Interview: Robbie Boyd

Robbie Boyd’s latest self-released EP, Painted Sky is out now. We talked to last month’s Thank Folk For That Live headliner about his journey from busking to the ITV This Morning studios.

So for those who may not be aware, how would you describe your sound?
Upbeat Acoustic Folk Pop Rock!

You’re about to release your third EP. Tell us a bit about your journey to this point.
I started out performing at lots of open mic nights in London and busking my songs on the streets (and still occasionally do). I worked with a producer to create a band sound for my songs. When I first played them with a live band I realised how much it brings the songs to life. I’ve had a consistent backing band for about three years now, even though the line-up is always changing! We’ve played some amazing gigs (like at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire) and festivals (like Bestival and Wilderness), toured many cool countries (like Argentina) and had lots of fun along the way!

You performed ‘I Won’t Let You Go’ from debut EP Autumn’s Flown to a massive audience on the ITV ‘This Morning’ show. How did that come about?
We put my music forward to the producers, who really liked it and asked us to come on. It was crazy performing to that many people! And what’s even crazier is they invited us back again to perform my new single ‘I Want You To Stay’!

You’ve toured pretty extensively through Germany and Italy earlier this year. How was that?
I love Germany and Italy, and they are always really receptive to us, so it’s always a pleasure. I love being on the road and meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, it’s where I feel most at home, and I feel very lucky that I’m able to combine my love of travelling with my job. Also, I have such a fun time with the band, they’re amazing people and musicians. We’ve actually had Italian fans come over from Italy to see our London headline shows, and one of our German fans came over from Germany for our Bush Hall gig!

What can we expect from your new EP, ‘Painted Sky’?
Upbeat, positive vibes, with themes of love, life, yearning and nostalgia.

Why another EP? Can we expect a full-length album at some point, or is the release of EPs a tactical preference?
I’ve recorded lots of songs and can’t wait to release my debut album, it’s just a matter of getting the timing right. I’ve written over 200 songs in the last 4 years and am continually writing so I can’t wait to start recording all of them and putting them out into the world!

2013 has been a busy year for you. What has been the highlight of your year so far?
My sister telling me I’m going to be an uncle!

You’ve had significant success for an act without the backing of a big label. What advice could you give other bands or musicians trying to make their way in a similar vein?

Thank you for noticing! I am quite proud of that achievement now you mention it!  Stick at it, and put yourself out there as much as possible. Take every opportunity that presents itself, because you never know what could come from it. Collaborate with people, be true to yourself and build a good team around you to help with the ridiculous workload! Most of all just work as hard as possible and try to have fun while you’re doing it!

Any tips for rising stars we should be keeping an ear out for?
My friends band Daughter is amazing but you’ve probably already heard of them. Check out Mike Dignam, Zemmy, Jonathan Whiskerd and George Frakes too.

You have a few gigs coming up including a date at the Olympic stadium. How do you prepare for such shows?
Right now I’m focusing on planning as great a show as possible. From rehearsals to set lists to small touches on the night that will leave people feeling good and make it a gig to remember. I’m looking forward to the Olympic Park gig in a big way.

Questions by Nathan Fisher