Bio

  1. 1998

    How it all started

    Robin fascination with all things musical started when he was about five and he began to imitate all the music he listened to at home. In the back of the car in his safety seat Robin would sing along to “Lonely Nights” by the Scorpions, to The Rasmus, Darude and whatever else was being played on the radio in those days & his father sometimes had to drive past their driveway until the song was finished!

    His musical talent was noticed early on and his family and friends were treated to fantastic shows as Robin wanted to sing at every party! However, Robin didn’t grow up in a particularly musical family. His Mom and Dad are not in the music business and the family’s music hobby didn’t extend beyond listening to music at home – they didn’t even sing karaoke either. Occasionally his dad bangs on the electric drums but that’s about it.

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  2. 2008

    Staraskaba-competition

    Robin’s Mom was searching the Internet – quite unsuccessfully – for singing lessons for him when she came across a national pop-rock contest for young kids called Staraskaba. This was really the beginning of everything and to enter, you had to send in a video of yourself singing with a brief introduction. Based on the videos, the judges would invite eighteen kids (between the ages of 8 and 15) to the semi-finals.

    Robin sang a cappella – a song called “Lapin kesä”, following the Idols-performance of Kristian Meurman. They sent the video in March 2008 and by mid-summer they learned that Robin had been chosen for the semi-finals. He was only 9 at the time and of course very excited! Robin sang “Pauhaava sydän” by Lauri Tähkä ja Elonkerjuu, a very popular Finnish band at the time and this won him a place in the finals. The judges gave each contestant one song to sing and the other one they could choose themselves. Robin chose “Lapin kesä” again, absolutely flabbergasting the judges and winning the contest!

    Winning this contest really kicked off Robin’s musical career, getting him gigs and allowing him to perform to real audiences instead of family and friends. One of the prizes of the contest was the opportunity to open for Lovex, another popular Finnish band and was an amazing opportunity and experience for him.

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  3. 2009

    The New Wave contest

    A gig at a birthday party secured Robin’s next step in the music industry. One of the guests liked him so much that they suggested meeting up with the experienced musician and Idols-judge Kim Kuusi to discuss Robin’s chances of success in the music business. They met in Helsinki and Kim Kuusi gave valuable advice to both Robin and his parents. A couple of weeks later Kuusi called them and asked if Robin would like to represent Finland in an international singing contest called the New Wave to be held in Moscow in December 2009. Robin performed in front the judges of the New Wave organization and they were so convinced and excited about his talent that he was chosen to represent Finland!

    The contest was a very big deal and without knowing what was ahead of him, Robin traveled to Moscow with his mother for the two and a half week musical endeavor. The contestants were taught everything one should know about performing on a big TV-show. This was Robin’s “Idols-school” and on top of everything else, he also had to learn songs in Russian.

    The New Wave Contest is the biggest singing contest in Eastern Europe, followed by some 100 million viewers and super-stars such as Stevie Wonder, Enrique Iglesias, Montserrat Caballe, Joe Cocker, Robin Gibb and Roxette have performed in the Gala concert of the event. Indeed, this contest was the biggest effort of Robin’s singing career so far – particularly because all the communication happened in Russian but it all worked out with the help of an interpreter. On the first day, Robin sang a Phil Collins song “You’ll Be In My Heart”, which wasn’t really the ideal choice of a song for him. On the second day he decided that “it doesn’t matter what will come but he’ll put up a show to blow your socks off!” The song he chose for the second day was an 80s hit “The Final Countdown” by Europe. It was well received but didn’t place Robin in top three in his age-group. However, Robin got to know many other young artists during the concert and this inspired him and his passion for music even more!

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  4. 2010

    Ukraine

    In summer 2010 Robin was invited to perform in Artek Ukraine in the New Wave contest together with Vlad Karachuk, the third placegetter in 2009. The boys performed to a large stadium filled with thousands of people together with Dima Bilan, the winner of 2008 Eurovision song contest. They sang Bilan’s winning song “Believe”. Robin’s lively performance drew a lot of positive attention and again, the TV-show had almost a 100 million viewers!

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  5. Gigs and big band

    Before the “Koodi” album and even though he was very young, Robin played at a lot of different events, mostly just him and the guitar, playing songs in English. Robin also takes piano lessons at the Turku Music Institute and he was invited to be the lead singer in their big band. The band is led by the esteemed Cuban musician Carlos Del Puerto and Robin is the youngest lead singer the band has ever had.

    They sometimes played in bigger events and venues and from almost the beginning Robin’s friend Samppa has had an opportunity to play gigs with Robin and nowadays he plays the guitar in all Robin’s gigs.

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  6. 2011

    A record company notices Robin

    Maki Kolehmainen, a Finnish musician, composer and producer got to know Robin in the New Wave project. Robin’s incredible voice and ability to use different singing techniques really took the veteran producer by surprise. He said “a ten-year old kid is not supposed to know all those tricks yet”. Once when visiting the Universal Music record company, Maki showed them a YouTube video of Robin singing “The Final Countdown” at the New Wave contest and the head of A&R at Universal Music Group got very excited about Robin. “Cool” said Robin who’d been dreaming of a record of his own since Moscow. They signed the contract in November 2011 when Robin was just 12 years old and not long after came his first album.

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  7. 2012

    Koodi -album

    The making of the “Koodi”-album was a long and challenging process for Robin. It is a tall order for a thirteen-year old to write songs and lyrics, much more so than for an adult. Robin developed a lot during the process and as a singer took huge leaps forward. Because the producer and the artist lived in different cities, it took a while to build trust and the partnership between them. They started making the album in spring 2011 and finally, after several twists and turns, it was completed in winter 2012.

    The album sounds just like Robin: it’s cheerful rock-pop music with lyrics based on the life of young people. The aim was to make well-produced good-humored and up-beat music that isn’t too mushy. The themes of the songs come mostly from Robin himself with Jimi Constantine and Sana Mustonen being mostly responsible for the lyrics. The record was produced at Helsinki Records studios, with Maki Kolehmainen as producer.

    Robin’s idea was to make a song about a sports hobby. “My idea was to make a song about downhill skiing, trampoline jumping or skateboarding. However, Jimi said right away that people would not be particularly interested in topics like that. But then Sana Mustonen wrote great lyrics to it. It’s the energy in this song that I really like”, says Robin.

    “Frontside Ollie” was chosen to be the first single through a voting process and Marko Mäkilaakso, a Finnish director with international experience, was asked to direct Robin’s debut video. “Frontside Ollie” was subsequently shot in a skate park during one day in December 2011.

    “Frontside Ollie” video was posted on YouTube on 16 Jan 2012 and it became an overnight sensation. It drew more than two million viewers in the first few days and within a few months, had nearly nine million viewers.“Fronstide Ollie” got other people inspired to make different cover versions of the song, remixes, metal, punk, instrumental, dubstep, karaoke, humor, etc. There’s even a version by Sunrise Avenue on YouTube!

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  8. 2012

    Charts

    “Frontside Ollie” became the most purchased song through Finnish iTunes in just one day and number four on the Official Finnish Download Chart. All in all, the single held the number one position on the chart for five weeks and was the most listened to song in Spotify for even longer. The debut album Koodi was launched on 22 Feb 2012 and it sold triple platinum (60 000 copies) in one day. On 13 April, it was announced that it had sold more than 80 000 copies – so four times platinum!

    In June 2012 the record sales exceeded 100 000 copies, making Robin the youngest ever Finnish artist to break the magic 100 000 threshold. Unfortunately the “Koodi”-album was not accepted to the official album charts because only albums selling for more than €8 a piece are accepted. However “Koodi” has been the top record of the official mid-price chart since the launch.

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  9. 2012

    Faija skitsoo and Hiljainen tyttö

    After releasing the album, two more singles “Faija skitsoo” and “Hiljainen tyttö” were launched, both firm favorites of the audience at gigs. Music videos were also made for both of these singles. “Faija skitsoo” was directed by Marko Mäkilaakso, who also directed “Frontside Ollie”, and the father on the video was played by Jouko Ahola, “the strongest man in the world”, who is also known for several international movie roles. “Hiljainen tyttö” also showed Robin’s fans who had been to the concerts in the spring.

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  10. 2012

    Concert Frenzy

    After the release of “Koodi”, Robin performed live for the first time on 3 March with a band in Alahärmä and on 4 March at The Circus club in Helsinki. At the sold-out Circus gig Robin introduced the now established way of finishing the gig with “Frontside Ollie” and a back flip. In the spring and summer of 2012, Robin’s gigs pulled full crowds to shopping malls and other venues.

    Audience records were broken in many places and often the audience would sing along much louder than the band would play and Robin himself could sing. One autograph signing event had to be cancelled because of a security risk and some fans have passed out because of heat during some summer gigs – but luckily, nothing more serious than that has happened. Nowadays, Robin has his own security staff to oversee the safety issues.

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  11. 2012

    The Robin-movie

    Markus Selin from Solar Films contacted Robin in spring 2012 and said he wanted to make a movie about Robin and his story, including his touring in summer 2012. Director Inari Niemi says: “the more I look into it and think about what is going on around a 13-year old sympathetic boy, the more I want to tell and the better a movie I want to make. And because I trust the judgment of the crying teenage girl lining up for an autograph at a shopping mall, I believe that this girl wants to see this movie – and like a true fan, wants to see it many times over.” The Robin-movie premiered in December 2012.

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  12. Robin’s musical dreams , aspiration & ambitions

    Robin plays the piano, the guitar and the drums and it is his dream to become the best musician possible, one that can do more than just sing and play – he wants to write his own music and lyrics to his songs. He’s already reached his goal to perform on the big stage and the next dream is to perform abroad. He aspires not to stardom but to make good music that he himself and hopefully others will like as well. As he says ‘Fame is a consequence, not a goal’.

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  13. Hobbies

    Robin did competitive swimming for about five years on the ÅSK-team, coached by a former Finnish top-swimmer Vesa Hanski. His parents would drive him to practice five times a week and sit sweating by the pool at weekends. Because of shoulder problems, Robin had to give up swimming in spring 2011. His recording and swimming were also at odds with each other and the chlorine water was damaging his voice. Nevertheless, swimming was a great hobby and Robin made lots of friends that are still his friends today. Robin can also thank his swimming for his good physical condition – he must have swam thousands of kilometers!

    Robin also spent a couple of summers go kart racing which ended with him having to choose between karting and sailing, both being summer events. Sailing is a seasonal sport and Robin wanted to find another hobby to replace swimming, one that would be versatile and leave time for his music, too. Today, Robin does taekwondo, which he chose because it increases flexibility and improves his concentration and fitness.

    During the summer, Robin sails an Optimist dinghy but he doesn’t race. In addition, all kinds of tricks are near his heart – jumping on a trampoline, skateboarding and scooting at the nearby skate park. In winters, besides taekwondo, Robin does downhill skiing. He also tried break-dancing when he was about eight.

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