Middlesbrough-based singer-songwriter, Rojor has built up a strong reputation as an innovative creator of strong music. His recent release, the 80s sounding electro-pop track ‘Only Luv Can Hurt’, has been widely praised for its composition and strong melodies.
Damian Robinson caught up with Rojor to find more about the new single and his future plans.
Your new track, ‘Only Luv Can Hurt’ focuses on an unusual message for pop music – loving someone who loves someone else. Was there a particular inspiration for the track?
Not really, but I do like the philosophical idea. ‘I love you and you love me’ can be pretty ordinary, but ‘I love you and you love someone else’ – that’s an interesting subject matter for any writer. The world is awash with love songs (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but I think looking at love from a darker perspective always makes for a thought-provoking song.
The sound of the track reminded me very much of St Etienne with its upbeat electronic sounds and pulsating beats. Was it a conscious decision to soundtrack emotive content with upbeat sounds? Or was it a pleasant surprise?
I quite like juxtaposition. Often a sad song is matched with a minor chord theme and a ballad tempo, but I enjoy messing with musical structures and theory. ‘Only Luv Can Hurt’ still manages to carry a melancholy vibe even with its uptempo electronic dance energy – I guess the character of my voice is a distinctive part of that. It’s the art of the songwriter to try and express everyday human experiences and show them in a clearer light.
‘Only Luv Can Hurt’ comes pretty soon after your last album, ‘Fatally Beautiful’. Do you tend to be constantly creating new tracks? Or was this part of the tracks recorded for the album?
This track was actually written and recorded after the release of ‘Fatally Beautiful’ but it’s certainly from the same pool of ideas. My producer, Tony Waite and I have a really intuitive working relationship and we’ve been in a very productive recording groove recently. As a writer, I always have around five or six songs I’m working on at any particular time and this was one of the first demos I brought into the studio during those initial post ‘Fatally Beautiful’ sessions.
The video is shot on location in Teesside at Temenos. What was the reason behind using Temenos?
I’m a massive Middlesbrough fan and one afternoon, while heading to a match at The Riverside, I walked under the art installation and was just blown away with how powerful it was – it’s a stunning structure. For the video, I wanted something which was visually exciting. I also wanted a sci-fi vibe, which complemented the electronic sound. I’m proud to showcase the North East and to come from Teesside, so Temenos was the obvious choice.
Finally, what aims do you have for the remainder of 2017? And can we expect to see you on the live circuit soon?
The last few years have been fantastic with all the national radio airplay and, to be honest, the recording side of things has been my driver in recent times. But I do absolutely intend to get back on the live stage. Putting together a top live band is next on my agenda. I’m aware that any opportunity that comes my way arrives because of the love and generosity of my fans and supporters. I hope your readers will give my music some time and you’re all invited along for the ride – it’ll be humbling and fabulous to see everyone at the live shows.
To find out more about Rojor, including where to find the ‘Only Luv Can Hurt’ single and future tour dates, head to rojor.com.