“Don’t Be No Scrooge, Some people hate the holidays, some just hate. This song is for both. ” – @RobbyTheElf
Listen to the interview:
Episode #271 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax
GETTING TO KNOW ROBBY THE ELF
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
As a child I played many instruments, trumpet, saxophone, percussion, and guitar…
I also wrote poems. But life can be hard and I went thru tough stuff. I wound up sleeping in my car and going on end without food. I woke up several nights hearing people outside my car and I heard them say, “There’s somebody in there!” And I’m thinking, there’s somebody out there! No one helped me and nobody cared. I realized that no one should experience that and if ever given the chance, I’ll help the less fortunate. I worked hard and got a place of my own. I wanted to relearn musical instruments, yet I figured I would write songs and let seasonal artists play. I didn’t know if I could actually rap, but I wrote my first song, “Magic From Elves” and recorded it a year later. The song went to #1 on Soundclick.com.
Don’t Be No Scrooge…
Some people hate the holidays, some just hate. This song is for both. The lyrics I write are holiday oriented, but can be utilized year round. Holiday Hip-Hop that’s not limited just to the holidays. I try to bring a positive influence into a negative music industry. The rap game is associated with negativity so I try to be different and challenge the industry to change. Is there a back story about how it was written or recorded? A lot of my songs are written from my spirit. I’m a Christian and I feel like God tells me what to write, I merely document it. I come up with a rhythm and listen to it. It tells me what to write and what to write about. Some people tell me I should write Christian music. Isn’t Christmas Christian?
I’ve been working with my man Rob Burgess for a long time and now we even work together. We will sometimes work and go into the studio at midnight or later to get things done. He’s my main composer of music. He first was my engineer and remixed The Elf Lean and I loved it so much, I’ve primarily used him since. We get together and make music, not just beats.
Christmas Crunk brings the banging beats of Hip-Hop…
with the holidays creating a unique blend that’s clean, yet jammingly entertaining. Wow clean rap, now there’s a first. I rap about Christmas from an elf’s perspective. Some might say I write children’s music, but adults like Santa too, don’t they? And without grown-ups, there would be no Santa. So I make grown-up music that kids like too. My music is meant to entertain the ears with new stories about Santa, elves, Jesus, and anything Christmas related.
I live in the Upstate of South Carolina…
The club scene is hot, but that’s not me. As far as indie music, it’s not respected much. If you’re not signed and on MTV, you’re nobody.
I grill out to chill out. It relaxes me. And now football season is here. I love college and the NFL. I pull for so many different teams, people tell me to pick just one. But how can I when I just love football?
I don’t like where it’s headed. Too many focus on their freedom of expression without considering dignity or class. Remember, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. If my mom or grand mom would be ashamed of my music then I should be ashamed of it too. I’ve been to houses where someone wants me to check out their music when their kids come in. They yell at the kids to get out because they don’t want their kids to hear their own music.
Pros and cons …
Because I’m the first to do what I do, I get a lot of raised eye brows. I feel like people think I’m gonna rap Jingle Bells. That’s adults and kids too. But when I perform and see everyone, regardless of age, bouncing and jamming, then it’s a feeling I can’t describe.
People are gonna judge…
People are gonna hate. Profiling is part of a human being’s imperfect nature. We do it on race, religion, sex, etc. People do it to me and my music. I’m not gonna change that. But I can write about it. I’ve had reviews where Christmas critics say my music isn’t Christmasy enough. Remember, no one’s ever done this before, so there’s no blueprint. I just keep writing music. I let the critics be critics and try to appeal to the people.
I like twitter. I think people can express themselves better nowadays through all social media. But that’s not always a good thing. Sometimes people forget about restraint, composure. Now news hits instantly.
Yeah, facebook. I can’t figure it out. So many can’ts. Can’t do this or do that. But I will one day.
Singles vs an album…
I would prefer to release albums every year, but that’s a collection of songs and when you work all year to support your music, there just isn’t enough time. I don’t have financial supporters. I do this all myself. So I put all I have into it. All my heart, all my soul, and all my money goes into this. You can get free beats and you can get $20 beats. Does my music sound like I’m rapping on $20 beats? I hope not. Releasing a single should support an album to generate the most money. I can’t right now. I hope that I can generate enough of a buzz through my single that people will get into my previous releases.
Talk about the differences in your marketing strategy to support your preference. I hope I answered that already.
I would love to have 5 minutes alone with….
Bruno Mars because I think he’s the hottest singer out there today. He can play almost anything, has a great creative mind, and his voice is phenomenal. I think it would take more than 5 minutes though.
I do think too much emphasis is placed on trends….
Too many focus on being outrageous and not enough on creativity. I see singers today who are known for their cleavage or their booty as much as their music. One of my favorite old school singers was Donna Summer. She was beautiful, yet she was known for her voice. She didn’t need to show off her body to get you to notice her.
I am most afraid of…
dying and going to Hell. Lots of people who’ve been close to me have let me down. I have let God down. But He never left me. When I went through hard times, He was with me. So why would I want to disappoint Him? I thank Him for getting me through those times, thank Him for getting through cancer, for living in America, and for everything that I take for granted.
My personal definition of success is..
My favorite story is a humble one. A friend asked me to go and perform at a small orphanage with only 6 kids. I said, “Let’s go.” The first thing they asked me was about Santa. So I pulled out my cell phone and called him. I said, “I know you’re not expecting a call from me right now, and I know you’re probably busy, but if you have a minute, I have some kids that wanna talk to you.” He said, “Put ‘em on the phone.” So I hit my speaker phone, put it down and said, “Ya’ll talk to Santa, I’m going to get a cookie.” We had a great time.
My over all goal for my life & career is…
to impact the world thru my music and get people to leave a cookie for an elf. We make cookies, we bake great cookies, so why can’t an elf get a cookie at Christmas? But if that never happens and I get one kid who wants to make music decide he or she wants to make clean music, then I’ve succeeded.
3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) Pray constantly everyday. The Lord provides me with wisdom. Wisdom is not merely knowing right from wrong, but acting on it.
2) Eat right and exercise. Keeping my body clean just as my mind. As a cancer survivor, I don’t eat lots of things most do. It’s worked so far.
3) Follow the no-excuse plan. I don’t make excuses for not doing something. I overcome my obstacles.
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