Good afternoon, YouthMundees! At YouthMundus, we aim to not only be a platform for music, film and global change, but for the artists and global changemakers who create them. Our Artist Spotlight series aims to create a space for discovery of new, budding global talent, while simultaneously offering you an exclusive glimpse into their creative process. Today, YouthMundus sits down with Los Angeles-based composer, percussionist, and keyboardist Robby Good. With concert works premiering at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the International Contemporary Ensemble (among others), as well as numerous short film and video game scores slated for release, Good provides his insights about his creative process and the interplay of music and identity.
What inspires you and your creative process?
When it comes to inspiration, it’s difficult because I’m always jumping from a concert piece to a film score to a song to another film score. When it comes to consistent sources of inspiration, it’s hard to say I have one since I’m always looking for something different! I’m at the point in my life where I’m reliably stumbling across new things every day, and if something strikes me, be it a piece of music I hear or just a new life experience I have, I try to immerse myself in that moment, and internalize that experience. The next step is finding the right way to express those feelings through my music, and from there it’s a game (and usually a really tough one at that)!
Is there a connection between your art and social justice/activism?
I often like to think of music as an art accessible to most and an experience to all, but that experience changes its meaning and importance depending on who listens, and just what they hear out of it. I have yet to write any music that explicitly addresses any social justice issues, but that isn’t to say that none of my music is applicable - in fact, I’m in the process of writing a piece that is meant to touch on a number of topics on the public mind right now!
What inspired you to pursue your art? Were there any challenges you overcame in the process?
Music was always the solution for me - there was never a question I could raise that music wouldn’t eventually show me the answer to. When I was growing up, I always had music on the brain, and when I discovered that there were actual living people behind that music (instead of it just magically showing up when I wanted it), I made a promise to myself: one day, I would write music that would inspire another growing kid the same way the music of my video games and movies inspired me. The biggest challenge, I feel, in all of this is accepting that it’s still a bit of a ways off, but I know I’m on the right path and I’m not giving it up anytime soon!
What’s been the most rewarding part of being an artist for you? Do you have any advice for future artists?
Reward, to me, is organic - I’m just the hands that put the notes on the paper or the frequencies in your ears. The music is the guide, and if I feel like I’ve written it down in the most engaging, interesting, and beautiful way I can, then that sense of accomplishment is all the reward I need. In terms of advising aspiring young artists, all I have to say is this: the only thing that makes your music special is you. Never try to be somebody else. It might sound cliché, but it’s hardest thing I’ve had to learn, and I’m still trying to comprehend it. Dig deep into the things that you feel passionate about, never close your eyes to new experiences, and most importantly, embrace the qualities of yourself that set you apart.
What have you been doing over the past few pandemic months? What can aspiring artists do to follow in your path?
The pandemic honestly didn’t change much of my workflow at all - I’ve always worked from
home, so that was an easy adjustment. The difficulty comes with a decrease in projects like films to score due to the obvious adjustments we’ve had to make during this insane time we live in - so I decided to put my name out and look for as many roles as I could possibly apply for while this pandemic continues, be it for in-development video games, calls for scores, or whatever else I could find that applied to me! I have a lot of passion projects on the brain as well, and some that are even in development: essentially, I tried to maximize my creativity during COVID-19 times by looking for people with a shared mindset. We creative types have to stick together, after all!
Do you have any advice on how we can do our part in supporting emerging artists like yourself?
The best thing you can do is pay attention! We’re all struggling to try and put ourselves out there as best we can, but the crowd has to be just as receptive to us too. I’m trying to increase my social media presence and spread my music as far as I can- so long as the audience tries to help it spread too, that’s all I can ask for!
Any upcoming projects, gigs, shows, events, etc?
I’m currently composing the music for a video game titled Project: Eden’s Garden, amongst other things - I just have so many projects going on at the same time that it’s so hard to keep track! I try to post on my website and social media accounts with any new completed projects as well, so check on robbygoodmusic.com for updates!
Thank you all so much for your continued support. We look forward to bringing you the voice of more inspiring artists and changemakers in 2021.