The modern music entertainment experience is composed of far more than a feverish sonic performance built on talent. Belfast native and visual artist Graham Robinson has spent the better part of his life on a mission to complement the audio excellence of the famous artists whom he works with. Also a much sought after content creator who has created videos for internationally famous and award-winning artists like Justin Bieber, Sam Smith, Coldplay, Kelly Clarkson, and others, Graham has worked with the world’s most celebrated DJs to propel their concerts to new heights for audiences. Always pushing the boundaries, Mr. Robinson’s conceived and oversaw the creation of Veezy Software which was acquired by the BBC as a revolutionary new tool for their musical guests on programs for this UK television institution. Graham is that rare combination of artist and innovator who works behind the scenes but whose impact is felt profoundly by audiences.
Yes, it seems like the life of Graham Robinson is exciting and glamorous. He’s travelled the world to places like Ibiza, London, New Zealand, Dubai, Berlin, Rome, Frankfurt, and Dublin to perform with the world’s biggest DJs including David Guetta, Armin Van Burren, Paul Van Dyk, John Digweed, Pete Tong, Judge Jules, and Ferry Corsten (six of whom were recognized in DJ Magazines’ top 100 DJs in the world). From sold-out crowd’s with David Guetta and Laidback Luke to an audience of 10,000 at Belfast’s Kings Hall with Armin Van Burren, Graham is sought out by the best to bring the visual artistry/accompaniment that expands the emotional spectrum of a live performance. While he is happy to be jumping on a plane to places like New Zealand for a gig with Andy C at the Phatz festival, Graham is overjoyed when he gets a chance to use his talent for events closer to home as with the “Land of Giants” show which he produced for the Cultural Olympiad in 2012 and boasted an attendance of 20,000. Robinson recruited and directed a team of artists who manifested his animation ideas onto Belfast’s iconic Titanic Signature building, perfectly synchronized with a soundtrack of poetry, aerialists, fireworks, and a cast of over 500 people. Performing alongside famous DJs under the moniker “Shakinda” or working behind the scenes with notables like writer/director Mark Murphy, Robinson’s passion for the shared experience of these entertainment gatherings is palpable in his tone. He relates, “I enjoy the energy of a large crowd; at the start of the night, there is a sense of anticipation in the air. As the venue fills up the sound levels increase, then the music begins to play, people slowly unwind from their external lives into a connected entity. The audio waves begin to pulse a sense of unity, drawing people out of themselves. Then as the night begins to build and the visuals flow, we rise into a higher state of consciousness. The movement of the crowd, their dance, they begin to drop inhibitions to let go and surrender to the moment. A skillful DJ will weave these transitions into a unique experience. I will take the lead; the visuals dominate and direct the energy, the audio will rise again, and there is a constant flow back and forth. The energy intensifies and builds further and further. I love riding these waves of energy building and flowing a unique performance that lives and dies with that moment in time.”
Unwilling to be defined as a live event visual artist, Graham has applied his visual knowledge and creativity to many different projects. His start-up Veezy Software, which he conceived of and developed, was acquired by the BBC whom uses it daily to broadcast live interactive video streams from their radio studios to social media. The result is the generation of hundreds of thousands of views. When not on the receiving end of praise from BBC’s Head of Technology Matthew Postgate for his innovations, Graham is creating lyric videos for Grammy Award Winning music artists such as Justin Bieber, Sam Smith, and many others. More than 200 million views testify that his videos offer the same intoxicating visual sense as Graham Robinson’s concert collaborations. His prominence as a visual artist continues to prove how the arts are related and dependent on each other in modern times.
Writer: Coleman Haan