If second chances are for the lucky, singer-songwriter Rob Richings is one of the luckiest. Diagnosed in 2009 with what proved to be a near-fatal illness, once he beat it Richings decided enough was enough and it was time to get serious about his music. So after jacking in his decorating job, and now relatively healthy, it’s time to make good on his promise to himself.
Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
I’m from Swindon, Wiltshire. I’ve spent the past few years pushing hard to become a full time musician. I recorded an EP in 2015 called ‘Half Way Up’ with Simon Johnson (James Morrison’s guitarist) before heading off on two UK tours supporting Tom Baxter. Then I headed to Sydney Australia to record my debut album ‘Parkas And Boots’ with Chris Vallejo (Passenger’s Producer). This has just been released 07th October 2016.
How would you describe your music?
Folk storytelling with a splash of 90s brit pop influence.
Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
I’m a massive fan of Ron Sexsmith. Such a talented songwriter but also such genuine and nice guy. Damon Albarn has always been an influence. Even though my music is different to a lot of his, I love the way he is able to write in so many different genres. Rodriguez is always playing in my house too. The album ‘Cold Fact’ is wonderful and the documentary on him is even better.
What are you currently promoting?
I have just released my debut album ‘Parkas And Boots’. I am due to announce a UK tour in the coming weeks so head on over to my social sites to see where I’m off to and when!
Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
I have a song on my EP called ‘Lord In The Attic’ I spent many years between 2009-2014 in and out of Hospital very unwell having major surgery. When I was well enough I took a weekend trip to Amsterdam where I discovered a little church in a loft of a 17th-century town house that’s now a tourist attraction. Back in the day the Catholic faith were forbidden to pray in Amsterdam so a guy built this in his loft and the people used to sneak up at night to pray. I wrote this song in my head while peacefully sat in this loft. I then spend the rest of the day trying to find a guitar shop to put chords to the melody and lyrics.
What are you currently listening to?
I am currently listening to – Twelvefour by ‘The Paper Kites’ . The wild swan by ‘Foy Vance’ and Young as the morning Old as the sea by ‘passenger’
And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
Continuum by ‘John Mayer’
What are your hopes for your future career?
I hope my debut album can react enough to give me the opportunity to get back into the studio for a second album as I am really enjoying the new songs and the song writing process right now.
If money were no object what would be your dream project?
Build a studio where myself, Damon Albarn and Ron Sexsmith could write an awesome album together. I’m assuming they wouldn’t say no if money was no object 😉
What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Playing live shows. Especially to an audience who appreciate live music. There’s no better feeling.
And the worst?
Ummm. That’s a tough one…. Probably unpacking the car/van after a show. Especially when you don’t arrive home ‘til the early hour!!
Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Thank you for reading this. Feel free to look me up and come say hello!!!!