Drummer Steven J. Robinson, not even 22 years old yet and he has quite the resume, playing for up and coming artists such as Chloe Pappas, Benny Marchant, The Genetics and most recently, a life changing gig with pop singer David Archuleta.
I was recently lucky enough to get a Q&A with Steven, where he talks drumming, his influences, getting to work with David and the unexpected response from the Archie fans!
1. When did you first start playing the drums?
I started at the age of 2, in church.
2. What made you choose the drums?
I believe that God (through drums) chose me, because the initial attraction was so powerful. Out of everything that was going on around me, drums were the only thing that got my attention, and held on to it.
3. Who are some of your musical influences?
Great question! I have so many! As for drummers: Teddy Campbell, Brook Alexander, Spanky McCurdy, Gerald Heyward, Dave Weckl, Aaron Spears, Billy Ashbaugh, the list goes on!
As for singers/instrumentalists: Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Tpain, Prince, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Rihanna, Nikki Minaj, Kirk Franklin, Hezekiah Walker, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett, Doobie Powell, the list goes on! I'll put it this way-I'm such a huge fan of entertainment, and the entire industry. All of it influences me in one way or another.
4. What other gigs have you had before playing for David Archuleta?
Before David, I'd been apart of a good number of up and coming artists’ careers. -Universal/Motown's Devin Johnson, Goddess, Chloe Pappas, Mariam Suso, Benny Marchant, Denielle Grey, Donavan Luke Henry, Marie Wise-Hawkins, and The Genetics, along with a multitude of independent gospel projects. All of these artists/bands range from hip hop to r&b, to country, to rock. I still do a gig here and there with a few of these artists.
5. You've done two shows with David Archuleta, what was your favorite moment so far?
There have been so many moments. I'd have to say that entertaining the awesome fans has been my favorite moment. The enthusiasm, and excitement of all of the supporters is what drives me, and what gets me to give all I have in a show. Looking from behind my drum kit to an enormous audience going wild is priceless.
6. What's it like getting to be a part of the "Archuband" and getting to rehearse with David and the rest of the band members?
Being apart of the Archuband is the most fun and rewarding experience I've ever had in a playing situation. All of us in the band are friends, and for the most part, have played together before the creation of Archuband. Playing with musicians who you are familiar with personally, and musically is very fortunate!
Rehearsing with David is incredible! One thing I appreciate about David, is that yes, he's a superstar, but he doesn't portray that image to the maximum capacity in rehearsals, or anywhere for that matter. I've rehearsed for artists in the past who would have the biggest heads and ego's without having an 1/8th of the fan base David has. David’s very cool, easy to talk to, and he knows what he wants to hear, while simultaneously being open for suggestions-which makes our jobs that much easier. In this group, we're all family, and we're all in it together.
7. What's been your favorite song to play with this new band? Favorite David song to play?
I definitely have a few! I enjoy playing “Something Bout Love” because David gives me freedom with the bridge section -I’m able to play with the groove, and do some pretty big fills going back into the chorus. Another favorite is “Crush”. That drum groove is totally me! I also like “Elevator”, specifically the last few minutes of the live arrangement. We go into a reggae feel, while David has the audience sing. Brian does an awesome guitar riff during that section that gets me every time!
8. At the first show you did with David, you played the congas. Do you play any other instruments?
I can play most percussion instruments, but I don’t play any melodic instruments (piano, guitar, etc). I do play enough keyboard to write and produce my own material! But by the time I realized I wanted to play those instruments, drumming had taken completely over.
9. Is there anywhere you would want to visit while traveling with David?
England!! I’ve been wanting to travel there for years! Who know’s, I may even pick up an accent once we get there!
10. There's been quite the response from Archie fans ever since they found out you're the new drummer. What do you think of all the new-found attention?
I couldn’t be any more appreciative of everyone who’s reached out to me on Facebook, Twitter, etc. My dream is coming true-entertaining an audience, and having them leave the show happy. I don’t take any of this for granted. That’s why whenever someone writes me, or contacts me in anyway, I make it a priority to respond, and show my thanks. Without their support, I wouldn’t be doing this. The attention is awesome, and I love it. But more than that, I respect and cherish it, because it didn’t have to be me.
11. Where can people catch up with you? Website? Twitter? Facebook?
Oh yes! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and on my webpage.
Facebook: “Steven J. Robinson”
You can also search “Steven J. Robinson drums” in your favorite search engine, and links will come up, including Youtube videos. My webpage is still under construction, but fans are able to log on, and visit.
12. Any message to all of the Archie fans who are now supporting you?
Thank you so much, and God bless everybody!!!!!!!! I don’t get speechless a lot, but the Archie fans have me at a complete loss for words! This is just the beginning for Steven J. Robinson, by the way! I also sing, write songs, and I’m currently building up my acting career. Along with drumming, I hope to add TV and film to my repertoire very soon.
Looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of Steven, not only playing with David Archuleta, but as well as a future singer and actor! And a big thanks to Steven for setting this up for me! We all look forward for what’s ahead with the Archuband, as well as your solo career!