Born in Hammersmith, London, where he still lives, but with family connections in Wyoming, Robbie Ransom grew up with a love of songs that told tales of people and places, love and laughter. Having parents with a record collection that spanned classics from Simon and Garfunkel, The Band, and Cream, via Bob Dylan and Neil Young, it was no surprise to anyone when Robbie picked up guitar (and harmonica), and started to write songs.
Currently working on his debut album, due for release later this year and where his love of Americana will shine through, Robbie is about to embark on his first ‘proper’ UK tour, after a series of one off dates in and around London.
With lyrics that tell stories, Robbie explains how he writes: “My lyrics are certainly autobiographical. My songs are about my life, my family’s life, my relationships, my friendships, everything.” He continues, “I’ve always said that inspiration comes from within. For me, music is nothing more than a way of expressing inner emotions. Creativity isn’t something we can ever own. It is a force that flows through us and all we can do is channel it.”
Growing up in London, each year Robbie would relocate to Wyoming for his summer holidays, and it was here where he learned that music can be shaped by environments, and vice versa. He explains, “I spent my summer holidays (and still do) in Wyoming. We would spend a lot of time driving around listening to the rock and folk artists of the 1960’s and 70’s. Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, The Band, the Doors, all the classics. I fell in love with music while driving round vast landscapes.”
As a London teenager, Robbie also enjoyed other genres of music. “I started making rap music with a friend at the age of 16 on a video game called MTV Music Generator 2, so technically speaking, one of my first electronic instruments was a Playstation 2,” he laughs. “And it wasn’t really until I left home that I rediscovered the music I grew up with, and appreciated it all over again.”
With a debut album in its final stages of production, Robbie has been honing his craft in the studio. His first single, ‘Man Alone’ is an upbeat song about some distinctly downbeat subjects. He explains, “Man Alone is certainly my favourite song. It took me about a year to finish writing it and I never get bored of playing it. To me as it represents two distinct struggles in life. A general sense of trying to belong, and an acceptance that one day everything ends. Its not a sad song though,” he quickly adds, “…it has a sense of humour, and is really about celebrating life.” Robbie continues, “I Am Thunder is about my father. He is my hero and has a heart of gold, but also has a real ‘thunderous’ side. It touches on the struggles in any parent/child relationship really.”
Talking about what else inspires him to write, Robbie continues, “Because I’ve been lucky enough to travel a fair bit, the culture and art of new places is obviously inspirational. But what fires me up the most is people and the natural world. “ He smiles; “By sheer coincidence, I live next to the oldest – and I think maybe the biggest – plane tree in England, and it’s a constant reminder of the power of nature. And I love animals. I have a dog called Morrison, named after Jim.”
Robbie Ransom – modern day troubadour, dog lover, tree spotter and multi-instrumentalist, with a gift for telling stories through songs.
Robbie Ransom’s tracks