it plays along?
Rebirth is a great mixture of both actually. It’s a journey of self-discovery. It’s my side of the story. It’s the world through my eyes. It starts off with “Balance,” which talks about duality and how there are two sides to who we are. That relates to me, where I am in life and where I would like to be in life, but also how I see the world. There’s also “Sick Sad World,” which plays off of the show Daria, and talks about how strange it is that we will root for celebrities to win, but then turn around and root for them to fail too. There’s so much to take away from this album. I can’t wait to see and hear how other people interpret these songs.
If you could describe Rebirth in one phrase, it would be…
Funk Pop Art. I see it as an audio interpretation of pop art. That’s essentially what led me to collaborate with Kendrick Daye for the cover. This is my prize piece and I’m extremely proud of it.
With the surge of Virginia artists such as GoldLink, D.R.A.M., and Masego, where do you think you fit in regards to the scene in Virginia?
While I’ve been in Virginia for over 10 years now, I’m honestly just getting into the art scene and understanding what it is about. But what I can say is that I have so much respect for the fact that there is space for everyone here. Virginia accepts everybody and I love that. I love that Masego can kill with his sax. I love that. I don’t think you can see that happening anywhere else but Virginia! I’ve never really ‘fit in’ anywhere, so I’m just doing what I do best and believing that Virginia will love that too.
A manifesto is a declaration of intents and principles. What is your Artistic Manifesto?
I’m going to have to take a page out of the book of my friend Sam Ramirez from OffThaRecord.com, and say my Artistic Manifesto is to “live, create, and inspire.” Live your life to the fullest and use what you have to create something that you can be proud of – something that will inspire others to do the same!
Rob Milton’s album, Rebirth, will be available on June 19th. To learn more about Rob Milton, please visit his official website.