At only 26 years old, few have the chance to run, operate and perform at their own exclusive underground dance venue with their own set of rules, teach aspiring DJs at UC Berkeley, play in clubs before they could go in clubs, or any number of the incredible opportunities in my life. I have been blessed with supportive friends, family and musical mentors — from my first gig as an anxious ‘deep house’ 11 year-old until this very day. A lifelong student of the Paradise Garage, the Loft, the Sound Factory, and so many other special spaces in that legacy, I hope to increase joy in the lives of others through my continued work as a DJ, a promoter, and of course as a dancer.
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Where are you based?:
San Francisco, CA.
Why do you play music?
Before I could talk, I knew how to load the cassette player in the family room, and I would spend every spare moment I could picking cassette after cassette, telling some kind of insane story and dancing as much as I could. In teen summer camp, to “break the ice” – everyone would have to say their name and one thing about themselves that defined them. I was the kid who mustered up the courage to say to the group “I’m robin, and music is everything to me; Music is my life.” For better or worse, I am still that kid. I still go completely crazy to hear my favorite song of the moment, and I still have a crippling addiction to music selection.
What do you see as your role in the music world going into the future?
I see myself as a dancer first and a DJ second – that is the foundation and I can’t see either of those things changing. I have been getting more serious about music creation and I expect to be doing much more of that as well. Outside of that, I don’t know and I like it that way. I can’t shake the feeling that the best is yet to come.
Favorite label or artist from the past year?
Get Up Recordings out of NYC. With strong relationships on both coasts and abroad, W. Jeremy and Christy Love run just about the tightest label around, with contributions from artists such as Carry Nation, Tedd Patterson, Severino & Hifi Sean and Eli Escobar. Their productions are the icing on the cake — and some of the most devastating. W. Jeremy is also in the process of organizing a very cool New York nightlife meeting and community space called “Disco Social Club” – to encourage collaboration and communication between DJs and promoters who may have not ever seen one another outside of “the club.” Get into it!
What are you looking forward to most this year?
Daytime Realness at El Rio is one of my absolute favorite gigs every year – a gorgeous outdoor patio in the mission on a sunny Sunday afternoon. As a community space, El Rio is incredibly special, and the the folks who attend are some of the happiest and danciest out there. When it’s on, you can’t touch that party with an ugly stick. The promoters encourage DJs to play music very openly, with joy (rather than genre) be the common denominator connecting the music. This year, I have the pleasure of playing that with one of my personal DJ heroes, Stanley Frank, on a “high holiday.”
How did your party Odyssey come about?
In 2011, years after I officially gave up on my DJ life, an old friend gave me the opportunity to rent a “creative space” and throw a party my way, based on my principles, and desire to create shared experience through dance. What was a clothing retail space became, against all odds of success that I could muster, a brief but thrilling afterhours phenomenon, with a club-grade sound system, wall-sized chalkboard, balcony overlooking the dancefloor, non-stop psychedelic visuals from local legend Donovan Drummond, a midnight-6am schedule, an incredible core staff and above all, a place where people could relax and be themselves. Almost 2 years after the afterhours was shut down, Odyssey continues transcend my own boundaries and expectations and I’m looking forward to take it to some new and interesting places in months to come. Stay tuned 🙂
Herr Styler – Pienizm
Young T – Grindr
Munk – Intimate Stranger (Extended Mix)
Todd Terry feat. Michelle Rivera – Live It (Todd Terry’s InHouse Mix)
Retiree – Rain (Client Liaison Remix)
Andre Harris – Tonight
Terry Lex – Check
Fire Island – In Your Bones
DJ Jordz – Express
Jonathan Meyer – Drunken (Main Mix)
Spilulu – Tusha Kulewa (Robin’s Private Edit)
The Paper Club – Beat of the Drum
Jamie Principle – Baby Wants To Ride (Harry Knuckles Mix)
Gavin Hardkiss, Robbie Hardkiss – RetroactiveFuturisticPsychedelicFunkBump (Original)
ABC – Look of Love (US 12″ Dub)
Elijah Collins – What Up Girl
Robin Simmons plays Seattle for the first time this Saturday at the Seattle Eagle for SCORE! Come give him a nice warm welcome. https://www.facebook.com/events/532739236825050/