Circuit21 front man Robert Brown was born and bred in Belfast! A city he grew up, lives in and still, to this day takes inspiration from!
That doesn’t mean he isn’t well traveled! Still a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain he has moved extensively around the globe garnering many fantastic and enlightening experiences from his travels!
It started early on! His musical experiences were formed accidentally from total nosiness! His Sister, Joan, would play music that sounded “odd” or just plain strange before she would leave of an evening to party with friends. His older Sister, Elizabeth was a Tap dancer in her younger years and still had a fondness for all things 60’s and hip! So! At the age of 10, when Joan would leave, Robert would sneak into her bedroom and play the latest Lp’s (yes imagine, VINYL!). At first it was to work out who was making the strange music, but then it grew to trying to underst
and how anyone could listen to this sort of rubbish! That “rubbish” in fact turned out to be David Bowie, Joni Mitchell and The Faces with a fresh faced Rod Stewart! Imagine how it all sounded to ears that had only heard The Glitter Band and The Rubettes and The Sweet, the latter of which he is still in awe of! So evening after evening he tried to get his head around Mz Mitchell and her Song To A Seagull and Mr Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and Mr Stewarts’ Oh La La! It took a while, but in doing so, formed the nucleus of everything he had ever liked since! It took a severe wake-up call in the plethora of Disco to energise a young Robert, who’s interest in all things pop had began to wane in the avalanche of lycra and body-glitter!
That came in the form of a Mr Gary Numan!
When “Are Friends “Electric” appeared on Top Of The Pops at the end of 1979 it felt like the lens of his soul had been totally re-focused! The world of music seemed brighter and suddenly had an absolute direction! Thanks to a school friend, James Thompson who played piano beautifully Roberts interest in synthesizers began!
By the age of 18 he had The Roland series of drum machines and bassline machines and 2 keyboards! With 2 Ferragraph reel to reel tape recorders he tried his best to dissect the production on the likes of Numan, Depeche Mode, Human League and his new find, Kraftwerk!
Night after night tunes would be written and played and bounced between the reel to reels until something happened! A real proper song!
Robert’s passion for music kicked up a gear when the chance meeting of a friend at a local gig resulted in being asked to join the band Paris as its front man.
Robert threw himself right into the project and relished the whole experience! Singing all things 80’s, night after night obviously embedded some sort of penchant for the decade. The analogue synths sounded deep and resonant, a sound which he would visit in the making of the debut circuit21 album, much later!
Fast forward to 2010 and Robert, now living in Amsterdam, started writing songs in between days whilst working in the studio with various high profile producers. On days off he would sit at a coffeshop or a bar and just start writing. He had nothing specific in mind, just a collection of lyrics that meant something to him! In time Robert began to put melodies to some of his lyrics and then the album began to take shape. With no format in mind, he hooked up with legendary Belfast electronic producer / engineer Graeme Laverty at Cloud 9 Studios and decided to flesh out his initial ideas.
As it progressed, and he realised how long it would take to get the product finished, he decided he would call the album ‘Eventually” as it was the most common answer he had when people asked ” When’s the album finished?”
These days circuit21 fronted and directed by Robert are striving to breath fresh air into the world of electronic pop, a task that he is more than capable of carrying out to the highest of standards.