Robbie entered this world singing. While the nurses were scared he was moaning in pain, his grandmother, Precious, recognized the sounds as humming, and so it began...
At 3 he was on the piano, at 8 he was on the drums, he started performing in musicals and when he wasn't on stage he was at home charging 10 cent admission to his family who would patiently sit through his improvised shows which could, at times, go on for multiple hours.
High school was fraught with various school bands, jazz camps, theater, and his first garage band with his friend Darren Korb, called Icarus , which gave him the experience of making this music video when he was 16 (Robbie's the Hanson looking fellow on the ivories):::
Random Factoid 1:::
Did you know that Robbie graduated from the same high school as Bass Nectar???
Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, CA
Class of 2004
Robbie's participation in Bellarmine's Theater Department gave him the opportunity to score an original play written by Tom Alessandri & Peter Canavese, called 'The Se7en Ages of Bob', which was featured at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2003.
:::Berklee College of Music:::
After high school, he hopped on a plane to Boston where he attended the Berklee College of Music, and graduated in 2009 with a dual major in Composition & Music Production ::: Engineering.
Whilst at Berklee, Robbie participated in more new bands and various shows. He travelled to Ghana where he studied West African singing, drumming & dancing and was selected by Paul Simon as one of a handful of songwriters at Berklee to work with him one on one.
Random Factoid 2:::
To support himself throughout college, Robbie worked as a tour guide on Boston's Ghosts & Gravestones Tours playing a self-created character named, Charles John Edward Abigail Blacksmithsontonford V, IV, III, I Jr.
::: Rabbits Running:::
Near the end of his time at Berklee, Robbie met Darren McGrath and the two started collaborating on what was to become Rabbits Running , an EDM band that combined Robbie's compositional style & soaring vocals over bumping dance, rock and, at times, hip hop style beats.
The band enjoyed some mild success playing such festivals as the Snowball Festival in Colorado & SXSW. They hit most every major club in L.A. including the Roxy, Viper Room, the El Rey & Spaceland.
Unfortunately, though, Darren was snagged by the nasty U.S. border patrol in 2011 who threw him in prison for 2 weeks and then sent him back to the motherland... Robbie even tried to resurrect the project in England where they toured around a bit and were featured on BBC 1 radio, but after a summer in the country without work or enough sweatshirts, Robbie headed back to sunny Los Angeles where he has been located ever since.
:::ellyn & robbie:::
His first night living in LA in October 2009, Robbie was introduced to the amazing poet, Ellyn Maybe, who had just released her first album, 'Rodeo for the Sheepish.' When Ellyn decided to make a live show out of the album, she asked Robbie to join and the two have been creating together ever since both as a duo and with the always interesting Ellyn Maybe Band.
The power of what these two are capable of creating has garnered the attention of Jackson Browne who has lent his studio to the duo to record.
In one day, April 17th, 2013, ellyn & robbie recorded their first EP, 'wednesday with groovemasters', available here on bandcamp.
Keep an eye out for ellyn & robbie gigs!
Robbie has collaborated with all sorts of interesting people. Most recently, you will see his name as a co-writer alongside Daniel Heath & Lana Del Rey on the first song of her forthcoming album.
He is also excited for the new work being written with his friend Adam Tressler and is looking forward to recording it...
Recently, members of Lucent Dossier got a hold of Robbie to participate in the New Fangled Opry which can be found performing at various festivals this summer.
He has also been known to work with such names as Annie Lynch, Darren Korb, Emily Greene, Jen Hirsh, Keith Dickerhofe, Tye Zamora (Alien Ant Farm) and others...
:::Robbie Fitzsimmons Solo:::
As a solo performer, Robbie is working hard to bring focus back to the beauty & simplicity of a single instrument & a voice. Drawing inspiration from the greats of old (the Beatles, Motown, etc.), a solo Robbie show will be without computers, heavy beats or lasers in the eyeballs. It focusses solely on the importance of music & lyrics; without frills or distractions.
He has been known to break into spontaneous covers of Queen, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Disney, Britney Spears & Amy Winehouse to name a few, while also wailing out his own originals and collaborations.
Jamming out on the bass, keytar, piano or making loops; no matter what is being performed it is always sung from the purest depths of his heart for whomever is willing to listen.