Q&A with singer-songwriter JF Robitaille

Local singer-songwriter recently released his latest album Rival Hearts. Photo by Press.

C: What prompted you to take up music?

JF: I met up with some like-minded people in high school and we decided that being The Beatles would be a fun job. I only got serious about songwriting after hearing Leonard Cohen.

Local singer-songwriter recently released his latest album Rival Hearts. Photo by Press.


C: You have been compared to the likes of Leonard Cohen, Morrissey and Nick Drake. How would you describe your sound?

JF: Simple and direct.


C: How does this album compare to your previous releases?

JF: The other two albums are collections of songs I had lying around, Rival Hearts has a central theme and the songs were all written within a short period of time. I was thinking of it as a soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t exist yet.


C: Do you find it hard to balance your music career with your personal life? What do you do when you are not busy performing, touring and recording?

JF: I don’t have a personal life separate from my music life…I find it hard to balance anything. I read books, make videos, watch movies and I’m constantly writing and trying to grow a beard.


C: What are you listening to nowadays?

JF: My friend Betta (who performs with me), has recently got me into a lot of Italian pop music from the ‘60s, I also love Scout Niblett’s new-ish record….at this second I’m listening to Magnetic Fields.


C: Is there a particular memory that stands out from your musical career thus far?

JF: It’s always cool when I see a new record of mine on store shelves, I make a point of going to buy one the day it comes out. The first time I saw The Blood In My Body at Tower Records (RIP) in NYC was a pretty big deal for me.


C: What would you like listeners to think/feel when they hear your music?  Is there a message you are trying to convey through your music?

JF: I can just hope that they can relate to it in some way. No message, just communion I suppose.


C: If you were not a musician, what would you have chosen as a career path?

JF: Short-order cook or silent film star.


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