With hit single after single, Rob Tirea is a Los Angeles artist you should absolutely be checking out. Rooted in indie and experimental music, he has a signature style that is truly unique. His newest release “For You” features catchy hooks and haunting vocals that pull you in deeper and deeper. Tirea has only recently appeared on my radar and I needed to learn more about the man behind the music. Fortunately, we had a few minutes to spare to answer my burning questions.
Can you tell us about your newest single “For You” and what the inspiration behind it is? What is the message you want to leave people with?
The song ‘For You’ is about dealing with the opinions of family, friends, and peers and it’s about someone who seeks career success in order to validate him/herself and feel validated by others. In the process of achieving this career success, the person becomes more and more lonely and realizes from the beginning they always had the validation, and seeking it through career success wasn’t going to make them any happier, so this idea that ‘I did this for you’ so you would approve of me. That’s kind of the message I wanted to portray, not to do things to please and impress other people because in the end you’ll be disappointed, so you have to do things for yourself. It could also have a double meaning – doing it ‘for you’ as in for yourself or singing to those who you seek validation from.
In tracks where you feature your own vocals, like “For You” and “The Storm Front & The Sea”, do you start with the music or the lyrics first? How is the process different from tracks that feature your vocals versus ones that don’t?
Usually with tracks that feature my own vocals, I’ll start on a guitar so I can get the right key to where my voice fits within it. When I start a track on an acoustic guitar or on a piano I can tell right away that this is the right key for me to sing in.
You’re planning to put out an EP in the coming months. Will it include a selection of your recently released singles, or will it be made of entirely unreleased tracks?
It’s going to consist of entirely unreleased tracks, so a combination of tracks that I sing on as well as some with featured vocalists. I think it’s probably the most cohesive body of work I’ve put together so I’m excited about that.
You’ve mentioned previously that your parents immigrated from Romania and had pushed you in the direction of being a lawyer or doctor. Were they supportive of your decision to become a musician instead?
I wouldn’t necessarily say they pushed me specifically towards being a lawyer or a doctor, I think a lot of immigrants come here trying to give their kids a better and more stable future so it makes sense and it comes from a place of good intention where they’re seeking this kind of stability for their children. I wouldn’t say it was lawyer/doctor specifically but they did want me to for something a bit more stable. Right now they’re very supportive, it just took a little time but like anything they’re just looking out for my best interests.
Prior to the world shutting down, did you have an opportunity to tour? If so, what was your most memorable set? If not, where would be the first stop on the 2021 tour?
I wasn’t touring a whole lot before, just some club gigs here and there. I did play in Vancouver in June last year where I opened for Fedde Le Grand which was pretty awesome. That was an amazing opportunity and the guy was super nice, so yea I’m definitely looking to get on the road again. I guess the first stop in 2021 would be somewhere in South America, I’d love to play Brazil or Mexico. The dance music community in South America seems to be really enjoying what I’m putting out at the moment so I’d love to tour there and play some intimate shows and really just get on the road and hustle.
When you aren’t in the studio making music, how else have you been passing your time in quarantine?
I’ve been reading quite a bit and I like to exercise as well. I do play ice hockey so I’ll do that for fun and play outdoor roller hockey, which is cool. I used to play more ice hockey but with COVID-19 nothing is open. I grew up playing the sport so it’s definitely one of my favourite hobbies.
Any final thoughts you would like to leave with our readers?
We’ve all learnt to really appreciate things and to not take things for granted. I hope once this pandemic is over, we continue to appreciate the little things in life and hopefully we’ll get back to playing some amazing shows and doing the things that we love to do. I hope everyone is staying positive and sane – we’ll get through this!