News

Rob Rodell

So much has happened since my last blog, and I have been so busy (or lazy) that I haven't blogged nearly as much as I would have wanted to. Not that I'm complaining, but I feel perennially tired... My mom says I need a good dose of vitamin B, so that's what I'm OD'ing on at the moment... But I'm happy and I'm grateful. September/October have been great months for me. I sometimes feel a bit strange that I am being too Madonna-esque, trying to do too many music things at once and being involved in too many genres (this "too many irons in the fire" syndrome, as my mom calls it, has always been a problem for me). But I have been reading up on other musicians and songwriters lately, and I see a lot of people multi-tasking their careers. For example, I didn't know that indie film producer Gus Van Sant had released a few CDs of his own music! I was also surprised to read that Rupert Holmes (the Pina Colada song guy) has written musicals for Broadway and has written TV scripts. Suddenly I don't feel quite so strange! But back to the good stuff! On Saturday 11 September, Stapura, a student of mine at Soul Candi and a prominent DJ on YFM, a Gauteng-based radio station, phoned me to try and let me know that the house remix of my song, Could This Be Love, was being played on Metro FM, one of the largest radio stations in my native South Africa. What a kick to be watching your music performed live at a theatre at the same time as it's being played on national radio! Then, to my utter delight (I have to admit that when I found out I squealed like a little girl), Stapura contacted me this past Tuesday, 5 October, to let me know that the same track had been playlisted on YFM, which is a very popular youth radio station broadcasting out of Johannesburg to the province of Gauteng. Does it get any better than this????? AFTER TWENTY YEARS, I FINALLY HAVE AIRPLAY ON MAJOR RADIO!!!!! YIPPPPPPEEEEEE!!!!!! A huge thank you to Stapura, Cuebur the producer, and DJ Shimza, for helping me make one of my dreams come true - airplay... Now let's just hope it becomes a massive, smash hit! I must say, though, in all the years I've been doing music, I never dreamed that I'd be doing house. I researched it a bit on Wikipedia. It has its roots in Chicago, in disco, stemming from the early 1980s. From there it spread to Detroit, New York, Los Angeles and Miami, before crossing the Atlantic to Europe and the Med and the Sahara Desert to Johannesburg, my home town, where it has hugely taken root and flourished. My foray into house is thanks to my connections at Soul Candi, the music school where I lecture, that is linked to a record label. I have access to all these young students who are eager to churn out music, and so I asked some of them if they would work with me. These new tracks, seemingly a million miles away from my own Josh Groban influence, are the fruits of my labour... I'm thrilled and I'm very pleased, and on the inside looking out, my career feels like a big fat mess, a mish-mash of all sorts of genres and styles. But this is how new music is born, and if there's one thing I've learnt in all my marketing studies, it's that being different is a good thing. Well, it's been a while since someone with a classically-trained voice has forged ahead into contemporary music. Talk about a culture clash! It's like Josh Groban and David Guetta having a baby! You gotta laugh at that! So, I'm tired, but very happy. Not making zillions yet, but I fully intend to use my brain to move me forward in the finance department too. And that's one thing that I have also realised about myself: I have incredibly high standards, and I have set the bar really, really high for myself. It means being uncomfortable often, but I still think it's been worth it... It's ironic that I find myself writing about this today, the 9th of October. It was this day 12 years ago that my father died. He was one of my biggest fans, and he would have been hugely proud of me. Everybody would have known that "my son has co-written the music for a theatre musical, and he has a song on radio!" Well Dad, wherever you are, floating around in the universe, I still think of you. And Mom, I'm so glad you're still around to guide me through the muddy waters of life. What are we without the people we love and those who love us?