Lamar N. Robinson wants to make music his way. No labels, no boxes, no boundaries – just music.
Robinson, 24, is double majoring in psychology and social work. Although he’s only minoring in vocal performance, the subject has a major impact on his life.
His promotional tour kicked off last November and continues through March. Robinson’s compilation CD, Enough Said, releases this summer. It will feature original lyrics to the beats of popular hip-hop and R & B music. His album, If My Eyes Could Speak, debuts this fall.
Robinson’s music has a message, but he isn’t trying to make listeners hear what he hears.
“We all look through different prisms,” Robinson said. “It’s like taking a diamond and holding it up. It reflects in so many different ways and so many different angles.”
Robinson’s religious upbringing served as the catalyst for the development of his musical talents. As a child, he sang a capella in the Church of Christ and fell in love with its unique and creative sound.
“I always wanted to know how (singing a capella) was done and if there was any way I could learn how to do it,” Robinson said. “Just being able to hear all those aspects of music was something that I always gravitated towards.”
Music is in his blood. His father was a disc jockey during the ’70s in Harlem. The musical influences of Curtis Mayfield, Roberta Flack, Marvin Gaye, James Taylor, Michael Jackson and others were Robinson’s window into the world of music. When he was young, he would sneak off and listen to his father’s tapes.
“I would turn the volume down real low and put my ear to the speaker and I would imitate these voices,” Robinson said.He started seeing a pattern: Every artist had their own sound, style and capability.
“That’s when I started to realize that I could have my own style,” Robinson said.
At age 13, Robinson first realized his music affected people. As a member of his church’s sick ministry, Robinson would sing at nursing homes and hospitals.
“I’d sing to people and I’d watch their faces light up and I’d watch them cry,” Robinson said. “I’d watch them be led into a direction of past memories. I started realizing that it was more than just getting my music out, I learned that is was an aspect of psychology.”
Through his music, Robinson wants listeners to become inspired and driven to persevere.
“Like Aaliyah says, ‘Dust yourself off and try again,'” he said. “You’ve got to. Despite the bad things that happen in your life, you can’t let those things imprison you.”
As positive as he is about his music and the effect he wants it to have on others, Robinson knows the path to making it in the music industry is littered with broken dreams. But he’s got a game plan.
“I’ve got a song that says, ‘This R & B thing is driving me crazy but I only answer to G-O-D, ‘cuz He manages me. So don’t hate on me,'” he said.
Robinson trusts in his foundation in family and in his belief to use and spread his gift.
He lost his grandmother and aunt within two years of each other to cancer. Growing up, three of his close friends died. Death made him think about why these things happened to other people but not to him. He dealt with it by believing that he had a purpose to fulfill.
“My biggest failure would be not to try,” Robinson said. “I have a mission, I have a vision, I have a plan and I’m trying to pursue it.”
So who is his target audience? Robinson feels as though his music reflects a soulful state of mind. It’s geared toward everyone: the young and sexy and the grown and sexy, he said.
“I want to be able to take the God-sent gift that I have and not only unify people, but allow people to realize that, one: there’s a purpose for their lives, two: stay determined, and three: to just have fun (with it).”
Robinson’s motto: “Come on, get on this train and just ride with me. Let’s have a good time.”