Monday, 30 July 2018
Robbie Zereka is one of six children from a loud, rural Irish family, currently living and studying in London. Although he sang in the local choir from an early age, he struggled with his confidence until secondary school, where he auditioned for the school musical after encouragement from his music teacher.
During this time Robbie became close friends with another cast member, who sadly, later on, took his own life. Robbie says "It really forced me to think hard about depression and how people bottle things up. I owe that experience for teaching me to vocalise my feelings. I wrote my first song about him". That experience helped shape Robbie as an artist and influenced his approach to lyricism. Further influences were fellow singer-songwriters such as KT Tunstall and John Grant. Robbie appreciated their honest and fierce approach to songwriting.
Robbie has been performing now for a number of years his first performance in his current style was at The Stage Door in Waterloo for an open mic night back in 2011. Now as he gears up for his headline slot at the Hospital Club Covent garden on the 8th August, I check out his debut single 'Favourite Feelings'.
ReviewAfter talking to Robbie briefly I was excited to hear his debut single , he has a passion for songwriting and writes lyrics that mean something to him personally. This is an honorable style of writing as you really put yourself out there as an artist which puts you in a vulnerable position. However, this often leads to the best results with the listener being able to relate and connect to the music personally. When I listened to 'Favorite Feelings' I certainly wasn't disappointed. Robbie wrote Favourite Feelings to help a friend who is suffering from anxiety and depression. The song is basically his way of trying to offer comfort and reassurance and saying that we all want to be happy but it’s not always that easy.
Favorite feelings is a strong debut single from Robbie who wrote the track in London and recorded it with Jack Parry in his Fulham studio (Jack is a producer as well as Robbie's guitarist). Robbie is an alt-rock artist but 'Favorite Feelings' is full of funk too with a strong bassline in the intro. Its an intriguing intro and the bassline stays strong throughout the track.
Robbie's vocals are strong and simple in the track the main focus being on the lyrics and the meaning behind the song. The song also features some beautiful female backing vocals which add to the depth and sincerity of the track. The track flows great and Robbie uses the question "what is my favorite feeling?" as a clever hook line throughout the song. This really catches the ear of the listener and leaves you asking yourself what is mine?
The chorus is also extremely catchy and seems to explain the broader meaning of the song. I found that every time I listened to the track I understood it a bit more and was soon singing along. The song is very empowering and all about pushing through the hard times and carrying on. I felt Robbie wrote the lyrics then built the song around them which is not always an easy task. Favorite feelings is a strong personal piece from Robbie and a great debut single. It is relatable, simple but very memorable and I can't wait to hear more from Robbie in the future.
Robbie's single launch is at the Hospital Club, Covent Garden on Wednesday 8th of August. With the background to the song, it felt right for Robbie to align with the mental health charity, SANE, to use the event to raise awareness of the issue. As well as combating stigma, SANE is a leading force in mental health research and they offer direct and vital support and advice on treatment through their helpline and website.