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Robbie Mcminn – From Musical Theatre to Country Music: A Journey of Blending Genres

Meet Robbie Mcminn, a young and talented musician from Carrickfergus, who has been creating music. He started his musical journey in Musical Theatre, but over time he drifted towards commercial music like country and pop. He has blended his style with American and Irish country and a hint of rock, making it more relatable and appealing to a younger audience. He is highly influenced by modern American country music, especially by Zach Bryan and Luke Combs, and uses their style in his recordings. Recording music is a meticulous process for him, and he takes great care to ensure every aspect of the song is the best he can make it. He has faced many challenges in his journey, but he has learned to grow with them and not let them hold him back. He had a life-changing moment when he got on stage with his favourite singer Zach Bryan, playing in front of a crowd of 1800 people. Let’s hear from him more about his musical journey and experiences!

What inspired you to become a musician, and how did you get started?

Music has always been in my blood, Dad has told me many times he remembers me at a very young age in the car singing foo fighter and Kings of Leon word for word with him so I suppose you could say I’ve been exposed to music from a very young age. I initially started my musical journey in Musical Theatre playing leading roles in places such as the theatre at the mill to the biggest being The Grand Opera House; which all provided priceless information and experience, but over time I’ve drifted to the commercial music side such as country and pop which all unfolded to me beginning to gig in different places. Leading me to where I am today. People are often shocked to find out that me, a country singer began with Musical Theatre as they are just such opposite genres!

How would you describe your musical style, and what sets you apart from other artists in your genre?

On the Island of Ireland, there is a very distinctive tone and style within country music. From this, you can often tell the feel of the song right from the beginning. My style is more based on a blend of American and Irish country with tonnes of rock. I relate to it more and I feel a lot of younger people can also relate to it which opens up a whole new audience. Often people in the older generation can’t quite get to grips with this “new sound” so I do try to mix in a lot of variations that everyone can enjoy and relate to because simply I don’t want to be cutting myself off to a younger crowd I want the music I make and produce to work for everyone so they can all enjoy it equally!

Robbie Mcminn
Robbie meets one of his heroes Nathan Carter

What are some of your musical influences, and how have they impacted your work?

My biggest influences come from American modern country music, Two of the biggest names in country music today in Zach Bryan and Luke Combs. My latest track “1,2 Many” is a cover of Luke Combs’ song by the same title. I took it to my producer and well we changed it to suit my style and audience and we got the final product. A lot of hard work and sweat went into making it and I’m extremely proud of what came out the other side.
Zach Bryan I would argue is my biggest influence although I haven’t really used any of his influence in either of my songs in my day to day life and recordings I use his influence big time! His style of guitar the way he shapes his chords I think it all just sounds so full! The style he has is something I feel would work very well here and I hope I can be the one to help get it widespread so everyone can enjoy it!

Can you describe your creative process when recording music?

When I catch a grip of a song I like, I don’t let it go! I listen to it night and day, learn it inside and out. It’s something I really pride myself on I don’t just sing for the sake of it I really take care and make sure every inch of it is the best I can make it! When recording it’s a team effort between myself my producer and Mum and Dad of course. I just get a feel for something and if I like it we run with it if not we keep going until we find one that works. For example when recording ‘Caledonia’ it took us hours to find a drum beat that really carried through the song and gave the correct feel that I wanted. It really is a meticulous process and people don’t understand just how much work goes into it sometimes.

What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a musician, and how have you overcome them?

I face challenges every single day from the really little things to the not so little things. It really is a variety some days it’s as simple as not being able to sing a song I’ve been obsessed with to the extreme of losing my voice a day before a big gig or something of significance. The biggest setback I’ve ever faced happened last year, I was in the middle of rehearsing for a show when I started taking seizures. Thankfully they are non-epileptic seizures due to my age and stress etc. and I will eventually grow out of them! However, It set me back big time, I was put in hospital and test after test and yet still no answer to this day definitively what it is. It’s an ongoing problem that continues to be a challenge to this day but it’s a challenge that I’m learning to grow with and not let push me back.

What has been your most memorable performance or recording experience, and why?

My most memorable performance was one that I didn’t have planned or booked for. Going back to my previous comment about Zach Bryan, I was lucky enough to be one out of 20,000 people who attempted to get tickets to see him in Dublin in April. We got there really early and queued, determined to be front row. The determination paid off and after a long cold day of queuing me and my dad ended up front and centre directly in front of Zach. In the car on the way down, I decided I was going to be cheeky, so I scribbled on a bit of paper. ‘Cmon Zach let me sing a song with you? ( There’ll be No Cure if I can’t)’
Well low and behold he saw my sign and brought me on stage. It was nuts. I was on stage with my favourite singer and biggest idol playing to a crowd of 1800 people all singing the song back to me it was my “I want to make it” moment. Messages, followers, and views rolled in. With one TikTok video gaining over half a million views! People stopped me after the concert asking for pictures asking for my number, Instagram, facebook you name it they asked for it, all to the dismay of my girlfriend! It really was an experience I’ll never forget and has given me the biggest boost ever.

How do you interact with your fans, and what do you hope they take away from your music?

At the end of the day even with all the love attention and support, I’m still just a normal kid. I go to school like every other 17 year old I play my sport and go to my clubs and meet up with my friends. To think I have ‘Fans’ amazes me. I never thought that it would all lead up to this. All things considered, I’m just a guy doing what I love to do and that’s all I want. If people can take anything away from my music it’s that anything really is possible if you put your mind to it. I’ve heard it said so many times before but it’s so true.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a music career?

As I just said anything really is possible with a bit of hard work and commitment. What you put out there will come back to you.
Just because a little spell of luck comes my way doesn’t mean the hard work stops.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Music is a wonderful thing that brings people together and has brought me into some amazing experiences and let me meet some amazing people.
It’s tough, I’ll not pretend it isn’t there are some days you just have no spark and there are the days where you could take on the world but if you approach each with the same vision magical things happen.
Nothing is impossible, you just have to make it happen.


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