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MusicNT presents Crystal Robins

AFTER RELOCATING TO the Top End a few years back, Crystal Robins has become a regular face of the Darwin music scene, performing just about everywhere. MusicNT caught up with the talented singer/songwriter for a chat.

You recently released the beautiful single, ‘Wildfire’. Can you tell us a bit about it?
I wrote ‘Wildfire’ one day when I was missing family and friends. Last year, that feeling was really intense for me as all of my close family are down south and I was unable to visit them through some difficult times. This song is an exploration of some of those feelings that I know many people felt in 2020.

The response to the song so far has been amazing… Thanks to everyone who has shown it some love.

This is your first ever release – do you think 2020 had an impact?
I had originally planned to release some music earlier in 2020, to coincide with playing at the National Folk Festival in Canberra, which was cancelled. But, without that deadline, I could take a bit more time polishing the recording, and I’m glad I did.

The song was recorded here in Darwin at Masters Studios, Music NT’s Rehearsal Space – even some parts in my kitchen at home, recorded by local engineer Danny Christie. The string parts were recorded remotely in Adelaide by cellist Lucinda Grace, who added something really special to the song.

How has living in the Top End influenced your sound and writing?
Quite a lot of my lyrics are inspired by the landscape and beauty of the Territory. I love living in the Top End and am so grateful not just for the natural beauty, but also the amazing people. Although I have been playing music and writing songs for a long time, I wasn’t really performing my own songs before making the move up here.

The Darwin music community was so welcoming and supportive, and really helped me to finally put myself out there as a solo artist, something I’d thought about for years but never got around to doing.

You’re playing heaps of shows, any recent gig stands out as a highlight?
I’ve been lucky to play a couple of really exciting shows recently. I had the opportunity to support award winning Australian songwriter Wendy Matthews at the Darwin Entertainment Centre in November, which is the biggest theatre I have played solo to date.

And just after releasing ‘Wildfire’, I supported Daniel Champagne at the Darwin Railway Club. I have been watching Daniel perform at festivals around Australia for many years…it was a real buzz to support him.

Any more releases in the pipeline?
Yes, I have a couple more songs on the way which will make up an EP, but before that a second single from the EP will be released soon. I hope to keep performing regularly around Darwin, and maybe even get a band together this year.

Lastly, what piece of advice have you been given that’s always stayed with you?
Do what you love, and work hard at it!


Header & thumbnail: Lisa McTiernan

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