Welcome to the Rob B. Project …
For songwriters who don´t sing or perform live it is extremely hard to make one´s mark in the music business because they don´t have a platform to present and promote their work. This is more or less the situation that Robert Baitinger, a songwriter from Germany, has been confronted with since he started writing songs in 1978. Robert´s idea is to complement his songwriting capabilities with the “Helping Hands” of excellent artists and innovative producers. In the age of the internet it has become easier to communicate and collaborate with musicians and producers all over the world. Robert is utilizing the internet and pursuing the idea of a conceptional studio band with a frequently changing lineup of artists. He calls this project the “Rob B. Project” since he supplies the basic melody and lyrics of a song and other singers/musicians/producers contribute their talents and skills to make it come to life. This is the theme of his first album which Robert calls “Helping Hands” and contains totally different sounding tracks.
All the songs on “Helping Hands” consist of strong rock and pop elements combined with extremely catchy melodies and killer sing-along refrains underscored with a pleasingly bitter-sweet melancholy. The lyrics are well-worded, with an excellent flow. Written critiques and radio airplay experts say Robert´s music has a strong pop appeal that the listener won´t be able to get enough of.
The songs cover the music genres rock, pop/rock, light rock, mainstream pop as well as ballad and demonstrate the versatility of Robert´s songwriting capabilities. The musical elements used in these tracks lead to a unique style of music that sounds familiar and contemporary, yet unique and fresh. This is mainstream rock/pop at its best. These songs are designed to just simply put a smile on everybody´s face – music for the masses that everyone can and will hum.
In the mid 90s the internet makes it possible for Robert to get into direct contact with his pop idol Andrew Gold. They meet in L.A. in 2004 to record and produce a song Robert had written in 1987 called “Did You Get What You Want”. Andrew has had great success in the 1970s as a solo artist (Thank You For Being A Friend, Lonely Boy, etc.) and in the 1980s in the formation WAX (Right Between The Eyes, Bridge To Your Heart, etc.) together with Graham Gouldman from 10cc. Andrew has also made his marks as a songwriter and producer. “Did You Get What You Want” is a song about the final phase of a couple´s partnership when he finds out that she is cheating on him. This sad story is told from a male perspective at a point in their relationship where he does not know how to move on. Feelings of anger, sadness, resignation, hope and melancholia are cleverly mixed together. Andrew´s powerful lead vocals emphasize the emotional sentiment of the song and the complex background vocals from Andrew and Robert are expertly mixed. The song fits into the timeless Southern California mold pioneered by the likes of the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, America and Jackson Browne, among others. Fans of this style of music will be very pleased with this song. The song is extremely well-received by radio stations worldwide, even though Andrew and Robert have no label backing them.
Andrew and Robert agree on collaborating again in 2006 and produce “Tell Me”. This song is of very high commercial value with an extremely catchy melody and an underlying line that almost everybody likes “tell me you love me”. This love song can be classified as mainstream pop with keyboards used as the dominant instrument but also finely complemented by acoustic and electric guitars. The complexity of the background vocals increases as the song progresses. This song is uniquely produced using typical music elements of the late 80s pop scene but simultaneously making it sound amazingly fresh and new. Even though over five minutes of playing time is not typical for singles, the clever arrangement gives the listener the impression of a shorter song.
In 2008 Robert contacts Oliver Schwarz, the head of Wonderland Music Productions. Together they decide on producing Robert´s melancholic piano ballad “Now That You´re Gone”. Oliver begins with Robert´s midi files and lays out a beautiful pop song. They jointly choose Lotti Epp to contribute the vocals for the song. Lotti has years of international experience in the music business. She has toured with R. Kelly and Roachford and she occasionally does studio work for Mousse T. “Now That You´re Gone” is a farewell song that Robert wrote for his late father in 2005. The lyrics are cleverly worded to make the song fit almost any sad break-up situation. What starts as a soft piano-centric ballad, builds emotionally as it progresses and winds down in the interlude. The song peaks musically with a guitar solo and high-pitched vocals only to quietly end again with a soft piano. Lotti Epp´s exceptional vocal performance lifts this song to a higher level of musicality. Her vocals are unique even though they do resemble those of Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera. Her performance is so emotional that some listeners might even feel the urge to shed a tear while listening.
Again in 2008 Robert collaborates with songwriter, artist and producer Joe Milton, from Dallas Texas. Joe´s music can be heard on such television shows as “Desperate Housewives”, “Malcolm in the Middle” and “American Family” and he has worked together with JD Fortune from INXS and Jon Anderson from the famous rock band Yes. For his song “Desperate Moves” Robert selects a latin rock style and wants powerful and distinctive guitar solos. Joe is a perfect fit for this song. Jeff Plant plays the bass guitar and Jorge Genario adds percussion. Joe plays all the other instruments and sings the lead vocals. Additional background vocals are contributed by Annagrey Labasse . This song is produced in Dallas without Robert and Joe ever meeting personally. They jointly exchange MP3s and emails to create this production. The song demonstrates that Robert cannot only write pop songs and ballads but also songs with a stronger beat.
Joe Milton and Robert meet for the first time in the summer of 2008. They discuss details of the production of two additional songs. “Raining In My Heart” is a beautiful rock ballad with a killer chorus that Robert wrote in 2007. The song contains a heavy load of emotions. Joe sings all the vocals and plays all the instruments in this production. Robert wrote “Why Can´t A Lifetime Last Forever” in 1980. In this song he deals with pains of growing old, reminiscing about his past life and contemplating the future. Joe records this track using the acustic guitar as the dominent instrument. The strength of this song can be clearly heard in this “unplugged” production.
Joe Milton produces “One More Try” as well and asks Annagrey Labasse to participate in the project. Annagrey is a singer/songwriter herself and was a finalist in Oprah´s Pop Star Challenge in 2006. She has worked together with well-known artists like LeAnn Rimes. Robert wrote this song in 2007 for close friends whose marriage was breaking up. In this song he urged them to give their relationship “One More Try”. This song is extremely emotional with a killer chorus. Robert: “One evening I started playing the piano and 10 minutes later I had this tune done. I wrote the complete lyrics half an hour later. This was one of the fastest songs I ever have ever written.”
Matt Ingram sings the lead vocals in “I Just Wanna Know”. Matt and his band won the Battle of the Bands contest where he performed in front of an audience of 70.000 people. Robert wrote this song in 2008 together with his son Leon, who was 11 years old at the time. It is the first song they ever wrote together. Leon started playing a great sounding sequence of chords and Robert spontaneously sang some vocals. Just minutes later the song is finished. Robert creates a demo of the song that same day and sends it to Joe Milton who immediately decides to produce the song. It´s about a teenage boy who falls in love with a girl he meets. He is hesitant to give his heart away because he is afraid it could be broken. Joe Milton does a great job on the guitars. Jeff Plant plays the bass guitar and Jason “JT” Thomas drums. Matt Ingram contributes spectacular lead vocals and Annagrey Labasse sings the background vocals.
Like many of Robert´s songs, “A Girl I Wish I´d Never Met” expresses a very melancholic mood. It is about a guy who reflects on a relationship that, from the start, he knew had no future. Like in many situations, you see disaster coming, but there is nothing you can do to avoid it. The guy expends all of his energy knowing it´s a waste of time, yet continues on helplessly anyway. As one says: love can make you blind. On this track Robert plays all the instruments himself and records the lead and background vocals on his own. In March 2008 Robert enters this track in the U.S. songwriting contest “Song of the Year” and becomes a finalist in the category “Best Pop Song” which will earn him access to labels, publishers, promoters, management companies, and more.
Robert originally wrote “The Anthem” in 1987 as a country song. 20 years later he records the same melody on top of a Celtic-sounding accompaniment style with a lot of bagpipes. The underlying melody is extremely catchy. This instrumental track becomes a no.1 hit in the “Besonic.com” charts in 2007.
What started as the realization of a lifetime dream for Robert has evolved to become serious business.
Read more about Robert Baitinger at his official website.
RB Records 2008
Tracks: Raining In My Heart, I Just Wanna Know, Now That You´re Gone, Did You Get What You Want, One More Try, Desperate Moves, Why Can´t A Lifetime Last Forever, Tell Me, A Girl I Wish I´d Never Met, The Anthem (Bonus Track), This Is More Than Love (Bonus Track) & Tranquility (Bonus Track).
Musicians on the Helping Hands album: Robert Baitinger, Andrew Gold, Joe Milton, Matt Ingram, Lotti Epp, Annagrey Labasse and others.