Photos by Reggie Duvivier
Is Robert Delong the future of music?
With the rise of electronic production in music, and the smaller paychecks, it seems like one and two person bands were everywhere at CMJ this year. And while some artists have a hard time singing over pre-recorded Abelton vocals, the dude Robert Delong thrives in it.
Watching Delong perform is a bit like watching an artist in his bedroom studio. Delong’s setup includes two Macbook pros, a bunch of synthesizers, some drum pads, and a few video game controllers triggered to make different sounds at the press of a button. And when you think it’s over, Delong then presses play on a moombahton track and runs to a drum kit to play along. Not to mention the attractive young lady face painting admirers to match the trial paint of lead performer.
All of this seems chaotic and honestly a bit over the top, but that’s how Mr. Delong likes it. Unlike most bedroom producers turned performing artists, Delong has an overreaching stage presence, even though he rarely looks at the crowd. His whole “I play way more instruments than you” attitude presents a under-noticed swag that makes the dude stand out over some of his duller compatriots.
But is he any good? The jury is still out on this one. He’s entertaining, for sure, but can he really become a sustainable artist and not a flash in the pan? Only time will tell.