Friday, May 21st, 2010 at 3:45 pm
This Chicago native born and raised is funky as hell. His name: Chris Rob. He’s played keyboard and backup vocals for just about everyone including Legend, Alicia Keys, Black Moon, Common, Prince, Snoop Dogg, Laura Izibor, Michelle N’Degeocello and more. In fact when N’Degeocello heard his first project ‘The official bootleg of Chris Rob’ an EP released in 2002, she phoned him to say it was all she listened to for a month. Chris is no stranger to genres. Crossing genres is natural! He grew up listening to House and Hip Hop as well as all the classics- Jazz and classical as he was trained classically! He also got to work with the legendary Leon Ware on a recent project called ‘Moon Ride’ – a the lead single Chris produced called “Smoovin”. He’s featured on several albums included Kanye West and Deborah Cox.
Ok- so that’s enough of him behind the artist-backing up/being the instrumentalist which he is– Chris Rob is a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and producer… So much talent in one finger! In fact- I got to play piano to him one night at Joe’s Pub which is where I met him- was playing in an Eclectic Ride ‘Stevie Wonder’ Tribute- I was so inspired- my fingers took over.. I was amazed then at his artistry and stayed in touch ever since- so here we are 6 or so years later— his next project gearing up and damn– it’s a Classic- A Winner! Smooth, Funky, Musical, Housy, Grooving, home grown, stirring– Ok you’ll just have to wait a little longer but…
I got to kick it in the studio with Chris last night in the BK- lowkey- heard some of what we’re about to hear! So pretty much the whole project he’s playing all the instruments, produced, wrote and sings! Damn! There are a couple musicians of note and of course DJ Spinna c0-produced a track. Here’s a sneak.
Album: ‘Mental Notes’.
It’s now about Chris Rob up front-stage center… I asked him how he feels. “It has been a long time coming, but after working so hard behind so many artists, I wanted my first breakthrough album to be something that uplifted people and made them think, as well as dance and kick back. Mental Notes Vol. 1 is all about patience and persistence, you can hear and feel it in the music. It will move you.” Well after listening last night- Moved me it did!
You can hear more about the making of this breakthrough album here:
We rooting for you Chris!