Robert Levey II is a solo musician from Long Island, New York, USA. His passionate vocals have been turning heads online. The Music Man had the chance to speak with Robert about his music and what drives him to keep pushing forward with his budding career.
Born in 2008, Robert is already a very accomplished young musician. He performs shows across the USA and is building a strong following for his music. You can see our interview with Robert and a few videos of his fantastic performances below.
What types of performances do you do?
“My very first performance was at New York Fashion Week for Rookie USA. From there my piano coach Dominic Ferris invited me to play at one of his shows in London! After that, I did a few solo shows at events, cabarets, and charity events. I’m nominated right now for best vocalist under 18 in the USA. I am one of 15 finalists invited to perform in a vocal contest in Nashville, Tennessee.”
It’s great to see such a young performer singing some of the old classics, would you say this is your favourite type of music?
“I love music from the ’50s and up, also current music. I would have to say my favorite era is the ’60s. Some people may say I’m an old soul. I don’t really have a main genre that I play, I test out everything and if I feel the song, enjoy it, if it fits my voice, then I will do it! I think that feeling the song and telling a story is very important to my performance.
“I want my audience to feel what I’m feeling when I sing something, I also want it to be entertaining! I remember from the beginning when I recorded one of my first covers my piano coach, Dominic Ferris, told me to tell the story and it always stuck with me. Currently, I am a cover artist working his way up to originals, but I am enjoying re-introducing these wonderful songs that I think people of my generation should hear.”
Who would you say are your main musical influences?
“I would say my main musical influence is Billy Joel. I love his style of playing, songs, and lyrics. I also love how most of his songs are stories from when he was younger. For example, Piano Man was about him being a lounge singer for about 6 months. I guess growing up on Long Island as Billy did, I feel a connection to his music. I hope I can also meet him one day in person, I’d love to talk about music and what inspired him. Seeing him in the Garden is cool, but I think meeting him would be amazing!”
Have you had any formal musical training?
“I took vocal lessons locally for about a year when I was younger. I did take Stevie Mackey’s 30-day course online during covid, which I loved and would recommend. As of now, I don’t take vocal lessons, I just find that it comes naturally to me. I didn’t get serious until covid hit and my acting completely shut down. My family always said to make your own opportunities and I thought that my singing would help my acting. I posted some things on social media and some people commented I had a nice voice, so I kept singing! I also picked piano back up with my local piano teacher so that I could play and sing some songs! During covid, everyone seemed to be home and on their phones so I thought that I should try and do some cover songs. That is when I met my coach Dominic who helped me over FaceTime with lessons and advancing my piano skills.”
When did you start playing music?
“I started banging on the keys at around 4 years old, lol. I began playing seriously when I was 8 years old and I discovered I had a passion for music.”
Does anyone else in your family play music?
“No one else in my entire family tree does what I do and they all wonder where I came from, lol. I would say my coach Dominic inspired me to become a stronger pianist. Another person who encouraged me is my guitar coach Jamie Moses, when I started with him he complimented my voice and said I had a great tone and I should sing whenever I play. He’s the one who suggested I should cover songs, and told me that’s how The Beatles started out.”
What would you say are your most notable performances?
“I have performed at New York Fashion Week which was actually my first performance ever! In November of 2021, I traveled to London to perform with my coach, Dominic Ferris. I also recorded, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” where Dominic and my guitar coach, Jamie Moses both joined me. Dominic plays worldwide with his act, The Piano Brothers also with Jonathan Antoine. Jamie has played with Queen, Brian May, and lots of other artists. So to be recording with them was amazing!! They both have mile-long resumes. I could write more about them, but then it would now be an article on them, lol. I’m so grateful for their support.”
Anything else you think people would like to know?
“First, let’s start with a funny story. When my mom first submitted me for representation at 4 years old, I had really long hair and fine features. A bunch of agencies replied to my mom right away wanting to sign me, but as a girl. My mom had to tell them I was a boy. One agency decided to sign me. Even with my hair now I still get people asking if I’m a girl, which is okay. I’m used to it. Next, I’d have to say the greatest experience I have through music is the people I meet and being able to use it for charity work. I’m hoping that one day I’ll do well enough to make a living and give back. Lastly, facts that everyone should know is I talk a lot, I’m funny, I love my clown shoes, and I absolutely love having a good time.”
“I am grateful for everything that is happening and I love the fact that people like what I’m doing. One of the greatest feelings is when I receive a comment from someone telling me that one of my covers touched them in a nice way, it’s such a great feeling to know that I made somebody happy.”