My name is Rob Crooks. I'm from Winnipeg. I make music that is hard to describe. This is my bio.
My real name actually is Rob Crooks - Robert Andrew Crooks, to be more precise. It's a traditional name in my family. Another tradition in my family is music. I grew up in a house full of records, instruments and self-taught musicians. Music has always been an integral part of my home life, which is probably why I started writing songs when I was only in the fourth grade. By the time I was fourteen I was rapping. My first rap was about Louis Riel, who I had recently learned about in school. By fifteen I was making beats on an old drum machine that my friend found at a second-hand music store. I now have many years of experience on a wide range of vintage and contemporary samplers.
I used to enter rap battles - a lot. Before 8 Mile. I liked freestyle rapping. I had a lot of fun doing it, and I made a little bit of money too. But it was never what I was meant to do. I write songs. By my early twenties, I was selling CDs and traveling all across Canada performing, from Victoria to Montreal. Eventually people started to notice the songs I wrote. Within a few years I had written songs for people like Canadian hip-hop veterans Ismaila Alfa (fka Mocean of Frek Sho) and Pip Skid. I've also written the bulk of Magnum KI's material, including half of their 2010 self-titled album, which was nominated for a Western Canadian Music Award.
Nowadays, I don't rap as much. Nor do I spend too much time thinking about what kind of music I make. Pop, punk, hip-hop; it's all of these and none of these. I just take my samplers and keyboards up on stage with me, play something strangely danceable and sing a song I wrote for these confusing times. And hopefully, when people hear the songs, they will feel the urge to get up and move around to them. And listening closer, they will realize that the songs are coming from me, but they are about them.
Check out this interview that Pop Montreal did with the founder of the One Man Band Fest, Jon Cohen:
The One Man Band Fest starts in just a couple days. You can watch the trailer here:
A Lion In Your Lap
DJ Damien Ferland
Royal Albert Arms
48 Albert Street