It’s safe to say that behind every successful artist lies a story of challenge, change, and inner growth. Robert Babicz has ensured that every part of his life encapsulates the essence of his true self and then magically captures it in the present moment through his music. This transformation has unraveled since the 1990’s when music became his healer aiding him to rise above the “yins” of life and enabling him to revel completely in its “yangs”.
His sound creates a sense of unity and cohesiveness amongst his listeners and serves as a conduit to convey personal experiences and interactions through film, creating the perfect stereophonic journey. We had the pleasure to connect with Robert to talk about his innate ability to connect to his fans through his music, and his career’s evolution as one of the most highly respected and revered artists in the electronic music industry. Clearly, the world needs more “Babicz Style”!
EG: Thank you so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to chat with us. Let’s start things off by talking a little bit about your time in Argentina?
Robert Babicz: That was a very interesting experience, firstly as an artist, I love Argentina! The people are so emotional, simply, if they like you, they will show it to you, and that’s always really great. Then this whole master class workshop with InSound Academy was very interesting for me because I don’t have secrets, I am telling everything I know, by teaching and giving all my experience to the people who want to learn.
EG: And you have no hesitations about doing that, giving your knowledge freely? Do artists ever have a fear of sharing too much information, with the angst that someone might take it and attach their name to it?
Robert Babicz: Yeah. I mean, I know many people who don’t want to share anything, but I think if I share everything I learn by myself, it is helping the whole scene. I connect with this because I love sound and if people know about the energy that is involved in creating sound, all the music will overall “sound” better.
EG: So, would you say that there is a theme of collaboration bubbling up in the industry that is becoming more prevalent amongst artists?
Robert Babicz: I hope so, I try to encourage people all the time to do their part and doing whatever I can, to do the same.
EG: You seem to have an effortless ability to capture the beauty of any given moment in the music, I felt that way, when you played at Coda Toronto last summer, it was incredible! Does this come naturally to you, or has it evolved over the course of your career?
Robert Babicz: Good question. Maybe from looking and thinking back to some of my older music, I was unable to move my inner world out. I wanted and had to learn this from experience. I mean, for me music is the sound therapy where you discover yourself. My music its like my diary, other people they collect thoughts in text, I collect them through sound and music. If you know me personally, then you will understand that my music is very personal. To see what’s really going on inside me, and I am reflecting that in the people I meet, the situations that are happening to me, my wishes, my fears, everything that is happening to me.
EG: I love following you on Instagram. Many of your posts resonate so deeply with me. Can you share with us some of your personal experiences that led you to feel the way you do about music and how it led you to create some of your best work?
Robert Babicz: Yeah, well I had a very not easy childhood, and literally, music saved my life. And I am super happy that music found me, because before I started making this journey, I had no idea why I was being born at all. So, maybe that’s the reason why I put so much energy into the music, yeah, it gave me a reason to be alive.
EG: What an incredibly moving response! Thank you! So, from all the music across the scene so far this year, what’s been the defining dance-floor track or an artist that we should be watching out for?
Robert Babicz: Recently, I am not listening too much to other music. As a mastering engineer, I have to learn to listen to music from just the technical point of view without putting my heart too much into it. I just try to make tracks sound more perfect. But for me it’s not always the track that is interesting. For me it’s interesting to meet the artist, like for example when you meet Guy J, and you have a nice conversation with him, and then you listen to his music, it makes complete sense. I also feel the same about Guy Mantzur and Marc Romboy. The human side, that’s something that was missing for a long time in electronic music. If you look closely and you follow Instagram posts of some DJs, you see most of them are super cool, everything is always great. And you know, this is not true. I mean it’s b.s., because we all have fears, and have good and bad days. From my side of an electronic music artist, I am trying to show all sides of the human experience, and I am encouraging other artists to discover the wide spectrum of life experiences. This is why sometimes when I am playing I get filled with tears from the happiness that is being generated from the crowd because of the music.
“Music gave me a reason to be alive”
EG: You really tap into the conscious aspects of how electronic music can allow you to grow spiritually and emotionally. Do you think artists should make this a part of their vision when creating music?
Robert Babicz: Well, I can only speak for myself, that from my perspective, when I am traveling and doing my shows, I am doing magical rituals. That’s how I can describe this, it’s a magical ritual where I am getting in contact with the subcultures of the people.
EG: Wow! That’s next level! Now, I see your son has been experimenting with sound. How did he become interested in creating music, was it something that just came naturally from watching you?
Robert Babicz: I think it’s just naturally, he is starting to grow in his music and he sees his dad doing music all the time so occasionally he will ask “can I try something?” and I say “of course, yes, try”. And my idea is that he can use whatever he wants, but I will not tell him what to do, I just want to encourage him to have questions, where I can explain something but the rest should come from him.
EG: Your studio is incredible! That being said, if someone came along and said to you, that you could only keep one or two pieces of equipment, which would they be?
Robert Babicz: (Chuckles) That’s a very, very, very difficult thing for me, because my studio for me, has its own life form. And all the stuff that I’ve collected, over 27 years has a story attached to it and why I bought it. I mean I have many pieces that come and go with new collections, but other pieces like my tape machine, well, it is like a love story. So, yeah, this would be very difficult for me to let go of.
EG: Is there pressure to always possess this ability to captivate the audience when you step behind the decks? And would you say the music helped you go from being an introvert to an extrovert?
Robert Babicz: For me, actually now when I am going on stage compared to when I started is different, I was super shy and I was unable to connect and look at the people at all. And I remember when I was playing the first year, I could only look at my instruments, and people would come to me after shows and say, “that was such an awesome show, but please could you just smile!”, and you know I had a hard time doing this. It was many years of hard, hard work to open myself and to accept who I am. The music opened me a lot! Like I said, music was and still is my therapy. Now I feel like this is my energy work, actually I feel like a captain of an old ship going through bad weather with my crew, and we will go through moments of darkness trying to reach a paradise island, something like this…(chuckles)
EG: Tell us about your red scarf and your affinity to it, how did it become part of your persona?
Robert Babicz: It’s really like an adventurous part of me, and through music you can bring that out in people. We are all traveling together on this adventure. The thing is it’s like each track of mine, is part of a movie scene and if you connect all the tracks together it’s like an epic long adventure.
EG: When an artist sends you a track to be mastered, are you able to read an artist’s energy and who they are as a person, through the track they’ve created?
Robert Babicz: The way the artist contacts me, how I read the email, the energy that is coming through, in one minute I will know, even just a few seconds, to understand and I will know the picture of how far the artist is in terms of the mix down and how they are able to bring out their message. You know, it’s an art form, first you have an idea, but to bring it through and make it perfect sounding, it’s a long way. I think over the years I’ve gotten the reputation of someone who loves sound.
“When I am traveling and doing my shows, I am doing magical rituals”
EG: What is the most difficult part about being Robert Babicz?
Robert Babicz: I think to deal with all the emotions and sounds in my head, like the music in my head and heart is never stopping. I can see sound, so that’s why 95% of my music is made in one day. I see emotions connected to geometry and colors, and for me, it’s just very easy to create music this way. In my mind music is not perfect at all, but in the way that it is not perfect, it is just perfect! This is the human side of making music.
EG: Please give us the soundtrack that was playing in your mind to some of the most pivotal moments in your life, like for example when your children were born.
Robert Babicz: Oh this was a very big change in my life. I thought most of my music was all about this Rob Acid thing, but actually the year when my daughter was born, I had a bout of depression and the moment I saw her coming to life, I was so emotionally moved, that I got a wave of happiness that completely changed me as an artist. So then, the music changed from this super dark, depressive to a lot of color scapes, and around 2004 I decided to put Rob Acid in the past and just be Robert Babicz.
EG: Please finish the following sentences:
Besides my music, I am very passionate about…oh, nature and my children of course.
The best part about what I do is….being alive and doing what I love.
I would like my legacy to be….ahhh, I don’t care, because I’ll be gone. Of course the music itself will not die, but I must be happy to have this life now.
Serious electronic music fans need to listen to….music that is resonating with their heart.
I could never do without….Walking in the forest.
The country with the most promising electronic music artists is….planet earth.