Creative Block: Promise Robinson’s triumph through music

Nyle Paul | Staff Writer

Courtesy of @promtheproducer

The COVID-19 pandemic is still affecting the lives of many artists, and they are still coping with the restrictive reality that this “new normal” has brought.

Here at our home by the sea, we have a large community of artists, all of whom deserve to be recognized for their talents. As the wrath of the coronavirus still lingers, it is important  to get insight on how these artists are staying dedicated to their work.

Promise Robinson is a second-year audio production major from Neptune, New Jersey. A musician, songwriter and producer, Robinson has produced and released a number of pieces throughout the pandemic, including productions that feature other artists at Hampton. To give a bit more insight on her artistry, Promise goes in depth with her craft. 

“To describe my artistry, I’d like to think of it as baking a layered cake,” Robinson said.

“I started getting serious about music my junior year of high school, so from there I found the right resources, or ingredients, to build up my career. From getting to open up for little showcases in my city to winning those showcases, I used that as my foundation, my base, to get me to where I am now, which is best described as the second layer of the cake. I can feel myself getting closer to my goals, the top, etc., but I still got a lot more learning, teaching and reaching before it’s time to blow the candles out.”

Promise then touched on the influences that helped her step into her creativity.

“Though my list goes on forever, whenever someone asks who my influences are, I think it’s the most Jersey thing in me to say Lauryn Hill, but that’s who is a major influence on not only my life but my career,” Robinson said. 

“She’s been real since she stepped on the scene, and she never steered away from showing vulnerability as an artist. I feel like music is at its purest form when it’s relatable, when you’re telling your story, and it’s not only therapeutic for you the artist, but for the people listening. And you know, I think that’s why I gravitate so close to Ms. Hill because her music is that for me, and that’s what I aspire to be for others.”

Courtesy of @promtheproducer

As mentioned, the coronavirus has left many in financial hardships. The heavy physical restrictions that were set in place also challenged many artists’ capabilities to support themselves by getting the equipment needed to better their craft.  Promise shared how the difficulties that she ran into affected her craft. 

“My biggest takeaway from the pandemic is that it taught me how to be still,” Robinson said. “I was so used to being out and spending money I didn’t really have, so because I didn’t have anywhere to go and spend all my money, I was really able to save up and ultimately invest in myself, and that started with my music equipment. I was fortunate enough to keep my summer job, and even more fortunate to have no delays when ordering things like my laptop, studio monitors and desk. Curbside pickup is a blessing!”

With the physical and financial hardships, the pandemic has lowered people’s motivation to do the tasks that were once a part of their daily lives. Promise touched on how her artistic motivation has been altered throughout the pandemic.

  “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to work on music,” Robinson said. “I loved working on music, especially working on my first love, which is music production.  It was really having motivation for writing songs and gathering my thoughts for my project that wasn’t really flowing like I wanted it. However, it wasn’t until I mentally took myself to things that I’m passionate about and expanded as a songwriter. I expressed myself in ways I’ve only dreamed of, and it came down to me remembering the joy of writing isn’t just to write about where I’m at right now in life, but it’s to write about where I came from and where I’m going, too.”

Creative block is something that almost all artists are familiar with, and the pandemic creates a space for artists to be more prone to creative block. Promise explained how often she suffered from creative block throughout this pandemic and what she did to push past it.

“If I have a creative block, it always seems to happen when it doesn’t feel like the right time or place for my creativity to flow,” Robinson said. 

“However, I knew I needed to figure out the best times for each of my creative processes, and that became the most effective way to get the most out of my day. Much like everybody else, I really found what works for me during this pandemic, and with that, I noticed that I work best when I make beats at night, write lyrics in the morning and record in the afternoon. It’s almost like the beat marinates in my mind overnight, and then I wake up, and the lyrics are just cooking up. It’s a super satisfying feeling, and you would be surprised how much free time I’d still have after going so hard.”

With the pandemic skewing normality, it brings about the question of how some artists have been able to keep focus on their art during this difficult time. Promise shares her difficulties with focusing, and drops gems while explaining what she did to get past distractions.

“It all came down to a matter of knowing myself, knowing where I want to be, and knowing that I didn’t want to be the same person I was coming into this pandemic when I came out!” Robinson said. “Just off personal experience, and losing my Pop-pop, cousins, uncles, etc. I realized how easy it is to fall off, rather than keep moving forward, but that would be my advice. Keep moving forward! Put good purpose behind the pain and get inspired.”

Courtesy of @promtheproducer

“I had to go through and find the small joys in life, dreaming, and manifesting to realize my drive can go through any obstacle that’s in my way,” Robinson continued.

“And with that I was able to drop music every month since May, including my multiple singles, three projects, two of which were my own, and one of which was executed by me, for a good friend of mine. With so much going on right now, this brings me so much joy and motivation because I found my rhythm, and I really don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

While dropping music throughout the pandemic, it goes without saying that Promise has been putting in work this year.

“I’m currently working on releasing another single called ‘Brown Sugar’ featuring two amazingly talented singers who I love dearly!” Robinson said. “This single will also be included on the deluxe version of my latest project called ‘Colors Too.’

“But in the meantime stream the non-deluxe version titled ‘Colors’ and stay tuned for more!” 

Fans can support Promise Robinson by following her instagram account @Promtheproducer, where a lot of her work is featured. Her music is available on all streaming platforms.

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