From performing at winter markets in small-town Scotland to opening for artists like A Great Big World and Andy Grammer in the rush of California, Robert Gillies has come a long way to be where he is. After moving to the US in 2008 to study at Berklee College of Music, alongside classmates Betty Who and Karmin, Gillies made the move out to California to be closer to the scene he'd admired from afar for so many years.
With 2011's critically acclaimed 'Astronaut' and his equally well-received follow-up 'The Distance' in 2014, he firmly planted himself in the acoustic singer-songwriter realm, performing countless house concerts and mini tours across the US, but it was in that time that he realised that he wanted to do something a little different.
"I always loved writing relaxed songs and I made that my thing for a while - I feel like it reflected where I was in my own life, the way I saw myself, especially when it came to how introverted I can be. When I started supporting more with pop acts I realised that there was a part of me that wanted out, that I'd been holding back, and I wanted to feel free to explore that and see where it took me."
And that's where 2015's 'The Summer EP' comes in. Gillies' playful lyrical style shines through on every song and you can hear a new confidence in life in his vocal performances in the soaring choruses of 'Drop The Worry' and 'Hollywood's A Vampire'.
"Learning to let go of my fears was a huge part of writing this EP. I don't play it off on stage, but I have a lot of insecurities, be they physical or emotional, and I realised that they were holding me back, that I had more to give. Letting go of my fears, hitting new notes - it felt like I was finally able to breathe, and I hope that the energy and relief I felt in making these songs can help others feel the same freedom."