Robin DuPont, how are you? Okay, can I just say you are the first American feature on Real Talk With Ree so I am insanely excited about this collab. As you probably know, I am from Great Britain, London to be exact and you are from California. This is so awesome! (laughs) seriously, okay so when did you start rapping and making music? What were your influences behind your musical vibe and taste? I wanna know what UK artists you listen to also, because I am so intrigued.
I’m incredibly honored to be the first American feature on your blog. This is my first time being interviewed by someone outside of the United States so it’s equally as exciting for me!
But jumping into the first question: I started rapping when I was roughly 12 years old. I had barely started getting into Hip-Hop at the time and was a huge fan of Lil Wayne, Drake and Kanye – very modern artists. At first, it was more of a hobby than anything and my raps sounded like straight up poetry. It wasn’t until I turned 14 that I actually started recording over beats and attempting to construct songs. My music at the time was.. not the best. (laughs) It was a rough stage of mine, but a super important one.
As for UK artists, the two I listen to a consistent basis are Skepta and Kudz. Incredible artists, in my opinion.
I have huge love for the UK and hope to one day make my way out there!
Awww yes, I have featured Kudz on here. He is dope!When I listen to you, I hear Kendrick Lamar and possibly The Weeknd & Drake. Obviously, they are huge artists in this industry, and of course I don’t make comparisons like that because I feel like every artist has their own sound and their unique selling point. But, of course many established artists use the influence of prior artists of their genre but from past times, so what artist/s have influenced your musical sound and brand?
You know, Kendrick Lamar has actually played a HUGE role in my development as an artist. Kendrick and Logic. Drake and The Weeknd both have inspired me in many ways, but as far as my music goes, I have to give huge props to Kendrick and Logic for helping me improve not only my flow and delivery, but my overall sound. Both of those artists have mastered their craft so well, it’s like second nature to them. Truly inspiring artists. With that said, their influence is still notable in my music, but I hope to one day find my own sound that sticks out and truly reflects me as an artist. It’s a process.
Let’s get into the music, so I have listened to your song Letter for Her on Soundcloud which is DOPE! Can I just say it touched me deeply because there was so much emotion in your voice, and I felt like you were rapping to me (laughs).You are obviously talking from the girl’s perspective and she’s basically saying Robin I love you but I can’t do this. You even say, on her behalf “I’m barely 20 I’m just starting up my story” and that made my head spin (laughs). Literally! Because I was thinking this sounds like me, I’m too young for this and that. Just too young, simply because I believe your 20’s are the years of self-accomplishment and a deeper sense of self-discovery, so I fully believed you. Your sound is so raw and honest, that everything you say I believe and that’s what made me fall in love with your music instantly. Where was your mind at when you came up with this concept?
Thank you, thank you. “Letters From HER” is hands down one of my most personal songs to date, and one of my favorites.
Truth be told, I wasn’t in the best mental state during the time I recorded this track. I wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. I started to reflect on all the things I’ve been told these past few years and a recent conversation with a love interest in which she reminded me that this is not the end – I have so much more left to accomplish. This explains the ending of the track in which she tells me “you’ve got plenty waiting for you on the road you’re headed”.
A lot of my listeners were curious to know who “HER” is. “HER” is actually a combination of all the women I’ve had the pleasure of sharing a connection with. “Letters From HER” is an accumulation of all the things those women have told me.
Your EP ‘ Fear’ is your most recent body of work that you have released this year, it is an eight track project. So, let’s talk about it, your song Lights Out is quite grungy, like the Hip-Hop flavour is there for sure and I can hear Kendrick Lamar. I keep saying this but the way you constructed this song, the elements used is like a Kendrick Lamar song. It’s extremely edgy, real and has an incredible vibe. You are honestly so talented! How did the name come about for your EP? Why do you feel the need as an artist to show you are diverse and capable of holding your own?
As you mentioned, F E A R is not only my most recent body of work, but my very first as well; I’m hesitant to call it an EP, so I go with mixtape – it seems to fit the description a bit more.
You know, initially F E A R was supposed to sound completely different. In the start of 2017, I had begun prepping for my first EP titled Emancipation From Fear. After constant challenges arising, I decided to postpone my EP until I knew I could execute it correctly. With only a month a month left until my advertised release date, I thought of the concept for F E A R; a short story based on my fears from the past few years. Fears consisting of love, anxiety, loss and much more.
As an artist, I do in fact feel the need to show my versatility. Too often you come across individuals who make great music, but sound the same from track 1 to track 50. And as a listener, I’m drawn way from that type of artist. I personally don’t always want to hear the same topics, the same sounds, or the same tones – I just flat out don’t enjoy that. I think to myself, if I don’t enjoy it, why put my listeners through that.
On this tape (and throughout my catalogue), I feel like I had/have to show the listeners that I’m capable of creating very dark, grungy music like “Lights Out”, but can still produce much more mellow tracks like “Conditional Love”.
Personally, I’m very proud of what I’ve done with F E A R. Thank you so much for listening.
I wanna talk about HER Interlude, I loved the bass and I loved the music in general, behind your rapping. Its soulful but also about a girl, what you would do if you had all the times and experiences with the person you wanna be with. It sounded like it was made for a 90s movie, I don’t know (laughs). How do you switch it up from doing a hard-core Hip Hop track like ‘Lights Out’ to then being softer, and more sensitive on the HER interlude?
A 90’s movie, huh? (laughs) That’s a first!
Well, I wanted the interlude on this tape to sound very different from any other track, but still manage to fit the storyline.
In the beginning of “HER Interlude” you hear Visionary telling me to relax after coming down from a bad high (“Breathe Pt 2”) as he continues to turn on the radio. This track is supposed to be playing in the background, and I’m simply listening along, thinking of HER.
The thought of HER calms me down, which explains the softer approach. Unfortunately, it also sparks madness in mind which transitions us to “Lose My Mind”.
Lastly, I wanna talk about your song Lose My Mind, which is also on your EP ‘Fear’. You mention a few names, and basically drop some tea about losing friends and growing as a person, as an artist. I understand what you mean about being a different person, and needing a support system around you that can nurture and protect the growing person you are. Was it your intention to throw shade? (laughs), because maybe I have it all wrong but I just wanna know.
(laughs) Oh, man… this track got me in some trouble. I did in fact “lose a couple friends on this tape”.
Honestly, my intention wasn’t to throw shade at anybody – this is why all of the names mentioned aren’t the actual names of those who I’m addressing. Regardless, people made connections and well.. feelings were hurt, I suppose.
The purpose of this track was to air out the thoughts I have about old lovers and friends. It’s me reflecting on past mistakes and future fears which linger through my mind. I was afraid of losing people due to my honesty throughout this tape, which is where the hook came from. Ultimately, I decided I have to do what’s best for me and let out all of these bottled up thoughts and emotions before I literally lose my mind.
This is one of my favorites on the tape.
Do you know what, everybody whose suppose to be in your life is in your life right now. Every relationship is either a blessing or a lesson. Just a quick question, what is Views From The Village?
Views From The Village is something special in the works. As of now, all I can say is it’s one of the platforms I will be using to centralize all of my content.
Robin what is next for you & how can we stay connected?
I have so many big plans for the rest of the year and even bigger plans for 2018. I want to do another show by December and there may or may not be a project coming in the Winter so.. definitely stay tuned.
You can keep up with everything via ViewsFromTheVillage.com or if you’re only looking for my music, SoundCloud.com/RobinDuPont will do.
Ree, thank you so much for this opportunity and for listening to my music. I appreciate you and wish you the very best with the blog. You’re doing amazing work by highlighting all of these talented creatives. I can’t wait for our next interview!