For our 21st Clapper Sounds Interview, we’re highlighting musician, former athlete, and Clapper Creator, Rob Georg!
Rob, better known as @RobGeorgMusic on Clapper, is a country musician based in Germany. He had an incredible career equestrian career for years before he broke into music. Though he may not be from the south, Rob’s music is perfect for any cowboy out there. In this interview we discussed his proudest moment, his thoughts on content creation as a musician, his advice for new artists, and more!
Clapper Sounds is meant to be an intimate musical experience, and we want that mission to translate into our written interviews too. As you read about
Let’s start from the beginning. What is your first memory of being involved with music? How did you start your artist journey?
I used to be an equestrian athlete (I competed in the discipline of cutting up to the World Series level) and I ran a ranch too. Then my soul horse passed away. It was a February afternoon, and in the morning he was good but I came back in the afternoon and he was already dead, frozen to the ground. That was really hitting me hard and I needed to do something with no horses, no dogs, no animals – just me for 2 or 3 weeks. I never had vocal coaching in my life, but had always loved singing. So I decided to take some vocal lessons and booked with Renee Grant – William and Kristen Kay Smith in Nashville.
I remember, I was standing in front of the hotel waiting for the Uber to take me to my first vocal lesson and I had my wife on video chat. I told her “I have so shaky knees, I think I’ll go back to my room and just skip it.” She said, “We paid so much money for it; you get into that Uber, I’ll stay on the phone, and I want to see you walking into that door of the vocal coach”, and she did! And actually, that’s how I ended up at my first vocal coaching. Then I lost my fear, totally.
What’s been the biggest highlight of your career so far? I saw in your linksome and in my internet stalking that you’ve got quite a few things to be proud of!
The biggest accomplishment…you might think I would name a gig or something. But the biggest accomplishment that I ever had was when I got a package with a little stuffed horse and an 8 page letter. It was a mother writing for her 5 year old daughter, and the letter said that her dad had passed away. He was a cowboy and he was murdered bringing the horses in on Christmas Eve. They somehow came to listen to my song Carry The Wind, which described the loss of my soul horse. And then the mother said, “my little daughter says she has found the explanation of why dad would be called into heaven”. Because he was such a good cowboy in life that he was called to take care of my horse until I come into heaven. And that little stuffed horse was the last present her dad gave to her. She sent it to me so that I would not be sad because my horse is gone.
What are your thoughts on content creation as an artist? How do you feel about artists having to balance their social media presence and still be committed to their art?
I think as an artist we should always be real. And you’ve got to be a little more versatile, flexible with your content. Sure, you can put your music into it, but don’t push the people too hard. Especially here on Clapper because that’s what people want to see. And I guess that’s the most important thing: don’t play a role, just be you, just be real. That’s also what I try to do in my songs. It’s all real stories behind them. That’s the best way to roll is to just be real, and don’t overdo music content. Put something funny on their feeds, show your comedian side. Show your family side – I just put up a video of my mother’s garden today!
Do you have any pre-show/pre-performance rituals?
No, not really. In the first 4 – 5 performances I had stage stage fever and was really not calm; I love to connect in real life with the audience. I’m a pretty calm guy, I’m pretty much settled in myself. Maybe a ritual is I don’t eat anything before I go on stage, I cannot sing with a full belly. I had a gig the other day and they had caterers that would cook for you for everyone. So I told them I’d get something to eat after my performance, and when I came off the stage there was nothing left. I had to go to McDonald’s!
Which song of yours is your personal favorite and why?
That’s a really tough question. Closest to my heart might be My Mother’s Arms. I wrote that song when we had just gotten the Alzheimer’s diagnosis with my mom and it was showing a bit. I wrote that song at that stage because I wanted her to know that this song is out for her. And that she can feel it and know that this song is there. And when that song is playing, she comes back into the here and now.
What skills are the most useful in the music industry – or which of your skills do you think has helped you the most?
I was a cowboy most of my life, but I was always interested in tech stuff. For me today, it pays off that I was interested in socials and did some computer stuff before. As an independent artist you do everything yourself. You write the song, you record it, you are part of the production, you do the artwork for the song, you do the marketing of the song. You do everything that a big label would do for their artists. And so you have to have many skills. You’ve got to be a musician, a lyricist, a graphic designer, everything in one person. In the end, you can use any skill in your music. You are never too old to learn and I still learn stuff every day. I think that’s what we should do as independent artists. The only thing you can do to survive is to learn.
Deciding to be an artist can have its ups and downs. What advice would you give to that young artist who is just learning to play guitar, or starting singing lessons and whose dream is to be a musician?
Never give up. When you start out as a musician, you think people are out there waiting for your song. You’ll put it out there and you’ll have 10,000 plays in 4 weeks or something. But it is not like this. It will sit there on Spotify and if it’s not a hit, it will sit there with under 1,000 plays for weeks. (If it ever gets over 1,000 plays.) Don’t give up, bring out the next one and it will get the other one coming up, and then the next one. Soon you will have your audience. Just try to put up the best quality you can – that’s very important. Emotion in songs is what people want to hear, so don’t be too shy to really put feeling into your songs. And don’t save at the wrong end; don’t go to to your friend’s house and record it in a garage or something. Do a proper recording of your song so that you have radio ready songs produced. This is where the fun starts, when you can get your songs onto the radio and maybe hitting radio charts.
Make sure to check our recorded live session on our account Clapper Sounds and in our reels on Instagram. Enjoy the Clapper Sounds live session of the week!