Sue Bonzell  0:09  

He has had some really big success with his music in the country genre. And he has a new single and a new video called June in July. It is Robbie Johnson. Hello.

Robby Johnson  0:20  

Hello, Sue. Thanks for having me here. It’s great.

Sue Bonzell  0:23  

It’s I know, it’s nice to see you again. So I keep running into you here in Nashville. Yeah, like we met originally at CRS at country radio seminar. Like, I just, I just love who you are, I love what you’re doing. And then I went and I listened to his music. And I was like, Oh, well, come on now.

Robby Johnson  0:39  

I’m trying my best. try my best, you know, you want to put the best you can out there. And, and I’m liking it, because now I’m getting even more involved in the process mixing and all that? Yeah, it’s, it’s fun. It’s a lot of it’s a lot of fun. So we

Sue Bonzell  0:55  

got to talk about kind of your early success, like you kind of you kind of hit the ground running with your, with your, your music career. So I mean, you were working in a manufacturing plant. You were also doing some sales. How did you kind of discover maybe I should be doing singing for a live Okay,

Robby Johnson  1:15  

so I didn’t want to sing. I didn’t want to be an artist. I was you know, even though I was already writing songs, singing in the shower, singing at the manufacturing plant, right? Because the noise was deafening. So I could say, oh, people hear me. So that was that was kind of cool. And on the road, you know, oh, robot in a row. Yeah, I was singing in the car and all that. But I didn’t want to be an artist. But people bought me a studio session

Sue Bonzell  1:45  

for a demo, okay to do a

Robby Johnson  1:47  

demo. And I was like, oh my god, I got that. I got that for Christmas. What a great gift. No, it’s the worst. Like, when I gotta you know, there’s a video of me. And I’m about 60 pounds heavier. You know, I’m at a point in my life where I’m not happy. I’m not people can see it, right. But I don’t want to see it. And they’re like, Okay, let’s, let’s give this to Robbie. And so I received a gift and like, hey, great, good. And I’m like, oh my god, this is the worst thing. And so I went there with no apprehension, you know, and I was like, Okay, I’m just gonna do a country, you know, country rock song, a song that I wrote, I’ll be there rocking and rolling. And then we start singing and the guys the players that are there, like, Oh, my God, who are you? What are you doing here? This sounds like Nashville, you should move to Nashville. So that’s how it started out. And you know, going back home with the song, listening to it. In my car, I’m like, Oh, my God, there’s something here. But still, I was. I wasn’t ready for it. You know, I was kind of, you know, trying to get away, I think is because it was scared me deep inside. I knew it. But I was afraid. And I didn’t want to see it. But you know, I put it up on the internet, youtube and all Facebook back then. And it just, it just, it just blew up. And then people from everywhere started reach reaching out to me. And it was Tom Roche, who put me in contact with Jimmy Nichols here in Nashville. And I started doing some trips here and there. And that’s that’s how it started. That’s how it all started. Because I was a sales rep on the road. I didn’t. So you came in.

Sue Bonzell  3:29  

Like, I don’t know anything about music business Exactly. Like you’re like, I don’t know what to do.

Robby Johnson  3:34  

Like I was singing in bars for 10 years prior, it was I was green screen can be. And I met with a big guy in Nashville at Sony. And he was telling me, listen, we’re going to help someone who truly believes that that’s what he wants to do. I mean, if you come here, a weekend here and there a couple months, then go back home and then come back and try. We’re not going to help you. But if you move here, if you believe it enough, you’re gonna move here, and you’re gonna commit more than 100% to it.

Sue Bonzell  4:10  

So that’s what I did. That’s great advice.

Robby Johnson  4:12  

Yes, great advice. And I got here like, hey, what am I going to be playing on the radio?

Like Robbie, it’s a process, you know, it’s a 10 year process. And I was like, coming from sales, you know, the sky’s the limit. Right? Exactly. Like, why would I limit myself? So what happened is we released the first single and a music video it went viral. And I ended up being on the Late Show. So I went from being in a car selling products to then being on the Late Show. And then opening for Keith Urban my first real gig and not my family and friends but you know real people, right? Yeah,

Sue Bonzell  4:53  

when you got that call, did you just go play the lottery after that? I mean, because

Robby Johnson  4:59  

it was it was crazy. But it was maybe too fast. Yeah, I really wish I would have done the bars, you know, 10 years to do that. I wish I would have done that. Yeah, for because the stakes were so high and

Sue Bonzell  5:11  

so hard when you got wrong talent, you know, and just a hard time, actually, if you

Robby Johnson  5:17  

can see, and you know if you can see the footage of me on the Late Show, it’s quite funny. I wasn’t, I wasn’t quite ready.

Sue Bonzell  5:27  

I would be, I think I would probably pass out because my heart rate would be like, freak, I’d be freaking out. Oh, yeah,

Robby Johnson  5:32  

I got on stage, you know, and rehearsals went great. And all that was a Come on, I can do this right, then when you have David Letterman presenting you. It’s something else. So I was, you know, I was holding on to the mic, because I felt I was about 100 feet higher,

Sue Bonzell  5:50  

get to sit down, we’re gonna get your head off.

Robby Johnson  5:55  

So I had to hold onto the bike and come back down into my body. It was almost out of body experience, like, Oh my God, what’s happening here, but it’s kind of funny, because we were playing with the CBS orchestra. And Schaefer was like, you know, he was playing, he was like, looking at me, like what’s going on here? So it went great, you know? Yeah, it was that

Sue Bonzell  6:15  

is so cool. Now you have a really good story about Garth Brooks. And kind of like, where you started in music and, and so I’ll let you tell the story. Cuz it’s a really good story. I’ve heard it before it is a good story.

Robby Johnson  6:28  

You know, I was always into music. But, you know, pop rock, EDM, you know, all that all type of music I love. But never. I had never heard someone sing to me, like Garth. And one time. So I was at my cousin’s house in Hartford, Connecticut. And he had a player and he started playing Garth Brooks. My Oh, who’s that? You know, because I, you know, I love country music, no country music, you know, Dolly, Kenny, and all, you know, but never. I had never paid attention to Garth Brooks. But man, I mean, when he sings, he’s talking directly to you. That’s why he had so much success, and he makes you feel so special. And it just it just, to me and man, I’m like, wow. And that’s

Sue Bonzell  7:19  

realize the country it’s gonna be y’all.

Robby Johnson  7:24  

And so, I, I fell in love, again, with country music, but even more deeply because, you know, I was I had more life behind me. And it, it appealed to me a little more. But then the greatest thing is 50 a CMA Awards. I get to be on the floor of the CMA Awards. And he’s right there. I’m what I’m in the third row or something like that. And I’m sitting next to Tanya Tucker was trying to hook me up with one of her knees or something. Hey, my knees are kind of funny. But, but then during commercial breaks, everybody gets up, right? And I just, I was so nervous, but I walk up straight to him. Wow. And, and he just gets up. He takes off his hat. You know, like, yeah, guard, you know, and I held my hand for those two minutes while we were talking. And I was telling, Hey, man, you’re the reason I moved to Nashville. And I sleep you know, I You made me fall in love with country music all over again. And you’re an inspiration and it was like, Man, oh, come on, hang in there. You’re doing great and keep on doing it. And it was it was so so cool.

Sue Bonzell  8:37  

That Okay, I just love that story. I mean, Garth just is you know, Garth was

Robby Johnson  8:42  

asking me about you know, how I was doing if everything was okay. And

Sue Bonzell  8:47  

and it seems genuine. Oh, he’s slightly genetic and real.

Robby Johnson  8:51  

Yeah. times you know, you will meet an artist. And first thing they do they they take out a Sharpie, like, Okay, where do you want me to sign? But Garth was totally different. He was like, he wanted to know about interesting. He was really interested in me. So that was really

Sue Bonzell  9:05  

cool. I loved it. Okay, we all that makes us love Garth even more. Right? Yeah. So we got to talk about McDonald’s. Yes. Okay. So, you know, when you were growing up, you know, things not easy. Home Life wise, when you were a kid. And so you did you did work at McDonald’s? Yes. So I’d love to hear about this because there’s this great video you can find on YouTube accounts for live Skills for Life and talking about you kind of singing the praises of of McDonald’s and what it did for you and your life. It’s such an emotional video. I’m gonna put a link to it. I think seriously, because I was like, I wanted to cry. And it was you coming back to your hometown after having some success. So tell us about that experience.

Robby Johnson  9:51  

In the house of my youth. That was so weird. was very special. Grew up. It was hard. Poverty and all that. We didn’t have a car. And mom divorced. I was really young. I never got over it. I’m still you know, and it’s funny because I was five. And that little boy, I just took him and shoved him really, really deep somewhere inside and started a new life, a new hard drive a new life. And yeah, going back there was was crazy. But growing up was really hard, you know, having, you know, rags and it was tough. And I had growth issues because of that, you know, I was eating right as I should have been. And but then I started working at McDonald’s, and I started feeding myself and I got some great clothes, and it was great. It really saved my life. I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for McDonald’s.

Sue Bonzell  10:53  

I think that’s pretty cool. Yeah, it

Robby Johnson  10:55  

was the job. Great team. It was a lot of fun. Yeah, and

Sue Bonzell  10:58  

that video, when you come back to your hometown and kind of see everybody there, it was just very moving. I will put the link in the description because it’s worth watching. Definitely. Alright, let’s talk about new music. Alright, June in July. Yes. So we’re, we’re technically in June. So June in July. Tell us about the song tell us about writing a song. You’ve got the you got the music video out now. So tell us all about it.

Robby Johnson  11:21  

What’s funny about the song is that I write the song. And I have the chorus and I finished co writing it with Danny Reiter, who’s my producer with that I CO produced all my stuff. And, and I write the song, and I never I didn’t realize it was about me until I’m in Florida, shooting the music video and seeing it, you know, on camera like, hey, wait a minute. My first time was with an out of Towner. Okay, it was during July. So I oh my god, it is about me. I’m gonna keep this private. I don’t want to anybody go out there and try to find June. I won’t say where she’s from.

Sue Bonzell  12:06  

It’s probably a good goal. Probably a good goal.

Robby Johnson  12:08  

But I like oh my god, it is about me. Because you know, and in the music video, there’s a point where she just sprays perfume inside the hat and all that. I was like, man, it’s it’s, you know, I wasn’t a mechanics. It’s pretty much my story.

Sue Bonzell  12:24  

It’s great. Yes, it’s

Robby Johnson  12:26  

really fun until I’m shooting the video.

Sue Bonzell  12:28  

So did you just like channel that? Like when you were writing it? Like, where did it come from? It came from? Well, it came from somewhere. It was like way back there.

Robby Johnson  12:35  

Yeah, you know, I

Robby Johnson  12:41  

I mean, I don’t know I just in the way I write is just I just let it in. And I don’t question it. I just let it in. Let the music you know, play the music and just let it come to me. And that’s what that’s what I have, you know, on the piece of paper. But it’s pretty weird that I only realize it’s about me know, I’m shooting music video and I’m seeing the story on film like, hey, wait a minute.

Sue Bonzell  13:05  

Wait a minute. This is still familiar. This feels well, it’s really great. It’s called June and July. You can guys can check that out on YouTube and I will put a link in the description as well.

Robby Johnson  13:15  

Yeah, we got to get those views up. It’s pretty good now good. So it’s doing great. Yeah,

Sue Bonzell  13:22  

so you also have a big performance coming up this month at the CMA sighs Flannery.

Robby Johnson  13:29  

Yes, I am so excited after all these years being in Nashville I finally get to play you know, in the cars I’ve played, you know, surrounding the CMAS all their downtown but never for CMA fest. Yeah, but now I’m going to be on the spot by stage perfect June 11 2:30pm. I want to see you guys there. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Sue Bonzell  13:52  

I will be there. I’m going to be there and all of our video cameras the whole deal really Oh yeah. Okay, come on out and you can meet Robbie and me and we get you on camera and you can tell us how Gradius so All right, well, we’re gonna take a little break and when we come back we are going to play my world famous game truth or truth. Its truth or truth. All right, it’s time for my world famous game are you scared? Yes. A little bit. Well,

Robby Johnson  14:25  

I do have truth is I am scared. Truth

Sue Bonzell  14:27  

is truth is okay. So I have to point out now this is the first time y’all have seen these on the show. These actual cards they’re real cards that with the real questions on the back and you can get them it up and country dog ah, I gotta do my plug. Are you ready to pick a card? Nope. God pick a card any card.

Robby Johnson  14:48  

Oh my god. You came up with the questions. Oh, I did. That’s what’s curious. Of you Ever been fired from a job? That’s a good question. Yes, many times. The first time I had two full time jobs, okay, I was working nighttime and daytime sleeping about two to three hours a day. Oh my gosh, it was crazy. I was and I wasn’t making a lot of money because it was low paying jobs. But still I was I was working crazy. And one time, I just I just, I was so tired, I would go to the, to the restroom and just just sit there fall asleep for a minute and then get back up. And I was so tired. Every little noise were like, huge It was everything was intensified because I was so tired. And and then we had a shipment come in. And usually you have to check you know, the inventory, make sure that everything, everything is square. And but I started moving some stuff around and putting it you know, in the inventory. And then the boss comes out. She’s like, Oh, we weren’t supposed to receive any of these like, okay. You counted them? Like, yeah, and I kind of did, you know, like a white line. But it fired back. Fired? Yeah. And also, so many times. And it’s not because I’m a I’m a bad employee. No, it’s that time is because I was I was exhausted. It didn’t make any sense. And

Sue Bonzell  16:30  

yeah, I got fired. Okay. All right. Well, we’re not going to fire you from from singing music. So I hope you want to do another one. No. Oh, I usually do three. You want to do just to

Robby Johnson  16:44  

know it’s okay. It’s fun. It’s fun. God, okay. If you could get away with the crime. What crime would you commit? And why? Oh, my God, I don’t think I could do that.

Sue Bonzell  17:01  

Any crime? Any crime? You totally get away with it. No crime.

Robby Johnson  17:05  

Now, when I was when I was a little kid, we were in a store and it was those cool. Scooby Doo glasses. And I wanted them so bad. And you my parents, like oh, no, you know, I was like, three or four? I don’t remember. And they said no. And I said, Hey, I’m gonna have so I didn’t know anything about that age, you know, but I took the glasses and, and but you know, you got into some trouble. Oh, you know, I’m in the car. And you said no. Are you tired to go back? Oh, yeah. Yeah. Bad experience. No good experience because

Sue Bonzell  17:46  

the new year like don’t do it again. Right. Yeah.

Robby Johnson  17:48  

So I’m not going to steal Scooby Doo glasses anymore. Maybe the rebounds? Maybe made me drink wine from somebody else’s glass or beer? Right? Yeah.

Sue Bonzell  18:02  

Yeah. Something like that. I could do it.

Robby Johnson  18:05  

Have you ever gone skin? Yeah. Well, you know what it says skinny? Yes, yes. I’ve done skinny dipping a whole lot

Sue Bonzell  18:16  

in a pool or in a lake or both. Or

Robby Johnson  18:18  

both everywhere. I can I do?

Sue Bonzell  18:22  

Everywhere. I can take my clothes off.

Robby Johnson  18:24  

of water going? Oh, it’s insane. I love it. No, but really, I did it in a lake. Nighttime. Yeah, of course. And swimming pool. Of course. You know, a bunch of kids. And this one. Yeah. Right.

Sue Bonzell  18:37  

We’re finding out the real details here. So I have I have one more question for you. Okay. Actually, it’s more of a what other language do you speak?

Robby Johnson  18:48  

Oh, Russian. Italian. No, I’m just kidding.

Sue Bonzell  18:52  

I was like, I only knew one of them. Not French, French.

Robby Johnson  18:56  

We ship out for sale. See?

Sue Bonzell  18:58  

There you go. Now you also have a few songs in French also. Yes. I

Robby Johnson  19:02  

do have a few songs in French. And getting good response from Yeah,

Sue Bonzell  19:09  

they’re, they’re beautiful. They really are. So that concludes the round of truth or truth. Yeah, that was easy. You’re okay, you’re off the hook.

Robby Johnson  19:19  

I kind of like this. Okay. You see, let’s see if I like getting in trouble as you can tell.

All right. What app do you waste the most time on? I don’t really waste time. No, no,

Sue Bonzell  19:36  

no. tickety tock. Tick tock.

Robby Johnson  19:39  

I don’t have it on my phone.

Sue Bonzell  19:40  

Really? Really? Ah. You should move to Montana. They just they just banned it there. Wow. Yeah. I don’t know if it’s gonna stick but you know, we’ll see. I don’t think that I can live in Montana. ban it. Okay. I know.

Robby Johnson  19:54  

How can I do that? I don’t know. I don’t know the process of

Sue Bonzell  19:57  

doing that. So no other apps on your phone that the music apps or anything like that? Oh,

Robby Johnson  20:03  

no, no, I would say well, sometimes watching checking the news maybe yeah, I spent some time

Sue Bonzell  20:09  

yeah, that’s pretty much you’re too busy writing new songs right? Oh

Robby Johnson  20:13  

my god. Well, you know, being an indie artists, it takes so much of your time you got to do everything. Like my music video, I edited the music video, I did the special effects and I made so many things we have to do, right. Any artists, so yeah,

Sue Bonzell  20:26  

well, I am an indie host of a show. So I feel your pain as well. A

Robby Johnson  20:32  

lot of work, guys. It is a lot of work because a lot of work. Yes. Thank you for your support. And that’s really appreciate it.

Sue Bonzell  20:40  

Yeah. Robbie Johnson. You can follow him on all the socials and on YouTube. You can see his new video for June in July. Thanks for joining us, Robbie. Thank

Robby Johnson  20:49  

you so much. These cards are great. I want to see whether whether the question.

Sue Bonzell  20:54  

Thanks for watching up in country. Be sure to like and subscribe and leave us a comment. We do new episodes every Tuesday. And be sure to follow up and country on Instagram, tick tock and Facebook and you can follow me to add Sue Bonzell on Instagram, Facebook and tick tock wants to keep going. You’re gonna do your hand pick up

Robby Johnson  21:20  

the question?

Sue Bonzell  21:21  

Oh, I should yeah, I don’t know. We could be here a while. There’s more than 52 cards in here. So that’s a great deck. Truth or truth?

Robby Johnson  21:28  

Yeah. On a first date, very helpful. No, the person in front of you. Just just take this. Here we go. But it wouldn’t make for a fun day.

Sue Bonzell  21:37  

It wouldn’t make for a fun day. Maybe third date.

Robby Johnson  21:39  

I don’t know. Maybe no first one. Go right into.

Sue Bonzell  21:43  

Here’s what you’re getting. All right. Thanks so much. Thanks, guys for watching. We’ll see you next time. Thanks. All right. I’m sweating.