Q&A with The Spirit 808 singer songwriter Rob Foster

spirit 808

Manchester-based dance project, The Spirit 808, recently released their new single ‘On The Beach’, an uplifting, positive track after the year we have all lived through. Rob Forster, the singer songwriter behind the project, explains

“The world needs some optimism and we all need to be ‘on the beach’ at least in spirit; hope exists and better times are on the way.”

-Rob Foster

Rob Forster is a musician and also a lawyer, accountant, MBA, and Finance Director (all of which comes in handy for an indie musician) who believes in the power of a great song. His music is based on his reality and experiences. As The Spirit 808, Rob wants to blend his gift for hooks and melodies with his love of dance music. The project name references the Roland 808 drum machine which was fundamental to the emergence of many genres of music including hiphop, techno and acid house. 

Read the full Q&A with Rob Foster about his experiences during the pandemic, how he got his start and what’s to come.

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Q: Hey there Rob, how are you?

A: You know what I’m great, after the year the world has had we have shown what being part of the global human chain actually means! I’m so optimistic that a new age of positivity, unity and creativity is upon us and honestly I simply can’t wait!!!

Good riddance 2020 – bring on 2021 and beyond. It’s going to be great … we will make it great 🙂

Q: We are almost half way through 2021, how has this year been for you so far?

A: Like everyone I have seen the worst and best of this planet at the start of this year. I have seen and experienced the tragedy and loss and everything that brings, but have also seen the amazing human resilience, empathy and support we give each other even in the worst of times. I worked for the NHS through this period and saw the very best of the human spirit!
For me personally it was also my time to cement my new musical direction and build on the positivity I have seen and believe in combined with the power of dance music to make rainbows out of rain. The Spirit 808 was born, the tracks were locked down and I have never looked back.

Q: How did you get into your current career

A: Since I first started writing songs, playing and seeing the reaction to my thoughts and lyrics and tunes, music had me and has never let me go. I have had many jobs and experienced many wonderful colleagues and people in all walks of life, but it is music and songwriting that brings me to life and brings my spirit to life. I love the ability to reach and change peoples’ emotions, to create a reaction, put a hook in their heads and a beat in their hearts.

Q: How would you describe your work? 

A: My work is music designed to uplift. The Spirit808 has the motto: ‘It is not how far you fall it is how high you bounce”…. It is music for ‘ The Bounce’, both metaphorically and physically. I want to move people and I want people to move. 
The essence of the music is EDM, but it remains based in songwriting, true lyrics and of course killer hooks !

Q: What do you want people to take away from it?

A: Optimism. Positivity. Belief.
In this year when we have been constrained, contained and confined – we have all remembered why liberty and freedom is inextricably linked with what it means to be human. We need our dreams, we need our tomorrows, we need our what can bes.
On The Beach epitomises The Spirit808, the smell of the sea, the feel of the sand beneath your feet, the freedom of holidays and the unlimited possibilities ahead. 
All peoples, all types, all walks of life know that feeling and know what being on the beach means, that is the spirit I wanted to capture. Laced with a good Balearic beat – I hope this is the song of the summer and beyond . A line in the verse talks of a million diamonds beneath your feet and a million dreams  that you CAN reach. That is what I want people to take from this opening shot.

Q: What inspires you and who are your influences?

A: People inspire me. Everyday heroes. I have seen so much passion, goodness and unsung acts of selflessness it gives me constant hope and belief in a better tomorrow.
Musically my inspirations are wide. From Guetta, Avicii and Skrillex to Faithless to Foo Fighters to Mumford and Sons to BB King to AJ Tracey.

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?

A: Be positive. I used to want to make the perfect song, the perfect track, the perfect beat – and the pursuit of perfection whilst a good concept can restrict creativity and restrict what we share with the world. We all make mistakes and it is from mistakes we learn most. It is not how far we fall it is how high we bounce. Be bold, be brave, be you. The world is a wonderful place, your flavour is unique. Don’t hesitate: you never know what is round the corner. 

Q: What’s next for you? What are you most excited for?

A: I have spent the last year preparing a body of work I can’t wait to share with the world. Big beats, big ideas and big ambition. I can’t wait to feel the energy of a crowd again, the immediacy of response and the feedback from a live audience. Restrictions allowing I am promoting On The Beach far and wide, we have been disappointed by the postponement of Tomorrowland 2021 but it gives me more chance to get more songs in the public gaze before 2022. A follow up is already in the can but for now I am just thrilled to be talking to you and finally having On The Beach released and The Spirit 808 live and ready to dance.

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