I had the pleasure of meeting Robin for the first time when I booked her as a performer for the 5th Street Coffeehouse music venue in Philadelphia several years ago. The coffeehouse featured African-American female, folk-inspired artists and Robin became an instant favorite of mine and the venue patrons. I have continued to stay in touch with Robin over the years and have recently been privileged to work with her on business marketing strategies as well as writing projects. Robin’s entrepreneurial spirit is infectious and her determination is only paralleled by her acute attention to detail. I am pleased to call her a colleague and a friend.
1. Career influences
It may be a bit cliché for a female singer songwriter to claim Ani DiFranco as a big influence, but she really has been one of mine. I interviewed her some years back for Curve Magazine, and was struck by her focus. I got the impression she’d do only what really called her and propelled her work. Remembering that helps me let go of fears and inhibitions that would have me compromise my determination or artistic vision.
2. Biggest career success
A lot of progress has come from increasing my online presence. I was fortunate to have my Live Devotion CD accepted on Pandora. Because of that and other web outreach, I’ve had people come out to shows across the country and I’ve heard from fans as far away as Sri Lanka.
3. Recent lessons learned
Keeping order is incredibly important for me. In the past, I’ve been challenged by feeling overwhelmed and losing track of my daily routine. This year, I am making it a point to create and stick to my schedule for planning shows, writing, travel, and other details. It facilitates clarity.
4. What inspires and motivates
Great songwriting and live performances always inspire me, whether in a coffeehouse or an arena. What else? South Street in the summertime, dancing, a surprise visit from wild turkeys outside my window, lovemaking, running a 5k, and deep silence. When I feel most alive, I am motivated to excel.
5. Share a leadership story
Jenn Phillips of Images Everything is a good friend and she has done most of my recent photography and graphic arts. Networking comes naturally to her. Her ability to find and generate new opportunities that are creative and lead to profit is inspiring. Jenn is a great leader not by setting out to teach, but by doing life well. She is always busy with musicians’ artwork, designing ads, or producing festival entertainment. This year, she is carving out time for a big vacation, reminding me how important it also is to take time away to rest and nurture the soul.
6. Your Top Two
The main reason people fail is because they give up. Perseverance is what brings success.
Write everything down – a dream, a compelling fantasy, an overheard bit of conversation, an idea that seems too crazy – any of it could be significant. Don’t let it get away. Pursue it or file it away. It could become a significant piece of the puzzle somewhere down the line.
7. About Robin
Robin Renée is Mantra-Pop! –accessible, lyric-driven alt-folk rock with a spiritual twist. Conscious and melodic with an edge, think of blending the voices of Chrissie Hynde and Joan Armatrading with the wordsmith intelligence of Elvis Costello and the mystical passion of kirtan chanting. Her CDs include In Progress, All Six Senses, Live Devotion, spirit.rocks.sexy – mantra-pop headlines from the clairaudient dreams of the evocative Robin Renée, and This. Also a poet, artist, and writer, Robin’s work has appeared in PanGaia, Big Hammer #12, Curve Magazine, Songwriter’s Market, That Takes Ovaries – Bold Females and their Brazen Acts (Random House), and many other publications. She blogs at www.dreambetween.wordpress.com.
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