10 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Straight from Nashville, the Quebecois singer’s spin on roots-pop.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Straight from Nashville, the Quebecois singer’s spin on roots-pop.

TITLE TIME

About Robby Johnson

While he may sound like an all-American contemporary country artist, Robby Johnson's big, bold sound belies the fact that not only was he born in Canada, English is his second language. Robby Johnson was born and raised in a small town in the province of Quebec, but from a young age he was fascinated by all things American. When his parents separated, Robby immersed himself in U.S. television and music, and taught himself to speak English with an American accent. By the time he finished high school, Johnson had developed a passion for singing, and after taking a factory job to pay the bills, he spent his days practicing his vocals as the machinery roared away. While he didn't perform professionally, Johnson loved to sing at family gatherings, and created a French-language version of the Garth Brooks hit "The Dance." Johnson eventually worked his way up to a job as a sales representative, but he was unhappy with his career and dreamed of doing something more creative.

In 2012, Johnson's wife and family pooled their resources and got him an unusual Christmas present — studio time he could use to record a demo tape. Johnson wasn't interested at first, but he went into the studio and recorded a country-rock number he'd written, "I'll Be There Rockin' and Rollin'." The musicians backing Robby told him he had the talent to go professional, and put him in touch with a pair of Nashville music veterans, producer Jimmy Nichols and songwriter Frank Myers, who had worked with John Michael Montgomery and Lonestar. Nichols and Myers agreed that Johnson had talent, and in 2013 Johnson moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. That year, he enjoyed a hit with the song "South of Me," which received over three million plays online and attracted enough attention to earn Johnson an appearance on David Letterman's chat show. In 2015, Johnson teamed up with producer James Stroud to record his debut album, which appeared in 2016 as Don't Look Back; the title song was also released as a single. In February 2018, Johnson dropped the Trouble EP, which included the single "Big Time."

Songs

Albums

Videos