We had the good fortune of connecting with Blake Robin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Blake, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
As a musician I’ve wrestled with this question a lot. Making art of any kind doesn’t always seem as directly ‘helpful’ to the world as, say, being a doctor, social worker, or community organizer.
But whenever I’m feeling like music doesn’t matter, I remember an epiphany I had in my early 20s. I was living in New York, working in advertising and feeling anxious about life, love, friends…everything. I’d graduated from college with a psychology degree but that didn’t feel like what I wanted to do in life. And yet while I was drawn to music, I didn’t feel like it was “enough.”
One Sunday afternoon when I was in my apartment in the West Village, dreading Monday and stewing in my rat race malaise, I put on a cassette tape of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon.” The song starts with guitarist Jake E. Lee playing a crunchy melodic 16th note riff, punctuated by coordinated stabs of drums and bass.
And it just did something to my brain’s chemistry: a serotonin burst, pure dopamine. I felt the music, and it felt good. It instantly elevated my mood, and I felt more connected to everything. It woke me up.
I realized in that moment that creativity was not a one way street, of performer to audience: it’s an exchange, a conversation. Jake E. Lee’s guitar was helping me feel better, and maybe if I made music, it might someday make someone else feel the same way. And that this – music and creativity – can be a worthy contribution to the world.
Many years later, in the wake of Covid, climate change, corrupt cops and everything else that needs fixing, music can still not feel like it’s enough. So in those moments I remind myself that the world still needs to experience the uplifting energy that only art can provide; or simply a place to escape to when everything is too much. I still gratefully derive energy from Ozzy, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Tame Impala and Donna Summer; and I am proud to feel know that I am now on the other side of that exchange, for someone else, somewhere, listening to my music.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a producer, songwriter and DJ, probably best known for being on the front page of the Wall Street Journal because of my “LUXXURY edits” series of remixes…leading to my almost being sued by Don Henley from the Eagles! In addition to my remixes for artists as diverse as Melanie Martinez and Glass Candy, my original songs have been heard in film, TV and games (most prominently XBOX Forza Horizon).
More recently I’ve branched out into making short music documentaries…ok fine, Tiktoks! I’ve really been enjoying making them and it’s been a nice distraction during Covid times, especially since my DJ career evaporated overnight.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The first two people in the music business who believed in me were Heather Kreamer (Create) and Peter Lloyd (Disney). I’m forever indebted to them for taking a chance signing me and my music, and introducing me to their music industry circles.
Other: @luxxuryxx on Tiktok – this is actually my biggest and favorite platform, 210k followers
Øystein Haara Photography (white suit) Esteban Allard-Valdivieso (live shot)