Artist Spotlight: Angelica Robinson
This month we shine a spotlight on Nashville’s Angelica Robinson. Her stage persona as a storyteller has led to trace similarities with legendary artists Dolly Parton and Allison Kraus. From her stint on The Voice to headlining tours in Europe and the US, she is gaining steam to become a staple in the country scene.
First off, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us a bit about you and what got you interested in a career in music.
Hey there! Thank you for having me; I’m so honored to be this month’s featured songwriter! My love for music started at a very young age, when I developed a fangirl obsession for legendary pop-stars Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. I was always amazed with how the lyrics seemed to speak to me, almost like they knew exactly what I needed to hear at the time. A few years later, Taylor Swift became an overnight sensation, and I soon became intrigued with the world of songwriting. Around the age of 9, I got a tiny journal with a lock, and started writing down any thoughts, rhymes, and ideas that came into my mind. This little hobby was enough to keep me going, until about 3 years ago, when I began to realize that the small-town life I was accustomed to just wasn’t right for me, and I needed a major change. So, at 19 years old, I sold most of my belongings, packed up my guitar, said goodbye to my hometown in Georgia, and headed to Music City/Nashville to pursue my dreams.
You released a “Raw Acoustic Sessions” in 2017. What has the response been and why did you choose to release a live album vs a studio produced album?
The response to the “Raw Acoustic Sessions” album was exactly what we hoped for! The original purpose of the album was to place emphasis on my songwriting, rather than the production side of the tracks. For that reason, we decided to make the album raw, live, and acoustic, with hopes that the listeners would simply just pay attention to the lyrics and the story behind the lyrics. The feedback we received after the initial Norway release was incredible! Soon after the U.S. release, fans started to come out of the woodworks in praise of the new storyteller tunes.
You released “Innocence” in 2015. Talk about your mindset while writing that song and how you’ve grown as an artist, performer and writer since releasing that.
“Innocence” is one of the most personal songs that I have ever written (and we all know I write some VERY personal songs…). I wrote this song after meeting my younger half-sister for the first time when I was 18 years old. We both grew up with single moms, not knowing our biological father. After meeting her and hearing her story, I couldn’t help but notice how beautifully innocent she was, and how it didn’t seem to phase her that she had already been put through hell at just 14 years old. She’d been hurt, she’d been abandoned, and she’d been tossed from place to place with no say. But she still managed to sit there with a smile on her face and a loving heart in her chest. Seeing this has made me a better artist/performer/writer, but has also made me a better person. I think we should all take a moment to love one another, forgive, and forget.
How was your experience on The Voice and what did you learn from it?
My experience on “The Voice” was one I will never forget! I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the 98 finalists on the show during Season 11. The competition was cut-throat, and intense. So, naturally I began comparing myself to the other contestants and singing songs outside of my comfort zone. After the blind auditions, I thought alot about the critique I received from coaches Blake Shelton and Miley Cyrus. I took their advice back to Nashville with me, and since then, have been working hard to strengthen my weaknesses. I learned so much during my time in Los Angeles, but mostly, I learned that I am who I am, and I don’t need to change who I am just to fit into the mold.
Explain your typical song creation process.
My typical song creation process usually begins with a story or a hook. Some days you enter the writing room with a story or situation you’re just dying to get off your chest. Other days, you enter the writing room with something as simple as a catchy hook or melody.
When writing a story, I start by breaking down the story into bullet points, including every major and minor detail of the story. I then try to determine the purpose/intent of the story, and how I want it to impact my audience emotionally (uplifting/happy/sad). The verses become the chronological storyline, and the chorus becomes the so-called “purpose” of the song.
When writing a song based on a specific hook or melody, the process works a little differently, and tends to come together easier. The chorus/hook typically sets the base for the rest of the song, so we typically start with writing the chorus, and end with the verses. For example, if the hook is something like “Can’t live without you”, then we would start listing the reasons WHY I “can’t live without you”, and that’s how the verses develop.
Who are some artists that inspire your sound and what do you want people to get or feel when they listen your music?
This question always gets me because there are SO many artists that have influenced/inspired my sound. Growing up, I idolized artists like Britney and Christina and Taylor. But as I became an adult, I really began to appreciate artists/songwriters like Norah Jones, Dolly Parton, and Adele. They introduced me into a whole new world of artistry and songwriting, and pushed me to hold nothing back in my music. Nothing is too honest, because there will always be someone somewhere that will relate, and hopefully benefit from having that go-to song they can cry their heart out to.
Who are your top 3 musicians right now?
Right now, my favorite artists are the sensationally talented Cam; pop artist Tori Kelly, and I’m head-over-heels in love with Kelsea Ballerini and her new album. These Nashville musicians have inspired me to not be afraid to dip my toes into a new genre, and to follow my (musical) heart wherever it leads.
What has been your favorite song you’ve ever written? Why?
My favorite song I’ve ever written has to be “Daddy”, that I wrote with my good friend/co-writer Emma Brooke. We wrote this song about me meeting my biological father for the first time when I was 18 years old. This song is my favorite because throughout my entire life, I tried to find the words I’d say to my dad if I was ever to meet him. After writing this song, I was able to say things to him that I simply just didn’t have the courage to say in conversation. And that’s really what music is all about.
What are you currently working on at the moment and what plans do you have in the future?
I am SO excited for what’s in store for 2018!! This passed year I had several life-changing experiences that have completely transformed my music and songwriting. I have so much to tell you, and I can’t wait for y’all to hear it. Let’s just say you should be on the lookout for a new single AND music video, coming your way!!
Anything else that you want to say?
I love what I do. I love singing, songwriting, and performing. But most of all, I love it when a song I have written reaches a soul in need of an anthem. I write for you. My friends, fans, family. You are what keeps me going. Thank you for your support and unconditional dedication to my art. This is just the beginning!
One of our favorite Songfinch songs by Angelica
For everything he has given to and done for his family over the year, Tonya wanted a song for her husband to make him cry happy tears and feel loved. Angelica put together a song that got him teary eyed and proved how special he is to his family.
Click the image below to hear the song, read the story and hear what Tonya had to say about her personalized song.