– All of the great legends in music have stories from their journeys to stardom that are oftentimes unbelievable – but that’s what lends to their legend. Robert Nicklas is no exception. The piano player who fuses Hip Hop beats with stellar vocals has been making waves in the industry for years, and has worked with some big names over the course of his career. The one that really stands out, however, is Bobby Barth.
Many remember Barth as a key member of the rock group Axe, popular during the 1980s. Some years after Nicklas left college – pursuing a degree in music – he started as a session player. He studied the greats and became one of the most technically proficient instrumentalists in the country. But he knew he needed something extra – something more organic and extraordinary – in order to truly leave a mark in the world. And so he turned to Bobby Barth who was working on music in a studio in Northern Colorado at the time.
“That moment with Bobby Barth changed everything for me,” Nicklas said. “I’ll never forget it. I told him I was trying to really play – not just do it the way it’s written on the sheet but actually play without even thinking about it. That was the hurdle I knew I had to get over – to learn how
to just play and not be so technical… to play so that everything melts away and the process just becomes more organic. And Bobby stops and slaps his hands together and starts rubbing them together. And then he reaches out and touches me on the shoulder, and I swear there was like an electric shock. He gave me some chi or something. I swear he woke something up or just handed off whatever he had to me, because everything about the way I played started to change after that.”
The journey since that day nearly a decade ago has seen Nicklas take leap after leap into new heights of success. His latest album, “Vibe Feelin,” is the perfect display of that talent. It’s also a perfect showcase of the original sound and style that comes from his blend of piano and Hip Hop. Though growing up he was involved in various choirs and played in bands as a multi-instrumentalist, he became enamored with Hip Hop beats while in college. Today, he starts every song with a good Trap or Hip Hop sound and experiments with different lyrics as he sings over the top.
“I believe Trap and Hip Hop are pushing the envelope in the world as far as a new artform,” he said. “That’s where my focus is – that sound. I love it. It’s a sound you can jump on, especially today. The older Hip Hop was actually faster in terms of beats per minute than today’s Hip Hop. But today’s stuff feels faster because it’s like cut time but it’s double time. That’s how you get that bounce and that aggressiveness that I love. I just like the energy of the beat and the way you can get in the middle of it and ride on top of it. It’s music that you just get into, like you’re on a spinning top or something.”
Nicklas said it’s that energy that infuses “Vibe Feelin.” He said the songs are meant to draw listeners into the energy he was feeling when he created the beats and wrote the songs. Other artists in recent years have felt that energy and collaborated with Nicklas on various songs, and he knows there’s a wave of fans all over the world just waiting to jump on these beats and vibes he’s offering.
“There are so many artists out there exploring that kind of Trap, Hip Hop beat and vibe that I really love, and I would love to be known for that same feeling,” Nicklas said. “There’s so much going on right now in music to be excited about, and hopefully there’s a little spot in the pie to have my fans.”
To listen to Robert Nicklas’ music or to follow him on social media, please visit:
https://open.spotify.com/artist/4Md7PXdIXE1AEDyWA0u99X https://music.apple.com/us/artist/robert-nicklas/4956528 https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Nicklas/e/B001LHJ8SQ https://www.youtube.com/user/rwnnicklas/ https://twitter.com/a21juice21