Robbie Zereka is one of six children from a loud, rural Irish family. Although he sang in the local choir from an early age, he struggled with his confidence until secondary school, where he auditioned for the school musical after encouragement from his music teacher. While rehearsing in the months before the musical, he became very close friends with a fellow cast member, who later took his own life. “It really forced me to think hard about depression and how people bottle things up. I owe that experience for teaching me to vocalise my feelings. I wrote my first song about him.” Robbie has carried this resolution seeking approach with him in life and lyricism.
The sounds of Patsy Cline, Tracy Chapman, and Smokie filled his childhood home, but when he started to write his own music, Zereka looked to broaden his influences over the years by learning from some of the greatest artists around. He learned vulnerable, honest and fierce lyricism from artists like Sinead O’ Connor, KT Tunstall, and The Cardigans and from John Grant, the impact of searing honesty was attained. As well as studying the beauty of balance and contrast in their music, Robbie has drawn aesthetic influence from Goldfrapp and his all time favourite artist, Roisin Murphy. “My favourite artists use visuals as a further means of expression. I feel that what you see is just as important to the message of a song as what you hear.”
His debut EP, Time, pulses with the emotive yet rousing swell of alternative pop, all carried by his obvious assets: his rich, unique voice, and a yearning but learning approach to lyricism. As well as continuing to sharpen his vocal and lyrical style while studying a BMUS in Popular Music Performance at BIMM (The British and Irish Modern Music Institute) in London, Robbie is excited to expand on the visual flare from his self-produced music video for the song Bloodshot. “It’s pretty exciting what I’ve managed to create at this point with the help of some of my kind and talented friends. I can’t wait to see what else we can make together. I’ve got so many ideas for videos and visuals for live shows and I’m already working on my first full length album. My writing style is always evolving, so I’m excited to experiment and see where my sound and image will go!”