DJ RoboRob’s Bandcamp: https://djroborob.bandcamp.com/
This week on Beasts, I had the honor of interviewing one of the most creative producers in NCHH!
No, not the National Campaign for Hearing Health, which is an actual group!
Tip: Keep this group in mind, because you won’t be able to stop yourself from playing DJ RoboRob’s Monday mixes at Mach-shattering volumes...
However, the NCHH I speak of is the Nerdcore Hip-Hop Community. RoboRob is 1/5 of the well known collective, RPG-Unit, (The other 4 are: STaRF, Alpha Riff, King Pheenix, and his wife Starby), and he also produces all of their music.
Not to mention, he also is a hell of a House & EDM Producer/DJ!
Luckily, I caught him for this interview!
I must’ve have caught him in between his transformation from “Robot” back to “Rob”.
Ouch! Stop throwing the tomatoes already! I get the point!
The first question that I am dying to ask is, where did you come up with the name DJ RoboRob? The Rob part is obvious what about the Robo part?
RoboRob: I’ve always had an affinity for robots, androids, mecha anime, synthetic life, AI, etc. Data from Star Trek :The Next Generation was a huge inspiration from a young age. I wanted to bring some of that into my music with the chiptune influence (8bit music) as well. Nothing says robot like the beeps and boops of GameBoy music.
What do you think about the huge explosion of EDM?
In general I love it because it puts my type of music on the map but I hate the term EDM. This all encompassing term is too broad for the multitude of genres and sub-genres that fit into it. It’s like calling everything that has an emcee on it “Hip-Hop” I think with all genres there is about 90% that is just trash but, I feel the market is over saturated with garbage right now because of how popular electronic music has become over the past few years. Everyone wants to be a DJ, play the big stages and rise to fame quickly. A lot of people that don’t know a minor chord from their ass and think they can just pick up tables or open a production suite and make bangers. And a lot of people get away with it because they have money for high profile marketing. I don’t blame the explosion of electronic music though, just greedy people and greed is not what electronic music or any music should be about. Money is fine! Gotta find that balance. (yessh sorry kinda went off on a tangent there.)
Hey, no problem man! The people want to know your opinion! So, tell us about your vision, what motivates you? What makes DJ RoboRob tick?
Creating what I hear in my brain to come out the speakers. Connecting with others without saying a word. Also, if I’m being real, putting food on the table. Trying to find that balance ya know?
It’s interesting to someone with such love for the EDM Genre have a firm footing in Hip-Hop. Were you always a Hip-Hop fan? What was/is your inspiration to produce Hip-Hop?
Was I always a Hip-Hop fan? No. Actually, I couldn’t stand Hip-Hop because lets face it, a lot of hip hop in the 90’s was cheese. Then I heard “Brother Ali – Champion EP.” After that it was everything I could get my hands on! Immortal Technique, Grieves, Aesop Rock, ATOP, Cunninlynguists, Atmosphere, Del, People Under The Stairs, Ces Cru. If they got something to say that isn’t money, bitches, bitches, money, I’ll listen and it influences me, in one way or another.
What is your favorite album at the moment?
I honestly don’t have one album that is a favorite. Too much good music out there to pick just one, in my honest opinion. I’m also really bad at listening to entire albums in one sitting. If I had to pick one that has been on constant repeat I’d say “Noisia & The Upbeats – Dead Limit.” Just insanely aggressive drum and bass with amazing progression, intense atmosphere, and stellar sound design.
You have a nerdcore hip-hop collective called RPG-Unit that you are a part of and also produce the music. How did this concept come about?
When I started dating my now wife, Shelby, she came to me with the idea behind a Borderlands 2-themed album with 4 emcees doing perspective raps as characters from the game. We hit up our friends (carefully picked, I might add) KPX, Starf, and EyeQ to fill the roles of the characters. I started chopping up music from the game and everything just started falling together. We’ve had a couple people in and out of the group since it started, but we’re a solid core now and it’s been a journey ever since we started.
What are your goals & plans for 2016?
DJ RoboRob & Friends – The Album (working title… bleh) is being worked on right now. Hella collabs with nerdcore emcees and some fantastic producers. Planning to drop it early summer. I am looking to tour in the spring and fall with some con dates sprinkled in the summer season. I have literally spent the last 2 years upping my production game, and I’m ready to get out on the road and make people move.
Thank You RoboRob for the insight and stellar interview! Here is the link to an EXCLUSIVE preview RoboRob gave us just for this interview called, “Vodka Penguins”!