Sunday, 18 September 2011

Robert Owens - One Tear plus INTERVIEW

From a new label featuring two new-ish names (see Mendo & Hector Couto, below) to a true past master of the house music game - Robert Owens, the voice of classics like Tears, I'll Be Your Friend, Was I Here Before, Tear Down The Walls, Walk A Mile In My Shoes and many more.

One Tear doesn't see Mr Owens (to you) going down any particularly startling new routes, or anything – especially when you consider his many forays into D&B and other musical pastures, this is pretty much classic Owens-style vocal Chicago house music.
But if it ain't broke, as they say… suffice to say, for Owens fans this is a must-have.

What's more, as so often with Owens' work, there's also a slightly melancholic, mournful feel to the whole thing… both lyrically ("sometimes I didn't see it coming/sometimes I didn't see the clouds before the rain"), and – thanks to the minor-key synth motif – musically. Which is something I asked Robert about when he kindly agreed to answer some questions exclusively for TIWWD readers.

TIWWD: How did you come to hook up with Tevo Howard for the release of One Tear?
We both played at the same gig and thought it would be great to do a track together as we both respect each other's work.

TIWWD: Is there a particular story to One Tear? In many of your songs there seems to be a theme of loss, would you care to talk about that at all?
Yes, loss is a big part of my life, past to present – but not just my life but for many people around the world. I’ve always felt if I could let others know I’ve experienced the same emotions they’re feeling and going through, I might help ease some of their problems if I could shine a light on a view to lift them out of that state of mind. Many of my ‘loss’ thoughts have a ‘way out’ theme.

TIWWD: After so many years in the game, does it get harder to come up with new ideas? Or do you feel your craft as a singer/songwriter is still developing, in the way (for instance) a painter may feel the work they do at 50 is more proficient than the work they did at 25?
Everything about me and my view to life and giving is natural. I don’t try, I apply, and every day a page keeps turning, from old to new. I’m grateful for the people in my life, they are my lifeline.

TIWWD: Another question regarding longevity... how do you find you get along, as an ‘elder statesman’ of house music, with the up-and-coming producers, labels, promoters etc today?
I’m lucky, so far most people I meet know who I am and I’m not short on people asking to work with me. That’s the beauty of this business that keeps me strong.

TIWWD: Are there any plans to come to the UK for gigs to promote this release?
Every week I’m flying to some part of the world to play so it could be the UK next week. Or even tomorrow!

TIWWD: Finally, when I spoke to you for iDJ a few years back, you were putting a lot of energy into DJing as well as singing. Is this still the case?
Yes, I still like loving people… and one hand washes the other.

Out: The single One Tear is out this week on Tevo Howard Recordings

About: Chicago label Tevo Howard, owned and run by the artist/producer of the same name, can be found online here. There's a pretty good profile piece over at Resident Advisor as well.

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