vəˈräɡō/: a woman of strength or spirit; a female warrior.

Who is Robert Carvalho?

If you like Maxwell, Robin Thicke, Jill Scott, India Arie and Maxi Priest, you’re going to love this soulful, British crooner.

Kristen: Robert, your music is a perfect blend of lovers rock, soulful vocals and electronic instrumentation (especially Loving U). Could you talk a little bit about how you came to form such an interesting blend of sounds? Who influenced you musically? When did you discover music was your passion?

Robert: Blending the sounds, especially the drums, I wanted the frequency of the drums to be hip hop, i.e. that heavy kick which is a signature of hip hop.

I’ve always liked the relationship with synths and funk, hence using electronic sounds/samples.

My influences include P-Funk, Les Nubians, Miles Davis, Bob Marley, Erykah Badu and too many to mention!

My passion for music came to me when I was a session, bass player. Regardless of money, for me music was and is the truth in terms of self expression.

Kristen: If you could work with any artist in the universe, who would it be and why?

Robert: There’s too many…lol. Let’s see, it would have to be Stevie Wonder….No Prince….I’ll stick with Stevie. Well, because of his amazing musicality, especially in the development of Soul music.

Kristen: Your music is all about positive vibes–warm, uplifting and passionate. “Feels Good,” especially the break down literally accomplishes its song’s title. Could you tell me what inspires you to write a song? Could you take me through your songwriting process? You are quite a lyricist. What gets you in song-writing mode?

Robert: What inspires me is the human spirit overcoming adversity and the celebrating of life. My family and friends, experiences, overhearing conversations (yes, I’m nosy..lol). Life in its entirety influences me: the good, the bad and the ugly.

I write a lot. I don’t have a strict process because inspiration can hit at any time, anywhere. However, I think to become lyrically apt, just like with any skill, you have to practice. If something inspires me, like a situation I’m in, I’ll head for my guitar and start playing and an hour later I have a song. Obviously, depending on were I want the song to go, the process can take longer.

Kristen: The state of music has been in a bit of quandary lately, but there’s much promising change out there right now. There is vast amount of cross-over in music right now which is really refreshing. For instance, your song “Soul News” has an eclectic blend of organic instrumentation, flutes etc. fused with hip hop beats and soulful vocals. What makes for a great song, in your opinion?

Robert: A great song? Wow. Ok. A song that is timeless, regardless of genre. A song that resonates with the masses. A good example of this is “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, still relevant to this present day.

Kristen: Rob, it’s been a pleasure talking to you today. Keep bringing that sweet, soul music!

Robert: Thank you! Great questions.

http://www.twitter.com/bassheaddred

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carvalho/118508739960

 

About Kristen Demesilda

Kristen Demesilda
Writer and Photographer for Virago Magazine, Kristen grew up listening to vinyl and highlighting the dictionary. Her work has appeared in IrockJazz.com, The East Harlem Journal, Boston's Culturehive, the Ithacan and other publications. Her love of music cannot be eclipsed by her love of words. She's been coined the "Akira Kurosawa of Blogs" by such people as herself. An aspiring musician, she has a serious penchant for peach-flavored anything, multi-tasking, slow-paced thrillers and dreams of going back to South America, laying on the beach, and drinking from a coconut.
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