Rob Costlow
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Rob Costlow

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Chicago, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Adult Contemporary


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Sophomore Jinx - 2002
Woods of Chaos - 2005
Return - (remix EP) - 2006
Reconstruction - 2008
Switch On (remix album) - 2009



Music lovers of all ages will be transported to a less complicated, more relaxed world with Costlow's collection of original piano melodies that showcase the talent and universal reach of his passionate and raw sound. Even though Costlow's music is often placed with certain genres, his style is neither new age, classical or jazz. Costlow simply delivers independent, sincere and contemporary music to which listeners can easily relate.

By the time he was twelve, Rob Costlow was trying his piano instructor’s patience by adding his own endings to songs during lessons and recitals. "I literally despised taking lessons and especially practicing other people's music. It just wasn’t for me. I had so many notes running through my head, I wanted to create my own music," admits Rob. This soon brought an end to the lessons that began at age five. Rob realized that his musical future was going to take a different path than the one set by his teachers.

Rob is a true Hoosier born and raised in Indiana. Growing up in a large family helped Rob become focused and tenacious. As the youngest of six boys, Rob got used to seizing every opportunity that came his way. In fact, it was one of Rob’s brothers that introduced him to the music of platinum selling artist George Winston. "It was so different than typical piano music," says Costlow. "It helped give me the courage to try my own hand at composition. I said to myself 'I can do this!' It was an immediate outlet to express myself and also provide a sense of calm when times were stressful.”

And times weren’t always easy for Rob growing up. Rob lost his mother to ovarian cancer when he was eleven. Even as a young boy, seeing his mother’s constant courage in the face of such adversity really affected Rob and had a huge impact on his life and music.

Rob received a Bachelors and Masters degree in Kinesiology from Indiana University, Bloomington. He began his college career as a Piano Performance and Composition major at Ball State University and then switched to Kinesiology as a sophomore, giving an ironic twist to the meaning of Rob’s first album, Sophomore Jinx. It was a transfer to Indiana University, though, during Rob’s junior year that led Rob to meet his future wife, Melissa.

While attending IU, Rob worked as a waiter at the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority where Melissa was a sorority member. In fact it was music that first brought them together. In between meal times Rob would often practice on the piano at the house. Melissa would sneak quietly to the top of the stairs to listen to the beautiful melodies. She wondered how she would ever get up the nerve to talk to this guy!

And then, inevitably, life throws you a few curve balls. During his senior year of college Rob was hit by a drunk driver. Suffering significant injuries in both hands, Rob ended up with a broken right-hand and carpel tunnel syndrome in his left. Through surgery and physical therapy Rob has recovered, but still feels aching in his hands after an especially extensive piano performance.

While working on his Masters Degree at IU, Rob unofficially started his own record label based on a business class project. In 2002, Rob released his first professional solo project, Sophomore Jinx (re-released 2005), containing all original music. In 2004, Rob officially founded Tourist Records™. Through Tourist Records™, Rob continues to create and license music. He hopes to inspire other artists to make their own impact in the world.

Professionally, Rob has spent the last decade working for influential Internet companies. It is through the Internet that Rob has connected with many people of different backgrounds and cultures. He has gained fans of all ages worldwide and has come to the realization that the world is in need of much more than just your typical “top 40” music.

Rob admits that he is a perfectionist and from time to time he’ll carry on a conversation longer than it should go. He has celebrated many wedding anniversaries with the sorority girl who sat at the top of the stairs listening to him play piano. They are expecting their second child in 2009. Rob loves to travel, “cut a rug” when the mood is right, eat pizza and twizzlers, put ketchup on everything, and just laugh with his family. He also plays in his church band twice a month.

While Rob has come a long way since his childhood lessons, his love for creating original compositions is still at the heart of his contemporary piano music. "Music is what inspires me,” says Costlow. “It is in my soul. I never force myself to write. I do it when it comes to me. I take things a day at a time."