Interview: Robert Vendetta

Norwegian musician Robert Vendetta is an intriguing proposition. His music changes style and genre depending on which track you listen to, ensuring you’re constantly kept on your toes! His track, Vacation, really struck me, having an infectiously positive vibe that gets under your skin straight away. Find out more about this eclectic musician here!

By Jane Howkins

You released a single titled Vacation. What can you tell us about the track?
Oh, it’s quite a retro-pop rocker really. I knew I needed a song for the album about having your boss finally giving you time off and wondering where to go. I wrote it last year in a truly inspirational moment at the Steinway grand piano at my work. Last year, I decided to spend every Friday on that piano just trying to write and Vacation is one of the results. I think it’s inspired by me playing Saturdays Night’s alright by Elton John a lot that week.

How has the reception to Vacation been so far, and where can the song be purchased?

The reception has been amazing. Vacation has gotten a lot of coverage, reviews, TikToks and such. And so many nice things have been said about the song. It’s awesome. And yes, it has about 25k plays on Spotify – gotta like that.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

Of course, two more singles are coming this year. And then one more next year alongside the new album. My fourth album actually. All the songs are part of one story, and the singles highlight different parts of that story.

Vacation is the first track to be released from your fourth album, Vendetta Del Disco. What can you tell us about the album?

Well, it’s a retro-pop album of course. But this time, I’ve painted the genre with broader strokes, so to say. There’s some reggaeton-influenced songs on there. I used to dabble with a genre we called rockaeton, when I had two Cubans and an African in my band. So a bit of that, a bit of rock and some tunes that showcase even more how big of a Bowie fan I am. And it’s another concept album. The story is about a guy who works his life away, so that all he’s left with is work. And then suddenly, his quite scary boss gives him time-off, a vacation. The main character ends up in a discotheque called Vendetta Del Disco, and through the medium of dance rediscovers what’s really important in life and decides to change. Vendetta Del Disco was actually a real discotheque in Italy, and it’s where I got the artist name Robert Vendetta!

Have you started writing for your next album/EP release, or is it too early?

The album was all done in early March this year. I’ve been around long enough to know that’s a good thing. Recording while doing promotion, videos, concert and having a job to keep the money coming in… I’m not that young anymore, so I simply can’t do all that at the same time.

Your music has a unique pop sound. What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

Well, in my neighbourhood there’s a rock festival going on right now, so these days I’ve been going back to my rock heroes like Whitesnake, Dio and KISS. The week before it was Bowie and Lara Fabian. I’ve listened and gotten inspired by so many different artists and genres. I grew up on country and rock ’n’ roll, especially Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis. And then I discovered Michael Jackson and James Brown. Later on it was KISS, then Bowie – oh, and Shakira! I love her! The last, say five years, I’ve been listening a lot to what’s been popular – so I’ve become a huge fan of Ariana, Selena, Lorde, Tom Odell. And during the pandemic I discovered Lara Fabian and cried and cried – what a beautiful voice! You get the point, I even have some classical favourites – Ligeti and Richard Strauss! Man, they did write some impressive music!

Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?

I’m really excited about the current single and all the attention it’s gotten, so I can’t wait to show you more of the album. And then booking a tour to support it. I can’t wait to get back on stage – it’s my second home, you know.

You’re from Norway. Where are you based? How is the local music scene faring at the moment?

Good question. Yes I am, from the south. But I live in Oslo – which at least used to be the city in the world with the most concerts per year. So there’s a lot of venues to choose from, but also a lot of acts. A big chunk of my friends are either musicians, artists or in a band. So it’s kinda like living in one music-community. Cheering and supporting each other.

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

No, I wish I did. Has anyone got me some tips on who I should contact? I’m going to try to get some Sofar gigs, but yeah – I’d love to play in the UK. I’ve only done that twice.

Any last words for the fans?

A big, huge, fat thank you. Where would I be without you guys?