An enigmatic sound, a storyteller’s narrative and a live performance style oozing with Rat Pack moxie – singer and songwriter Robin McKelle is like a genre-blurring musical alchemist, taking listeners on a sonic trip to the old South, sprinkling in hints of the Motown Era or even the smoothness of Sade album, and mixing it together to create her inspiring ‘Melodic Canvas’ of Soul, Jazz, Gospel and More. On her most recent album, Melodic Canvas, which dropped late April, she embracing her genre-blurring style and no longer trying to fit into a box. The result is a deeply textured, rich, authentic collection, a mix of timely social commentary, intimate lyrics and a thoughtful call to action. A savvy songwriter and a powerhouse vocalist, Robin has long found a home where soul, jazz, pop, gospel, blues and the American Songbook cross paths. For the new album (which she produced), Robin sought a more ‘acoustic’ vibe with a focus on percussion, to allow the subtleties of her voice to shine. In her songwriting and in the arrangements/production of the album, she mixes her varied influences together with strength and grace.
I had the opportunity to catch up with Robin once again to discuss the new release. We get into the making of the songs and the hands on, hands off approach taken to get from a starting point to a finish line. Last time Robin and I spoke, we talked about her work with friend of the proGram, Mr. Lee Fields and how working with him opened up new directions in her path, so naturally I followed up with finding out since then some of the newest collaborators that have inspired. Robin even sings a line from one of the songs she might choose to air if I gave her some time programming greenarrowradio for you…seems like her and I would have fun making radio toGether. Take a listen above for the insights.