Many of the most impressive songwriters and musical artists of our time have come up through afflictions and hardships. Their narratives carry the authenticity needed to truly engage and immerse listeners within their life changing songs. Robert Lopilato better known as Robbie Riddles has suffered more than most. His tough upbringing included being homeless, and a school dropout with struggles, together with anxiety, depression and bi-polar disorders. Despite it all, Robbie pressed on to get his GED and progress to college, where he is majoring in criminal justice. He plans on going into the juvenile justice department to help the troubled youth get their lives together and show them that there is hope for them. “I want to be a voice for the voiceless, bring hope to the hopeless, and be a compass to show them the way,” states Robbie Riddles.
Influenced by the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Eminem, 2pac, Rakim, and Big P, Robbie Riddles can sing, rap, write and turn out highly affecting songs with infectious melodies and powerful lyrical bars. Robbie balances his multi-faceted musical approach with the precision of a well-seasoned artist. Brimming with melodic bravado at one moment, he can be meditative, self-reflective, and wearing his emotions on his sleeve at the next.
The juxtaposition between Robbie Riddles’ fluid performing persona and his somber, introspective thought processes, feels like a natural evolution of his experiences. His music, on the album “Euphoria”, is undeniable. Bridging rap, alternative, and pop influences, the Boston-based artist creates music with an inescapable emotional and hypnotic pull.
Each and every one of the tracks on “Euphoria”, is perfectly apt for sitting back and soaking up the affecting sweep of deeply analytic and reflective sentiments that Robbie Riddles dishes out.
His infectious production and buttery smooth voice, echoes out his thoughts from the opening track, “By Your Side”. Supported by the sound of jangling guitars he sings, “Close your eyes and call for me. I’ll be here to set you free. In my heart forever have a home. You are not alone,” immediately setting the tone of the album.
“Drowning” ft. Crazy Child follows with another guitar intro as Robbie Riddles and Crazy Child unfold a narrative of battling demons, underscored by hip-hop percussion and rumbling basslines.
“Who We Are ft. $ilas flips the template and opens with a piano intro. “You can love me, you can hate me, but you you’ll never understand me,” sings Robbie Riddles. His mellifluous voice is aimed at piercing the soul with his airy tones.
“Sometimes” ft. DROWSYLION sticks to the emotional piano, along with skittering hi-hats and a thumping bass drum. The deliveries are more urgent, as the song describes the confusing loneliness of suffering an affliction. “You can’t see inside my head. You don’t know what I’m thinking,” intonates Robbie Riddles. The effective guitar intro returns on “Waited Too Long”, where Robbie shines as both the rapper and the singer, describing his regret over a wasted chance.
Soaked in nostalgia, loss and longing, “How Things Used To Be” is the album’s standout ballad, which will have you hitting the repeat button often. The album closes with the clean guitars, gently kinetic percussion, and ear-warming melody of “Trading Places”. Simple, nuanced, and striking it allows for Robbie Riddles’ thoughtful lyricism to shine through.
Nothing short of beautifully intoxicating, emotionally raw and honest, the album “Euphoria”, paints the portrait of a highly communicative artist with a knack for creating authentic storytelling and infectious melodies.