Hailing from New York City, the multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer-songwriter Phil Robinson unveils a new music video in support of the #SaveOurStages campaign entitled "Transcendental Cowboy."
While the song's studio version will appear on Robinson's forthcoming debut album, 'Through The Middle,' the single's music video takes on a more significant theme. Filmed at the iconic NYC venue The Bitter End, Phil Robinson highlights the importance of supporting local venues during these unforgiving times.
Directed by filmmaker Louise Lau of Offstage Tunes, Phil Robinson's music video for "Transcendental Cowboy" was released solely to raise awareness and donations for NIVA's ongoing #SaveOurStages campaign. While the video highlights the live music scene's emptiness and sorrow over the past year, Phil Robinson and Loise Lau put their own unique spin to the visual for needed emphasis.
Taking a look at the music video for "Transcendental Cowboy," the venture begins with a past clip of Phil Robinson performing at The Bitter End in front of a large and receptive crowd. Although, after a quick transition and closed-caption mentioning #SaveOurStages, we see Robinson performing to an empty bar with the same soul and heart.
While Robinson continues stomping his feet to the powerful and soulful beat, the video smoothly cuts to various shots of elements that make up our live music scene. With incredible direction by Louise Lau, the video takes us right back into the sweltering bars and clubs we miss sincerely. Not to mention Phil Robinson's fiery and energetic performance, he steals the show while keeping our eyes locked on his passionate delivery.
Allow Phil Robinson's latest music video for "Transcendental Cowboy" to take you back to the days of live music, and don't forget to show some love to NIVA's #SaveOurStages campaign, benefiting local and staple venues everywhere.
We're truly in awe of your energetic and engaging performance within your latest music video for "Transcendental Cowboy." What inspired you to create a music video in support of #SaveOurStages?
Thank you! Regarding the pandemic, I think people, for the most part, can be pretty resilient in bearing a lot of temporary disruption to our lives. But once it started to become clear that some of the damage we were seeing would have a PERMANENT impact-- an impact that would outlast even the resolution of the public health crisis-- that really triggered something in me! One by one, I was hearing of our live music venues here in NYC going bankrupt and shutting down permanently-- it was like the city was losing its soul one piece at a time. When I heard that the legendary rock venue, The Bitter End itself, was in real danger of shutting down, I couldn't even process it. The Bitter End had basically been the center of the NY live music scene since it opened in 1961, launching countless legends, from Bob Dylan through to Lady Gaga. If it were to go, the cultural loss would be immeasurable. I knew we had to rally the troops to prevent that from happening.
We must note the brilliant direction from Louise Lau within your music video for "Transcendental Cowboy." What was it like working together? What was the shoot like?
Thanks for shouting out Louise-- She's an immaculate professional and always upbeat, and it was a great stroke of fortune to get to collaborate with her on this video! I had already been a fan of her web music channel Offstage Tunes for a while before meeting in person. We had access to The Bitter End for two hours, so we ran through the performance of the song on stage five times, each time with Louise and her camera operator Terence setting up their two cameras in different positions. We also just kind of hanging out in the venue, goofing off in the green room while letting the cameras roll, and she and Terence also walked around and captured a lot of the character of The Bitter End itself. Finally, Louise went off and edited all of that footage together, with her keen instinct for how to make it as visually exciting as possible! She nailed it!
Did you work alongside any other photographers, videographers, or editors when creating the music video for "Transcendental Cowboy?"
Yes, apart from Louise, we had three other collaborators: Brandon Herman, another go-to video director in the NY music scene, had been the one to shoot my big 2018 solo show at The Bitter End, which you see a bit of at the beginning and interspersed throughout the video. He provided all of that footage to us-- we thought it would help show the emptiness of The Bitter End during lockdown if we juxtaposed it with footage of a packed show from the 'before times.' Yasin Muhammad, another director/photographer I frequently work with, was with us the night of the shoot. He took all the still photographs you see throughout the video, which we also used as part of our online "Save the Bitter End!" and "Save Our Stages" campaigns. Louise also employed Terence Li, her trusty lieutenant, who operates the camera for her on many of her shoots where she appears on-camera.
Seeing as your recent music video for "Transcendental Cowboy" highlights the live music scene, what would you say you miss most about performing in front of a live audience?
Nothing beats the excitement and the ALIVE-ness of playing music on stage in front of an audience-- there's electricity to it, and it goes both ways! You could perform the same song on 100 different nights, and each time will be very different, largely based on the energy the audience gives you. It's really the difference between a dialogue and a monologue-- without the audience, you’re kind of just hitting the ball against the wall rather than having someone hit it back at you. With an audience, the heights you can reach are limitless.
What's next for you?
In addition to "Transcendental Cowboy," I recorded 11 other songs over lockdown, and I'll be releasing them as a series of singles over the coming months, starting with the kickoff single, "Late At Night." The songs tell a particular story so you can follow a character starting from deep within his dark place, who ultimately finds his way through into the light. Most of these singles will also have videos accompanying them-- I'm currently in the process of collaborating with a host of different filmmakers in parallel, creating many different visions for the songs, so you'll see a great variety in the kinds of videos we create throughout the course of the overall story. Louise herself will be back for one more of these as well. I hope you join us for the ride!