CelebMix spent 4 days camping at Y Not Festival; a three-day festival filled with lots of music – artists well known and upcoming – a load of food and friendly faces. While at Y Not Festival we were lucky enough to sit down and chat with upcoming musician Rob Green.
Tell us about who you are, Rob!
Rob: Well, I’m a singer/songwriter from Nottingham, UK. I’ve been recording and releasing my own music since 2012, which is when my first EP was released. This new EP that I’ve just released this April is my third EP and it’s self-titled as “Rob Green EP” and the reason for that was, just because in the past, I had been performing with a band and this was the first time that I was really doing it for myself. So, everything that you hear in the recordings, all the beats, everything, they start from natural sounds that I made. It was very, from me, so by the end, it just felt like it made sense to just label it after me, because I’m so narcissistic [he says sarcastically which causes everybody in the room to erupt in laughter] but, yeah. We built, me, a lady called Christella Litras and Johnny Khan, the three of us built a DIY studio in the attic of a converted church because the church itself has been turned into a centre for the National Citizenship Service; so, like helping young people and developing them… and in the attic it was just empty. So they said if you come and teach some songwriting classes you can have the attic space for free. So, we taught I think it was like two weeks of songwriting classes, which were cool, and then we got this attic space which was so bare and empty – It was like this basically [Rob laughs and gestures to the green room space, compiled of a single table and a few chairs we were sitting at] Um, then we turned it into a studio space, bit by bit and by the end of the album it was all finished being made. So, it was like really poetic, the EP was finished and the studio was finished and then that was that I think with that we’re pretty much up to date.
What about your set at Y Not Festival, what did you think about the crowd?
Rob: Oh, it was amazing!
You got a little bit emotional, didn’t you?
Rob: A little bit?! [Rob exclaims with enthusiasm as he laughs] Yeah, oh my god, it was like daytime television. I just wanted Oprah to come out and clap. The Oprah clap!
You get a CD and you get a CD! [We tried to impersonate Oprah but Rob definitely beats us out in his enthusiastic impression]
Rob: You get a CD and you get a CD and all the claps! I mean yeah, so um, sorry. This is like my post gig brain now [he laughs] yeah, it was amazing. It was very unexpected y’know when you hear that you’re booked at like 2o’clock in the afternoon – obviously it’s amazing to perform at this festival, The Quarry stage is obviously the second biggest stage it’s amazing and Dean Jackson who booked me through BBC Introducing y’know is such a champion for independent music. To get the opportunity from him to perform is amazing within itself. I came here very, y’know, thinking it’s 2o’clock in the afternoon, there’s probably going to be bright sunshine, everybody’s going to be kind of all over the place so, you know, you kind of don’t know know what crowd you’re going to get – so don’t plan the crowd, just plan the set.
My set at the moment, I’m just kind of focusing on the loop pedal. Which is like, one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever set myself. I’ve only started using it in November of last year, so I’m still learning it in a way but every time I’m using it it’s like a Pokémon experience – I feel like I’m going to evolve by the end of it
Topical Pokémon reference…
[Rob laughs] Yeah! It’s like Pokémon Go! That was awful, please don’t put that in there! [Rob jokes with us as we discover he is a secret Pokémon Go! fan]
Yeah, in a way I didn’t think too much about the crowd before the show, I was thinking about just making sure I did the set, what order I did the songs and stuff like that and I had planned my set to exactly 30 minutes and I went on and did it and I thought, there’s actually quite a few people here and then by about 4 songs in the tent was rammed, well, it looked it to me… I don’t know I wasn’t obviously stood in it, but it looked so rammed. It started off in the middle where people were sat down and they had to stand up because people were coming forward. So, to me, it was like a sea of heads.
It was difficult to get through the crowds, we were weaving in and out trying to get to the front because we wanted to be there.
Rob: Yeah, it was amazing. Y’know there’s a lot of songs both on this EP and songs that I’m developing at the moment that mean a lot to me and you know, Greg my manager has been with me since like day one and we’ve played empty venues and we’ve played really quiet festivals and we’ve still had a wicked time! So, it’s really hard to express it fully…
So, it’s just about the music?
Rob: Well, it’s just like, you don’t count on things you just try to make it something that you can really get something out of and really enjoy. In terms of the actual songs that I’m writing they are very personal, but most of the time I go into the writing process like “I’m going to write about this” but then it ends up being a lot deeper than expected but then when you get to perform them to a crowd like that and you see their reactions, it makes those experiences worth it, even those negative ones. So I think it’s really nice and I don’t know what else to say, it’s just amazing.
Just a lot of emotion from today, we’re amazed at how well the crowd responded, it blew us away – you just have that presence on stage which means that people respond to you really well.
Rob: No, it’s great. Literally, like, the second I got on the stage the vibe was really good. It wasn’t like [he gestures thumbs down] and that’s a testament more so to Suspect Alibi and to um… [Rob glances to his manager, Greg, while trying to find the words on the tip of his tongue] Silver Wilson, my brain just went… because they went on to find fresh audiences each time because the weather was changing so much and they set up the vibe so well that the energy was great and to go on to an already positive vibe and it’s so nice. That’s the great thing about festivals, which you don’t get when you do your own shows, you have to warm everybody up and do your show the same it’s sick to like, be part of this festival this early in the day and then now, after this, be able to go and see how it continues to build.
When you think about a festival it starts off at 12o’clock, so that vibe is building up all day, all day, all day. I’ve never been able to stay at a festival that long because normally I’m a lot later in the day so I haven’t been drinking and I’m knackered whereas today [he says enthusiastically with a huge smile on his face] …different story.
You had the whole festival experience today?
Rob: Yeah! So, I’m really excited and can’t wait.
[For a little while CelebMix and Rob talked a little bit about how it’s our writers first festival ever and we talked briefly about camping and how to camp at a festival – we discovered, in case it wasn’t already obvious, that a tent is a very handy object!]
Let’s do a few little questions, let’s start with: What is your favourite animal?
Rob: My favourite animal is a…. oooh… um… [Rob pauses for a moment as he tries to think of one animal to name as his ultimate favourite] You know, my brain just went [He talks in rapid succession] FOX! SNAKE! Blahhh! Like a million animals just came into my head. I really love mountain goats.
That’s an obscure one, we were expecting cat, dog or…
Rob: No, I just like mountain goats a lot, mainly because of their bravery. Have you ever seen one climbing a mountain?! It’s like there’s one rock, about that wide [Rob makes a gesture with his hands displaying a gap of about the size of an A4 sheet of paper] and they’re got all four legs on it, just chewing on one leaf. Like, what? There’s a whole tree over there?! Really? Love it!
Where do you get your sense of humour from? It’s one of those things where you can sink or swim with jokes, people can either respond really well to them or not at all but you got some really big laughs…
[Rob laughs and suddenly becomes very serious for a moment] Yeah, but the thing is… you haven’t been there for when they don’t laugh! Trust me, I have cracked jokes and they have not laughed at all. I honestly don’t know, my family is very high energy and I guess it’s probably my family environment. You’ve got a lot of big personalities and a lot of love in the family so I think it’s one of those things where you learn to laugh and between me and my brother and sister we’ve all gone through a lot, we’ve been through a lot together and also been through a lot individually and I think that what we’ve learnt is that having a good sense of humour can soften most blows.
Rob: Favourite food… and I want it to be something healthy and beautiful but it is just burgers. I love a burger. If you can pull it or slow roast it, whatever, beef, duck, pork – love it! Lamb is my favourite meat, though.
[Here CelebMix and Rob got talking about the food stalls available at Y Not Festival and we recommended he try a duck burger with duck fat fried chips because they were wonderful!]
Rob: My favourite film of all time is Little Miss Sunshine, have you ever seen it?
No, actually [Our writer confesses to not seeing the film]
Rob: What?! Get outside! [Rob jokes with our writer as he points to the door and laughs] Little Miss Sunshine is amazing, I have lots of favourite films but that is really amazing a really amazing film. I think the reason why I love it, is because it’s so unassuming, it’s an unassuming film and it gets you…
Without giving the plot away because we are now going to have to watch this…
Rob: You are going to have to watch this, it’s really good and I feel like it’s one of those films that wouldn’t age, it came out in – what was it? 2008? 2007? I think it got Oscar nominated.
We’re going to have to watch this and Tweet @RobGreenMusic when we’ve done it!
Rob: Without giving it away, the boy in the car… that’s what messes me up.
One of our favourite films, which we thought of when you mentioned the boy in the car, is Sixth Sense…
Rob: Oh wow, U-TURN! [Rob laughs] Sixth Sense is great, but I’ve not actually seen it all the way through… It came out in 199….? …a long time ago. My mum’s biggest fears is innocent things being made evil. So, there’s things that I haven’t seen or things that I had to wait until I was older until I could see them: Donny Darko, because it has that rabbit… I’ve still not seen Ghost Busters, because she’s afraid of some marshmallow thing that’s in it. I’m going to go see the new one [Ghost Busters 2016]
With the all female cast?
Rob: Yeah! Exactly, and also in my head, I was like most people will have seen the original but I’ll be one of the few people to see that [Ghost Busters 2016] as an original.
That’s the thing, it’s a generational thing maybe? The younger generation are going to grow up with this as an all female cast….
[Robs manager, Greg, weighs in the chat about Ghost Busters 2016]
Greg: It’s brilliant, though, having an all-male cast. I saw a lot of people kicking off, like, why can’t we have an all male cast? It’s not a remake, its a completely different film…
Rob: Are you saying male or female?
Greg: Female, sorry!
Rob: You kept saying male
Greg: Oh, sorry! I meant female.
Rob: [Mocking his managers mistake] It’s so unique that they’ve gone for this all-male ensemble!
There’s a lot of diversity…
Rob: Also, what I like is that it’s not just “Oh, we’re just going to pick females just to pick females” they’ve picked a wicked writing team, a wicked female acting group! Bridesmaids….It’s basically Bridesmaids…
We haven’t even seen Bridesmaids yet!
Rob: WHAT [He shouts in shock] you haven’t even seen Bridesmaids?!
Greg: Even I’m kicking off now
Rob: You’ve never seen Bridesmaids?!
It’s one of those things where we’ve intended to see it but we’ve never had the chance to…
Rob: To me, every so often a comedy film comes along that has real cultural relevance, like Mean Girls, it’s a comedy and it’s supposed to be light but there’s some real, realness, in it. [Rob becomes Damien from Mean Girls for a brief moment as he quotes the character] “She doesn’t even go here!” and it’s so quotable. Bridesmaids is just like that and I think The Hangover was in a way but I think the thing with The Hangover is that it’s not as quotable.
[Rob, his management and our writers talked about film quotes, Bridesmaids, Mean Girls and movies for a while, you can hear the full conversation in the YouTube clip below!]
Thank you for chatting with us, Rob Green! We hope you had as much fun chatting with our writers as they had with you. If you want to hear more of the interview click play on the YouTube video below to hear the audio clip from Y Not Festival 2016.
You can read about Rob’s fantastic set at Y Not Festival 2016 here.
Don’t forget to keep up to date with Rob’s antics by following him on Twitter @RobGreenMusic, add him to your Snapchat collection RobGreenMusic or find him on Facebook and if you want to hear more news about Rob Green from CelebMix don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @CelebMix, find us on Facebook and you NEED to add us on Snapchat: CelebMix