When I was 6 I finally was allowed to get real piano-lessons and only a few months later the absolute k.o. was already there on the silver screen. A revelation to me. Late 1975.
There he was: Freddie Mercury. Bohemian Rhapsody. Queen! From that day on I knew what I wanted to do with my life: Become a Rock Artist. Not only the sound touched me to the core, the visual aspect was as much as important.
It was crystal clear to me, this was my calling. And nothing else would matter. I kept that faith, didn’t even finish high school. So no back-up plan. Fortunately my parents were on my side, supporting me with everything.
The best I could ever wish for. Besides Queen there were The Babys who stole my heart, with my other big hero: singer John Waite, Electric Light Orchestra and The Beatles. Those were my biggest influences when I grew up. A few years later I started to play some guitar, but had to admit I was better on the keys.
Joined my first ‘real’ band when I was 14, T. Vistix. A ska-reggae pop band. They were the ones to corrupt me with the eye liner.
It was 1983, it was allowed, even fashionable for guys in a band. There was my excuse, super-shy as I was I followed their example. And it got a little out of hand in the future. Back to music. One year later we broke up and I joined the rock-band Spoiled Brats which I was a fan of.
At that time I started to develop the song writing. And I got the chance to sing a few songs and overcame my shyness in that. With my next melodic-rock band Line we had some modest national success. We reached the finals of the National band contest "The Great Prize Of The Netherlands" and we had a lot of airplay with our single ‘Solitary Nite’.
Even appeared on the legendary Dutch pop program ‘TOPPOP’. I left Line to form a new melodic-rock group called 1 st Avenue. Did a lot of gigs in Holland from 1987 until 1989. Well on our way I grew a big frustration as just being the ‘posing’ and jumping idiot behind the rack of keyboards.
But because of bronchitis, hay fever I thought I had to forget about my dream to become also a lead singer. But the hunger for that just was unbearably huge and I realized I had no choice to do all I could to overcome that handicap as much as possible. So during the recordings of 1 st Avenue’s debut album I left the band to start a solo-career. It took 6 months of demo-ing until I signed to Polydor. In the meantime of writing and recording more songs for my solo debut I became a temporary member of Zinatra.
Recorded the album ‘The Great Escape’ with them. Did some radio and TV and a toured Holland from late`89 untill early`91. Fall 1990: The recording of ‘Robby Valentine’ with producer/engineer Erwin Musper in the famous Wisseloord studios. It took 2 years from signing the deal until the release.
In the mean time I met my current manager Willem de Bois who ‘heard’ a hit single in the piano ballad ‘Over and Over Again’ which I planned for a b-side. He advised me to turn it into a Rock-Ballad. So I did make a demo and the ball started to roll. They asked my favourite American producer/engineer Humberto Gattica to do the song and he accepted.
Recorded in Holland with engineer Attie Bauw (who later that year did 2 nd single Love "Takes Me higher" with me) and mixed in Los Angeles (studio Ground Control). It was released as my first single in the autumn of 1991 and became a hit in the Netherlands and several Asian countries. Formed a great live-band to tour Holland in the first half of 1992. Bass: Arthur Polini, Guitars: Rob Winter, Drums: Hans Eijkenaar, Keyboards: John Ewbank. We also did lots of radio and TV shows.
We rehearsed a lot on the harmony-vocals, since it was such a big aspect in my music. On the recordings I layered my own voice endlessly together with my friend Johan Willems. But that was of course impossible to reproduce on stage. However in those days it was against the law to play with back-up tapes for live.
And I didn’t want to have a backing-vocal group on stage. That would take the whole ‘rock & roll’ band feeling down to a family affair. So each band member had to be able to sing as well. And not to mention accepting me terrorizing them.
They took great pride in it and did a fantastic job. We were ace. Those were the days. In 1993 we recorded the 2 nd album "The Magic Infinity" with Pim Koopman and John Sonneveld, again in Wisseloord. We were offered to do the German leg of the 1993 Brian May – Back To The Light tour.
That was our absolute dream come true. But the problem was, we didn’t have a drummer. 4 days before the first show we found Juan van Emmerloot. He turned out to be the perfect drummer for my music, and saved the day.
Also with the extra help of Johan for backing-vocals, the Valentine-band sounded better than ever and that tour became one of the highlights of my musical-life. However unfortunately soon after that we grew apart, except for new drummer Juan, and I recorded most of the following record by myself again. During that time, 1994, Polydor Japan released my first 2 albums. Invited me for a fantastic promotion tour.
We still played some nice gigs in Holland and Belgium including a huge outdoor event "Mega Music Rock Experience" with headliner Aerosmith. But one year later after finishing the 3 rd album ‘Valentine’ (1995) the band disbanded. A few tracks on that album were recorded and mixed by John Tilly and some others mixed by British engineer Matt Butler, both at Wisseloord. I was offered to come back to Japan for live-concerts. So had to form a new live band.
The new line-up became: Guitars: Vinnie Kay, Bass: Bert Dijkema, Keyboards: Giovanni Pileri, Drums: Juan. After 2 months of intensive rehearsals, some try out gigs in Holland, we went to Japan. (Spring 1996) It was the best musical experience so far, performing for this fantastic Japanese audience. The band was real tight and they also did a great job on the harmony vocals.
Back home I started to write and record the 4 th album ‘United’, and returned to Osaka-Japan to write most of the songs. Most of it was mixed by Matt Butler, at the Wisseloord studios. It came out in Japan, June 1997. Went back for promotion.
But times had changed drastically. My dad passed away. End of 1997 Japan released mini x-mas album ‘Christmas In Heaven’. 1998, No Sugar Added.
I had a hard time getting myself inspired enough to write a complete new album so I re-recorded a few songs from the past. Fall 1998 I teamed up with Valensia Clarkson to start ‘V. We signed a 3 album contract with Universal Japan and the first saw the light of day in the summer of 1999. Recorded with Juan van Emmerloot and David Clarkson, Valensia’s brother, on drums.
Mixed and recorded by Holger Schwedt at Wisseloord and Bullit Sound. Later that year we went to Japan for concerts. The line up: Drums: Juan, Bass: Patrick Buys, Vocals-Guitar: Valensia, Vocals-Piano-Gtr: Me. In 2000 I made the "Believing Is Seeing" album. Recorded the basics ‘live’ in the studio, with again Juan on drums, at Fendal Soundstudio’s by Hans van Vondelen.
He also mixed the album. It was released in November from that year. In 2001 I recorded my half of the 2 nd V-album. Released summer 2002.
From the Autumn of 2002 till Autumn 2003 I made the "The Most Beautiful Pain". Right after that I started a side-project named Kyssmet. For this I wanted to find a female vocalist instead of singing the lead myself. Through my friend Peter Strykes I found Filipina singer Alyss Andico.
She was the perfect singer, everything I hoped for to find for the project. We recorded the Kyssmet album in 2004. Also at that time I teamed up again with Valensia to do the 3 rd V album: NYMPHOPSYCHOSCHIZOPHONIC. End of 2004 I recorded another solo album with the working title: "Who Killed Robby Valentine ?" But just lately I realized I’m not dead yet after all. I hope to have some information very soon according the release of the albums to begin with the long awaited "The Most Beautiful Pain". Source: http://www.robbyvalentine.com Read more on Last.fm.
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