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Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"Gayla Robinson – Raw Genius With No Chaser"

The music industry is such a volatile world. It seems like the major artists spend most of their time trying to either impress one another, or coming up with the next quick fix for the new generation of iTunes listeners – all in hopes of breaking some new download record or garnering record breaking first week sales. Independent artists, similarly and sadly, are following a comparative trail, seeking to be the next million dollar push by the record industry.

Of all the existent talent in the vast ocean of genres and sub-genres, it becomes a daunting task to find some new fresh artist who challenges the way music is played, sung, and delivered. Today’s concepts are monotonous and sordid. The few artists who present music worth fighting and dying for – through thought-provoking lyrics and artistic themes – are relegated to low MySpace and YouTube plays, leaving them little hope for catching that “big break”, which their rather shallow counterparts both covet and so often achieve.

In spite of this, one finds that every once in a while an artist emerges who affirms the diligent truth-seeking music connoisseur that his or her arduous searching for the signs that tell them that love is indeed there, is far from in vain. In fact, it’s as if they’d found the goldmine – the hidden treasure – that diamond in the rough, which makes the toil all worth it. In this case, the hidden gem, ladies and gentlemen, is Gayla Robinson.

Gayla is a youthful breath of fresh air to what can only be a hybrid genre of soul, acoustic, Americana, folk, and touch of soft rock. A poet’s poet to singer-songwriting, Gayla’s sultry voice captures the attention from the first note. Her lyrics are deep, yet decipherable, allowing the listener the satisfaction of the “aha” moment after the song ends. Her short, yet timely self-titled EP, covers a range of topics from alcoholism to healthcare; even touching on familiar topics, such as relationships and breaking up, which speak to people of all walks of life.

The EP begins with the sobering “To Die For”, a tale of a soldier volunteering to fight in a war, for which he is not quite sure of its meaning or ramifications. Her lyrics insight thought with lines such as:

He was told that the mission/was to set a people free
Fight against insurgents/who threatened democracy
Believing in the mission/naive carried it out
But with much frustration/ he started to have his doubts
Who was he really killing/were they the enemy
Or a people who were invaded/ by a foreign policy
Realizing he'd been deceived/doing more harm than good
Committing war crimes in a land misunderstood…

Gayla pens verses that provoke intelligent discussion. Her spin on social themes draws the listener in with each strum of her simple, yet artful display of guitar playing. Her lovely voice echoes some of the truths and sentiments that many people internalize, but are too timid to voice aloud.

While all the songs on the EP are standalone tracks, another highlight is the healthcare song, “Bill for Pill”, where Gayla unabashedly calls out the pharmaceutical industry’s unethical practices. This heralding trumpet of song would be many a family’s theme song in light of America’s current perturbation on the topic of healthcare. The revolutionary poet in Gayla effortlessly croons:

As we believe everything that the doctor’s say
Over-charge those that cannot pay
Medical procedures that kill not save
We lose more than gain
Exploiting charitable events that raise money
Only pennies trickle down to those in need
Bill after bill for pill still ill
Blood money on their hands/it’s an unfair deal
Business of sickness, business of cheats
Profit of gain from fatalities.

Being so short in length and in songs, Gayla’s EP is worth analyzing from every verse of every song, making repeatability of the CD joyful and exciting with every listen. The only flaw to the EP would be that it leaves one wanting more.

This untapped fountain of blissful melody is what is missing from the proverbial hustle and bustle of today’s music. If this 5-song EP is a shadow of what is to come from the artist, Gayla Robinson, then her full-length debut should be nothing short of epic.

Support great music!
- Len Washington


2009 - "Gayla"



Gayla is a singer/songwriter with much to say in alternative folk. She blends the grooves of R&B soul with country, folk and rock as the back drop to her insightful lyrics.

Gayla has released an EP of songs on a CD simply titled, “Gayla” with topics that range from war, heartbreak, and addiction. She believes that everything is game to be written and sung about. Gayla is currently a co-host and performer at Virginia’s popular “Venue on 35th” open mic.

In December of 2004, on a whim and suggestion from a friend, Gayla entered the Sea Level “Emerging Singer/Songwriter” contest and became co-winner. Since then Gayla has made several appearances on Norfolk, VA WHRV’s music programs: “Out of the Box” with Paul Shugrue, “Hunter at Sunrise” with Hunger Hughes and Barry Graham’s “Acoustic Highway”.

“I want to connect to heads and hearts; I want to be conscious and cool; I desire my songs to cover the range of emotions and moments. When I know I’ve achieved all of this I know my song is complete.”

Gayla brandishes an energy and empathy that allows her to connect with the hearts of her audience, while giving them a good dose of sweet melodies with the bitter realities of life.