Every aspect in my life is a result of my need to make music. That's why I can honestly state that I became a session musician, songwriter & producer because I love making music. (On SoundBetter since February 2018)
I am Bryan Robert; a bassist, songwriter, producer, and live performer. Less relevant for SoundBetter but very important to me, I also am a music educator advocating for more multicultural music content in elementary music curricula in Europe, the U.S., and Canada.
Long story short
I am a Dutch guy who currently lives, studies, works, and makes music in Vancouver, Canada. I am the bassist for the Cat Murphy Band, and do session work for Ria Jade, Mike Sowers, and Hum4nb0rn. Started out as a guitarist but ended up playing bass (and that was not because I sucked as a guitarist). I previously played in Remember October, Artifacts, Houses We Die In, and Atticus Finch.
But wait, there's more:
Bachelor in Music Management (Utrecht School of the Arts);
Bachelor in Education (University of Applied Science Utrecht);
Certified Specialist in Music Education (Post-Bachelor Degree);
Playing the guitar since the age of eleven and the bass since the age of 16 (1989);
Owner of the ‘Bass Per Mail’ initiative;
Guitarist or bassist several bands;
Mostly active as a freelance bassist (mainly because of ‘Bass Per Mail’);
Work experience in the industry as an artist manager, tour manager, booking agent, local promoter, and production manager at venues and festivals.
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
3 ReviewsEndorse Bryan Robert
Working with Bryan was a fantastic experience. He's a great musician, and also really easy to work with. Communicates clearly, brings his own ideas to the table, but is always open to input. I would definitely work with him again.
Bryan is a talented musician, a solid team player, and an overall great guy to work with. He brings his own special flavour to all projects and takes criticism and direction very positively. I have worked online and in person with him and I am very happy to recommend Bryan to anyone seeking his expertise.
A friend & I asked Bryan for help with a live recording/video session, and he was awesome. First of all, he's a good guy. The communication was very clear in all stages, which made it easy to streamline the process. He learned his parts to the last detail, and during the actual session, he showed the kind of skill and professional attitude that makes me want to work with him again very soon.
Interview with Bryan Robert
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Why not both? I use a lot of analogue gear because I am a geek. I love to have a lot of gear, and I am convinced that it always has a different tone and vibe. I have learned to record using tape (I am not that old, but I had the opportunity to learn to work with tape), and I value that knowledge and experience a lot. However, digital gear has given me (and musicians in general) a world full of opportunities within hand-reach. I embrace the technological benefits! When I record, I use an analogue pre-amp (preferably the Noble Preamp, Tech 21 VTBassDI, Darkglass Alpha Omega, or Avalon V5) and analogue compressors. However, my interface has wonderful preamps as well, and I am not scared to experiment with them. Digital recording has made my practice a lot easier, less time consuming, and - as a result - cheaper for my customers. When I play live, I solely use analogue gear because 1) I do not have the money to buy a quality digital amp and 2) I want to bring the bare minimum (because bass gear is $%^&-ing heavy). I bring my pedalboard with MXR Compressor, Tech21 VTBassDI, and other effects if needed, and run that straight to my in-ears and the FOH/Monitors.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise my clients that I will do the best I can and that I try to make my additions meet their expectations. I promise my clients my best behaviour, all the knowledge I have, and a cooperating attitude. I make music because I love making music; I work with other musicians for that same reason. I do not need to make music for a living, but I do need music as a creative and energetic outlet.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: As a session musician, I love making music and working with other musicians.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: Most misconceptions derive from stereotypes about bassists. People think I was the worst guitarist of a band and, therefore, started playing bass. Not true: I have been playing the guitar since I was 11 and got my first bass when I was 15. Due to a health issue, I temporarily lost my hearing and could not hear the guitar. When I played my bass, I literally felt the music through my bones. This was such a wonderful experience which lead to the switch to bass as my primary instrument. Another misconception people have is that I am a theoretical prick because I am a music teacher. I want to emphasise that I am an elementary music teacher and that I am specialised in anti-racist and intercultural music. I am not a classical trained musician and I only know the basics of western music theory.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I also know my place as a bassist: I know when people want that extra depth in the music and I know when I should just shut up. I try to be a pleasant person in the studio and balance my own initiative with what is asked of me. I want to bring a lot of creativity to the studio, and a ton of musical listening experience. (I am the kind of person that is asked for trivia nights because people need music questions answered.) Further, I have experience as a bassist, as well as a guitarist, drummer, and vocalist of a band. Other than being the musician in bands, I also have experience in the music industry. I worked as a music industry professional (local promoter, agent, and tour manager) for about seven years before I switched careers and became an elementary (music) educator.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I have several bassists who inspire my playing and sound, among others Michel van Schie, James Johnston, Nate Mendel, and Chris Batten. When it comes to songwriting and production of music, I am very much inspired by producers (and producer groups) such as Armin van Buuren, Raw & Lucid, Swedish House Mafia & David Guetta. I believe EDM has a particular aspect to it that is working in the second decade of the 21st century. For example, it is not uncommon for me to listen to post-hardcore and metalcore music, and recognise musical elements deriving from electronic dance music. I find this really, really cool. Another source of inspiration is my work as a music educator and my research in anti-racist and intercultural music curricula. My students are my primary source of knowledge when it comes to "new music," where my research introduces me to musical traditions I have never heard before.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: The majority of my work consists of writing and recording bass parts for my clients' songs. I mostly work with pop/rock groups and singer/songwriters. Further, I write a lot of music for myself as well as for the bands and artists I am involved with.