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Interview: Bluey Robinson

17th February 2014

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You may know Bluey Robinson as a singer, most recognised for his 2011 smash hit ‘Showgirl’. Perhaps you know him as one of the presenters from MTV News. Most recently - he has become the brand ambassador for streetwear brand, Mossimo.

From Iconix Europe®, the name behind prestigious brands including Rocawear® and Starter Black Label® – Mossimo is bringing the unique style of the American concrete-graffitied beaches to the streets of the UK.

Born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and Trinidadian father, Bluey moved to London as a youngster and describes himself as ‘a regular London dude from the ends.'

In a distinctive, vintage garage tucked away in the urban crevices of the capital, Bluey rocks up for his first shoot as Mossimo brand ambassador.

Bold, charismatic and independent – many would place Bluey as a front-runner for the representative of an urban fashion house. However, the Londoner insists that the offer came as a pleasant surprise – one even could say, it came out of the blue (no pun intended). 

The 23-year-old singer explains: ‘Basically, I got shown the brand and stuff and I was like “Yeah, that’s dope!” and I just literally waited to see what happens.

'I didn’t know whether it would come through or not but they seemed to like what I was doing.’

Known for his quirky, eclectic flair in both music and wardrobe choice, it appears that Mossimo aren’t the only ones who like Bluey’s style.

Last year was a big one for the London singer, who successfully relaunched himself after leaving his label.

His EP The Late Shift was widely embraced by R&B lovers and critics alike. Following the success of the soul-funk EP, Bluey embarked on a sell-out UK tour and topped it off with an electrifying performance at London’s Wireless Festival in July.

For his festival debut, Bluey donned a black cap, oversized white tee, jeans and white sneakers complete with a union jack scarf. For a moment, nostalgia takes hold as Bluey pipes up with a cheeky smile, ‘The union jack thing was my idea!’

However, like many of us, Bluey can look back to a day when his dressing wasn’t as sharp as it is now.

Between embarrassed grimaces and playful smirks, Bluey confesses, ‘It used to be before, I would just wear whatever I like and I just look back like “Ah, I was just so stubborn, why didn’t anyone stop me!”’

Now, Bluey describes his style as ‘casual’ – something that drew him to Mossimo as a brand.

The easy-going chappy tells us how it is: 'To be honest, I just wear what I like, really. I just liked their stuff and they liked me and it just works, man!

‘It’s just like, streetwear, vests, jumpers, tshirts….

'I’m just a casual kinda dude – unless I need to dress up. I’m not the kind to walk out looking fancy everyday – that’s just too much effort for my brain!’

It doesn’t appear then, that Bluey will be pulling a Kanye West and releasing his own clothing line anytime soon.

Having dabbled in acting, presenting, singing and a touch of dancing, could we start calling Bluey a model now?

He exclaims through bemused laughter, ‘Apparently I model!’

Perhaps he will accept recognition as a jack of all trades to which he hastily asserts: ‘Dunno man, I need to be a master of one at least!’

Bluey certainly likes to keep himself busy and his work is varied, but he insists that his favourite art will always be ‘singing’. As it is often said, the life of an artist is never without its trials.

Recalling his departure from his record label and voyage into independent music, Bluey admits, ‘I just kinda needed to find myself again and just, reboot.

'There was like, a little bit of frustration, a little bit of anxiety and I just wanted to get it out and then once I got it out I was just like, Alright, cool – now let me work out exactly what I wanna do” and that’s what I’m doing’.

Looking forward to the future, Bluey proudly announces that’s he’s in the process of releasing a brand new EP in the following months: ‘I’m feeling really good about it. It’s gonna be good. Official ITunes, we’re gonna do singles, films, music videos and just really go for it!’

Over the years, Bluey has made no secret of is affinity for Motown legend Stevie Wonder and King of Pop Michael Jackson. A few moments on his YouTube channel will yield impassioned covers of gems from Stevie’s repertoire including ‘All I Do’ and ‘My Cherie Amour’.

For Bluey, his admiration for the likes of Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5 transcend mere fandom. On the life and music of these musical legends, Bluey says they give him, ‘inspiration and excitement.’

‘I just remember watching them when I was a kid and just being in awe.

'Stevie and his songs – they just connected with me. Even just how he moved and he just felt it – you know?’

He even knows the steps from the ‘Beat It’ music video, jumping up to show how it’s done with fascinating precision and charisma. A sight to behold, indeed! Not everyone has been given the gift of dance abilities but for Bluey, you could liken his swift transition from the sofa to the dancefloor to that of a duck to water.

After a quick dance break, Bluey returns to the topic of his EP and describes the sound as, ‘more old-skool influenced in a sense and still kind of modern.’

He expands, ‘There’s some 80s influence and kinda like R&B slow jamz from the 80s with synths and those kinda sounds.

‘Hopefully I’ll be doing some shows with Mossimo for events, which will be cool and then once my EP’s out – I’ll be doing a whole bunch of shows so until then, it’s just studio and stuff.’

The responsibility often falls on an artist to engage with their listeners on a personal and emotional level. Having experienced everything from frustration to freedom over the last few years, Bluey longs to bring a positive message to his listeners.

‘I just wanna put music out that feels good and makes people feel good and you know, maybe just gives them something.

'Maybe there’s a message in it that – if they’re feeling low, they put on one of my songs and it makes them want to dance.

‘Whatever! Just good vibes, man!'

With hope and excitement, Bluey adds: ‘I just wanna leave the earth a bit better than it was before I got here, if I can!’

Cracking a winning smile, he floats onto a nifty skateboard and rolls across the room with effortless style – as only cool kids can.

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