Based in Washington D.C., PPU Records is a label dedicated to the preservation of 80’s funk, specialising in niche releases, obscure signings and even unreleased cassette demos. They boast artist, singer, songwriter and producer Robbie M amongst their signings, who took time out of his busy schedule for a quick interview about inspirations, influences and spirit animals. Having been part of the groove-tastic Midnight Express band, Robbie M is currently pursuing a solo career, bringing his music to a new generation of listeners.
All of the featured artists and labels in this series can be heard in-store at Boxpark, Shoreditch from tomorrow till Monday, making a perfect aural match for the cool streetwear styles in the KNGLxTRRBL collab collection takeover.
Where is home?
Home is in a place we call the Quad Cities, in a town called Rock Island Illinois.
How would you describe your sound?
I consider my music to be dance mixed with R&B, jazz and rock.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I like the time alone to create. It gives me time to get in touch with my feelings and the world around me.
What is your favourite place to visit when touring?
I have done a lot of touring, especially with the Midnight Express Show Band. We never had the great opportunity to tour out of the country, but I did some recording in California and I really liked being there.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is smooth and creative, with lyrics that capture the mood and feelings of others.
What’s your spirit animal?
I sometimes feel that I can relate to the dolphin. I like the freedom of the wide open seas, but also love the friendship and love of others.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I have always been a great fan of Superman because of his strength and abilities, but I would add in the agility of Spiderman and the creativity of Iron Man.
What was your worst ever day job and why?
I worked in a factory and I felt like I was hemmed in. I guess that I am one who has to have some mobility for creativity.
Who do you most admire?
My mother, who raised 10 children after my father passed when I was 15 years old. She was my rock, and an example of how to live life caring for others.
What profession (other than your own) would you like to attempt?
I am a therapist and a counsellor when I am not creating music. I love helping people to look at their lives through successful lenses.
If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring three things, what would they be?
If it’s an island it is surrounded by water, so the first thing I would bring is a boat to get off the island on. The second thing would be a map to know where I was headed, and lastly, food and water. I know I sort of cheated with the food and water because they make two things, but what the heck, I just want to make it back to civilisation in good health.
On a scale of 1-10, how honest are you? (… Is that an honest answer?)
I am very honest. I don’t believe in deceiving myself or others, and I would like others to be the same with me.
What’s your favourite cereal?
If there is a fork in the road, do you go left or right?
It depends on what I am expecting to find in the direction that I have chosen.
A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say, and why is he here?
‘Whew! I must of taken a wrong turn, I was trying to get back to the North Pole.’
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
I have always been a huge Beatles fan. The Rolling Stones are also a great band, but the Beatles took that first step out of London and boy! What an impact on the world they had.
Beer or Champagne?
I am not really a fan of alcohol, but I have put away quite a bit of root beer soda.
Heads or Tails?
Doesn’t really matter, as long as it comes out good for me.
Jazz or Rock ‘n’ Roll?
I like them both, and they both show up in the music that I create.
Rock, Paper or Scissors?
A choice of chance – and that’s what life’s about????