When Robby Johnson came to Nashville to cut a couple of songs, he never imagined that he’d end up in the recording studio as a full-fledged artist with six of his own tunes on the project. But life works in amazing ways sometimes, as Robby proves.
The Canadian-born singer grew up with French as his main language, but from early childhood, he found himself inexplicably drawn to everything American. When his parents went through a painful divorce and his mother moved Robby and his brothers to a small town in Quebec, the boy turned to television as a way to handle his loneliness. He soaked up American programs, music and movies, perfecting his accent-free English through exposure to a variety of shows, songs and networks.
Poverty and shyness were a way of life for Robby growing up, but in his imagination he dreamed big. He always believed that one day – some day -- he would find a path toward the life he hoped for. After high school, he took a job in a manufacturing plant. The equipment noise was deafening, but against the 110-decibel background levels, Robby could sing as loud as he wanted to on his shifts. His dream finally took form one Christmas when he received a paid demo session as a present. The experience changed him forever. It was the first time he realized his voice might be special and that his songs could affect those who heard them. In 2012, Robby decided to come to Nashville and cut two more songs. So strongly did he believe in his dream that when the company where he worked as a manufacturers’ sales rep refused to give him time off, he took a leap of faith and moved to Nashville.
In Nashville, renowned studio musician/producer Jimmy Nichols was brought in to oversee arrangements, but when he recognized the potential of Robby’s talent, Nichols turned to Grammy and multi-award winning songwriter/guitarist Frank Myers (“I Swear,” “I’m Already There,” “Tomorrow”) and together they crafted a powerful 12-song debut that showcases both Robby’s vocal strengths and his songwriting skills. Robby co-wrote six of the songs on the album, including the boot-stomping “Feel Good Song,” the high-energy rousing “I Need My Honey,” and “All That I Am,” a poignant ballad on which he shines. “The minute we started working Robby, we threw out the rule book,” says Nichols, explaining why he and Myers have inked Robby to their new full-service artist development company, Vision A. D. “Everything was so different with him from the beginning. He has the makings of a true artist.” Echoes Myers, who likens Robby’s sound to a cross-blend of Jason Aldean, John Michael Montgomery and Garth Brooks, “He definitely has the ‘it factor.’ I really believe Robby has the potential to fill a void right now in country music.”
With interest building and a buzz underway about Robby’s project, the singer-songwriter seems poised for Stateside success, something he’s pinching himself to realize. Adds Jimmy Nichols, who’s worked with everyone from Elton John to Faith Hill to Carrie Underwood, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been involved with an artist project where there are 12 songs I can listen to over and over again. Each one could be a single. That just doesn’t happen very often in this business.”