Rob Murat
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Rob Murat

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"Sister2Sister Magazine - Rob Murat Sacrificed Money & Love All For Music (Feature)"

Not too long ago, rising independent soul singer-songwriter and New York native, Rob Murat found himself sacrificing both money and love in order to find success. So far it’s been paying off as his new album, So Much to Say, has been receiving buzz from outlets such as BETJ, MTVu and VH1Soul thanks to the funky lead single, “Dilemma.” Rob spoke to S2S about the sacrifices and his journey.

On the money front, the University of Pennsylvania graduate made the tough decision to trade in a potentially high-paying corporate career for the hard grind of being a starving artist.

“Being an Ivy grad we have that storyline of graduate, get a good job, get married, have kids and call it a day,” he said. “Music interrupted that and it was something I had to commit to and jump off of that fairy tale lifestyle. It’s a challenge but I learned early on that success is not easy. So you might as well pick something that you’re passionate and excited about.”

Rob’s passion and excitement for music was so intense that he only left room for one woman in his life: music. The result was getting cheated on and going through tough love experiences that impact his music.

“In the past I couldn’t settle down ‘cause my music was my woman,” Rob recalled to us. “I felt like if I focused more on my music than my woman that everything would be ok, and that’s been part of the struggle. So as part of my hustle and neglect I’ve been cheated on before.”

Now, Rob is finding that balance between music and love. In the process he is growing through his music with humor and soul.

“I used to be a little more naïve about relationships and love. So it hardens you up and keeps you alert and makes you pick out the women better,” he explained. “Through it all I’ve always chosen to remain hopeful about relationships. Most people would turn away from trusting relationships and be a Diddy, but I’ve chosen not to go that route. So I write hopeful songs about love and I’ve taken a humorous approach to the stories of being cheated on.”??

As long as he continues to learn and grow with soul and humor we’re confident many will want to hear all he has to say. - Sister2Sister Magazine


"Soultracks - Rob Murat Releases "Souls" for Haiti"

(New York, NY) January 19th, 2010 - In light of the recent devastation caused by earthquakes in Haiti, New York born singer, songwriter, producer and son to Haitian parents, Rob Murat, has dedicated his Lennon Award winning song, "Souls," to awareness building efforts in Haiti. "Souls" is a powerful piece that evokes perseverance in the face of poverty and catastrophe. It serves as an emotional tribute to the many families, including his, affected by the tragedy. "We must ensure that attention does not fade as the need for assistance persists." Rob says, "It is imperative that we remain engaged."

Along with the song, Rob has personally created a visual montage of stirring photos from the ground in Haiti which is available via his official website and on Youtube.

Rob Murat is currently in the studio working on his next recording release. He has most recently been noted for the success of his debut album, So Much to Say. The video to the album's lead single, "Dilemma Remix 1.0 ft. Kidz in the Hall," has been featured on VH1, BET, and MTV stations. It is also currently available OnDemand in over 30 million homes via Music Choice.

- Soultracks.com


"Soultracks - So Much to Say (Review)"

In the brave new musical world of 2008, there are more chances than ever to be surprised when the mail comes in. An abounding new generation of talented artists has arrived, under the radar of broadcast radio and USA Today. And just as a reviewer can be disappointed (even depressed) by the fiftieth album of 70s soul remakes by an aging star, one can be equally blown away when the post office brings a CD by a new artist showing the kind of left-field creativity and musical vision that gets even cynical music observers excited all over again. Fortunately, NY-based newcomer Rob Murat falls into the latter category with his debut album, So Much To Say.

A fragile-voice blend of Lionel Richie and Vinx, Murat really shows his chops as a musician and producer on So Much To Say. His mash-up of an opener, "Dilemma," is pure bliss. Sounding like a sobered-up outtake from Amy Winehouse's Back In Black, the track finds Murat the prototypical bachelor, deciding between his love of freedom and his love of his woman, while a hot, retro-soul arrangement pounds an incessantly infectious beat behind his story. While his lyricism is a bit rough, Murat continues a similar theme through much of the marvelous first half of the album, sometimes full of bravado, sometimes self-deprecating (such as on "Mr. Soulman," when the woman Murat is relentlessly hitting on finally dismisses him by saying "Man, I need a vodka and cranberry and a Red Bull..."). Throughout these songs, Murat adds just the right touches: from a tuba underpinning on "Ready to Love" to the organ and trumpet-led midtempo, "Daytime High."

The radio-ready "Celebrate" is pivotal song on the album, not just because the irresistible, Marley-like track is perhaps the most accessible, but also because it serves as a bridge to a surprising second half. After taking listeners on a great musical whirlwind early on, Murat moves into a mildly head-scratching, pop-oriented collection of ballads (broken up only by the rock-oriented social commentary track, "One Day"), beginning and ending with dead-on Richie-like piano ballads, "Something Magical" and "Born Again." In his defense, Murat generally handles them well, keeping the arrangements interesting on such tracks as the fine "Until Its Over" and the call-and-response "So Much to Say." But they do serve to break up and conventionalize and album that is otherwise marvelous in its defiance of the typical.

But despite the ever-so-slight lag in the latter half of the disc, on So Much To Say Rob Murat shows he's the real thing, with both top-notch songwriting skills and a great sense of production. That combination makes this album absolutely memorable and one of the most enjoyable debuts - make that one of the most enjoyable albums by any artist - of the season. Highly recommended.



By Chris Rizik

- www.soultracks.com


"Planet Urban (Interview)"

Emerging on the scene last year with his album So Much to Say, Queens, NY native Rob Murat is a new breed of artist. The Ivy League educated singer has been turning heads with his hybrid of smooth soul and hip hop gritiness, with the new single Dilemma (Remix) featuring Chicago duo Kidz in the Hall, further establishing his style.

Rob Murat takes some time out to have a light-hearted chat with Planet Urban, discussing what influenced his sound, how intelligence is cool, hip hop collaborations, and what five people (past or present) he would want to meet.



To start off, I'd like to commend you on your music and recent success, it's always good to hear quality music. Now for those that don't know the name Rob Murat yet, give the readers some background on yourself...

Thanks! I really appreciate the energy and positive vibe. Well… Rob Murat is a down-to-earth singer/songwriter/producer from NYC who loves to do what he does. I love to create, and I’m inspired by the fact that people dig my creativity.

As some fans will know, you are an Ivy League graduate, so needless to say you've done your share of book learnin' (lol). Do you think that your education gives you an edge over others in the music game and can you see being intelligent becoming a cool thing to be in mainstream culture?

Yes, I’m a UPENN grad and I have done my fair share of book learnin’. LOL! I’m not sure if my education gives me an edge over others in the game, but, it does shape the way I define and approach success in this industry. To be honest, an Ivy-League degree has never been a pre-requisite for success in entertainment. From what I can tell, a random combination of talent, hustle, discipline, persistence, and a dash of luck seems to be the common recipe for making it happen. It just so happens that my education informs my hustle.

As for intelligence, it has always been cool! LOL! Intelligence doesn’t come from school… it comes from life experiences. Many of the most accomplished artists, execs, and masterminds in music never even graduated from college. That being said, you can’t ignore the wave of Ivy grads making an impact in entertainment today and the obvious fact that you have to be smarter than ever before about your career to make it happen in a game where the rules are changing by the minute.

Your music has a harder-edged soulful sound to it. Is that a sound you set out to create and who are some of your biggest inspirations?

My sound consists of many influences. Being involved in music seemingly ever since birth, I’ve been exposed to quite a few musical styles, and so many of them have impacted my musical taste buds. I began playing the piano when I was 8-years-old and went on to learn by ear after a year or two of lessons. In school, I played the trumpet in bands and orchestras. I also directed and sang in choirs and a cappella groups. I grew up in a Caribbean household, so you definitely hear Caribbean influences in some of my songs. And on the other end of the spectrum I’m a Hip Hop head.

I’ve been told that my music reminds folks of something they’ve heard (or felt) before but at the same time they say it’s refreshing and new. I guess that’s what happens when you throw artists like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, The Fugees, Notorious B.I.G., D’Angelo, Mozart, Beethoven, Bob Marley, Boyz II Men and so many others into a blender and flip the power switch to high.

Is it tough to balance the rougher grooves with the more mellow ones, or is it a natural progression for you?

It’s really not tough at all. I guess it comes naturally for me. I’ve always made it a point to write and produce around a mood or emotion and not around a particular style. So I never aim to create a rough or smooth sounding joint, or even a Hip Hop or Soul track for that matter. When I’m in the lab, I’m focused on capturing a vibe whether it is calm, happy, energetic, passionate, funny, etc. The final product eventually finds it’s way organically. I’ve found that songs that find there way naturally are those that often draw the biggest responses.

It looks like you had fun making the Dilemma Remix video with Kidz in the Hall. What was it like working with those guys and are you looking to do more hip hop collaborations in the future?

It’s always great collaborating with talented artists. It’s even better when those artists are good friends from college. Producer/DJ, Double-0, is one of my boys from UPENN. He’s always been one of the few folks I really trust in this shady industry. I respect his hustle and what both he and Naledge (another PENN head) have been able to accomplish. When it came time to record a remix for my lead single Dilemma, it made sense to reach out to them. And, I’m glad I did because, not only did we knock out Remix 1.0 (the one currently in circulation and on your TV screens), but the upcoming Dark Pop remix produced by Double-0 featuring Kidz in the Hall (again) and a yet to be announced surprise guest. Stay tuned…

I definitely enjoy collaborating with Hip Hop artists. On my current album, So Much to Say, I collaborate with emcee/singer Amanda Diva, spoken word artist J. Ivy, and rapidly rising emcee, Blitz the Ambassador. I am looking forward to collaborating with many more artists, Hip Hop and otherwise, in the future.

While you are a singer you obviously have a heavy hip hop influence as well. Do you see yourself as a bridge between hip hop and soul?

I don’t know about that... LOL! I see myself as an artist who is influenced by all kinds of music and who isn’t afraid to allow those influences to seep into his recordings. Now, because many of those influences are rooted in Hip Hop and Soul, most of my music can be found chillin’ on that “bridge” between the two.

Tell the people out there about the new album So Much to Say and what listeners can expect when they check it out…

Throughout the creative process of bringing So Much to Say to life, I made it a goal to cover a lot of ground both lyrically and musically. Besides finding new and unique ways to tell stories, there are many different ways to get the point across musically than are typically used. On this project, I decided to 1) take on the challenge of cohesively saying a lot both lyrically and musically without overwhelming or boring the listener and 2) making the entire experience one worth repeating and sharing with others.

I used a broad range of live instrumentation mixed in with some dynamic production to create rich vibe and I called upon special guests, Amanda Diva, J. Ivy, and Blitz the Ambassador to assist with the storytelling. I also joined forces with producer-extraordinaire, Optiks on the title track, ‘So Much to Say,’ and the lead single, ‘Dilemma.’

I’m proud of the final product and I’m happy to see that folks are feeling it, repeating it, and sharing it with their friends and fam!

Finally, if you were going to have a drink with any five people past or present who would they be?

Michael Jackson – Greatness is contagious. Also, to ask him, *cue Human Nature* “Why…? Why…?” things turned out the way they did?

Nelson Mandella – To shut up, listen, and learn.

Warren Buffet – So that when I get my money right he can give me some tips on how to get it REALLY right! ;-)

Tony Robbins – There’s always room for more focus and drive in life. Why not get some tips directly from one of the best as opposed to his CDs which I listen to on the regular?

Eva Mendes (or Hale, Adriana, Scarlett, Gabrielle, and Dania Ramirez – google her) – Because she (and they) need someone like me in their lives! LOL! ;-)


For more on Rob Murat visit www.myspace.com/robmurat

- planeturban.com


"Singersroom - Business Savvy and Eclectic Ivy Leaguers Lead Industry Phenomenon (Feature)"

If you’re noticing a trend of Ivy League students making strides in Hip Hop and R&B, you’re not alone. Ivy League graduates like Ryan Leslie, Rob Murat and Chester French are among those who have taken their business savvy and eclectic swagger from the school hall to the sound room, boardroom and the stage over the last two years.

In what may be becoming a standard, artists are taking control of their music and their business – something that was virtually unheard of or even frowned upon thirty years ago. With the music industry becoming more open to the public and with business processes becoming more diverse and open versus secrets being tightly wrapped in the boardroom, it is now essential for an artist to not only be hands on with their music but also with their promotion, sales, marketing and other ventures.

Ryan Leslie, a Harvard graduate, has become a self made media mogul and R&B artist in just four years. Taking control of his business with Next Selection, a music focused media company, Leslie has amassed a roster of recording artists including pop sensation Cassie, all while producing hits for some of R&B and Hip Hop’s hottest acts. With credits on songs from as far left as Britney Spears and as far right as Donell Jones Leslie has made a name for himself throughout the music industry as well as in the business world.

Leslie is not the only one who is making moves, musician/producer Rob Murat, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania is also making notable strides in the industry. Following in the footsteps of great artists like Marvin Gaye, Murat is touching on topics that relate to life and the current struggles of today’s listener. Murat’s sound comes together on his album “So Much To Say,”a fusion of love and hate; joy and pain; and even tears and laughter, released earlier this year. Murat, who independently released his project says “we’re experiencing something phenomenal in the industry where the tighter you are with your business, the more attention to detail, the more specific you are with your career the better off you’ll be.” Murat is right, many established R&B artists like Bobby Valentino and Sammie are going independent, maintaining control over their projects and any attached business dealings. In a recent interview with Singersroom, Murat went further by saying “The better you are with your business the better off you’ll be as an artist.”

Murat is in good company, the singer/songwriter is on the come up during an age of progressive genre-bending stars such as Star Trak recording artists and Harvard graduates Chester French as well as hipster rap artists Kidz In The Hall. Both groups have been admonished with the term“hipster rap” a trend AllHipHop categorizes as artists, specifically black male artists doing what they feel is right for their sound, regardless of eclecticism or consequences. In an article written earlier this year AllHipHop’s Matthew Kantor examined the phenomenon through interviews with these artists. “Kanye, Pharrell, and Lupe opened up doors because they were among the first successful artists that made it okay for black guys to be different. Before them it wasn’t okay to be an eclectic black guy. They allowed the public to see that there are black artists that aren’t on the same old Hip-Hop thug s**t.” says Mikey Rocks (Cool Kids)

Whether or not “hipster rap” is the correct term, there is something bubbling up and it is undoubtably good for the industry. Look for more artists to, as MTV’s “From G’s To Gentleman” host Bentley says “advance their swagger” by not just being one dimensional, but by having their hand in all creative and business related aspects with their own brand of style. Furthermore, being hands on with your product in today’s competitive market is not longer an option, thanks to these gentlemen who have clearly taken notice it is now a standard.

- singersroom.com


Discography

Rob Murat EP (2006)
So Much to Say (2008)
-Single: Dilemma
-Single: Dilemma Remix 1.0 ft. Kidz in the Hall
(music video on rotation: TV: VH1/BETJ/MTVU/MusicChoice
Online: AOL Music/VH1/MTVmusic

Photos

Bio

visit: www.robmurat.com/theEPK.html
password: robmuratmusic

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ROB MURAT

Artist 2.0 – noun
1. A new breed of future-minded artistry built to survive and succeed in the ever-evolving world of music entertainment.
2. A forward-thinking artist/personality not fearful of breaking from the typical and over-duplicated norm.

Rob Murat is Artist 2.0. The Queens-born Ivy-League graduate emerges as a leader among the ascension of this new breed of artistry with intense vocals, creative songwriting, and contagious production that holds music-lovers captive.

Singer, songwriter, producer, and entrepreneur; Rob has been surrounded by music ever since birth. With a childhood immersed in a wide array of musical influences, from Hip Hop, Pop, and R&B to Caribbean, Jazz and Classical, Rob developed a vigorous passion for music relatively early in life. His musical upbringing coupled with his experience as a trumpet soloist, self-taught pianist, impressive composer and vocal arranger has translated into the making of a true artist.

Listening to Rob Murat’s music is like traveling back to the future. The freshness of his sound is reminiscent of the icons that paved the way before him, yet it pushes forward with a unique flavor that hints at something never quite heard before. His passionate performances demand your undivided attention upon delivery. Sold out crowds at New York’s Joe’s Pub, Drom, and The Village Underground; Philadelphia’s World Live Café; Boston’s Paradise Lounge, among others have all experienced Rob’s captivating execution firsthand. His sound and style lay a foundation that often flirt with rich tones and live instrumentation, yet at the same time display hip hop sensibilities that peak the interest of the urban listener. His songs deal with a range of matters from the heart and mind with a strong presence of vocal textures that serve as pure audio therapy for the soul. Seldom have love and hate, joy and pain, even tears and laughter been bound so tightly together in such a mesmerizing set.

Rob’s recent accolades include collaborations with Grammy Award winning, G.O.O.D. Music producer, Devo Springsteen (Kanye West, John Legend), and Hip Hop group, Kidz in the Hall; appearances on FOX and BET J TV broadcasts, and the Lennon Award in the R&B category of the prestigious John Lennon Songwriting Contest; music placements on a nationwide Verizon Wireless radio ad, and on ESPN and TV One original series. His brand new recording project, So Much to Say, boasts collaborations with emcee/singer, Amanda Diva (Def Poetry Jam, Sirius Radio, MTV2), J. Ivy (Def Poetry Jam, Kanye West’s College Dropout), and rising Hip Hop artist, Blitz the Ambassador. Rob's debut music video for Dilemma is currently on rotation on VH1, BETJ, and MTV stations. It is also available OnDemand via Music Choice.