Working from home

Pat Robitaille chats about his slow and steady climb of the music industry ladder. I dont want to jump into a record company situation and just be a fly on the wall. I think eventually I want to be working with a major label company to get myself to the masses. If theres any other company that I can work with that can do that, I would do that as well. Im happy where its at."

- Sheila Busteed
Photograph by Kevin Kavanaugh

posted June 18, 2007

Working from home

     Life is sweet right now for Pat Robitaille. While in Ottawa in May for one of the shows part of his Molson Sessions Ontario tour, the 21-year-old folk rock singer/songwriter seemed to be radiating positivity.

     And he has every reason to be happy. He recently released a new record, is embarking on a large summer tour, recently became engaged to his high school sweetheart, and has moved back in with his parents. No mistake there he considers that last point to be a good thing.

     It was actually cool, said Robitaille of moving back to his hometown of Windsor, Ont. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages.

     Robitaille had been testing the waters on his own in Nashville for a number of months, working and touring in the States and expanding his fan base, but then realized it was time to return home.

     At that point in my life, moving away from home and being on my own was more of a personal thing, said Robitaille. He added that, once he had figured out what kind of music he wanted to make and the path he wanted to take to make it, it was more economical to live with his folks.

     Its nice to know that I can go out and be gone for six months or three months or two weeks and I can come home and I have a meal. I dont want to live with my parents forever, but its nice to have, he continued. Ive come to realize that its not that big of a deal to say, I live with my parents, because Im actively chasing what I want.

     But his recent engagement to his long-time girlfriend, Jordy, has made him realize that living at home will soon come to an end.

     I think were just going to move in with Mom and Dad and live happily ever after, he said with a laugh as he looked at his fiance. I think me and Jordy are going to move out come the fall and do our own thing and start life that way, hopefully in a more mature manner than last time instead of going to Nashville and doing drugs and getting drunk.

     Meanwhile, Robitaille is extremely busy promoting his new album, Summer of Love, which he recorded at manager Mike Roths Georgian Bay cottage. With dates already scheduled at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Guelphs Hillside Festival and Torontos Art in the Park, it is undoubtedly going to be a busy summer. Robitaille will also be returning to Ottawa over the Canada Day weekend for two days of performing at a Molson-sponsored patio show.

     Despite having such big summer gigs booked, Robitaille said hes still happy working as an independent artist and hovering slightly below radar.

     My team right now is fantastic. Were going to do everything independently. Ive got my manager, Mike Roth. Im working with The Agency Group, which is a really good booking agency, he said. Its a very small team right now, but its working, and its growing at a pretty cool pace.

     He added that the team plans to pitch the record to radio stations in hopes of it getting picked up for rotation. However, Robitaille said he is not about to rush into a contract with a label.

     I dont want to jump into a record company situation and just be a fly on the wall, he said. I think eventually I want to be working with a major label company to get myself to the masses. If theres any other company that I can work with that can do that, I would do that as well. Im happy where its at.

     Its a struggle financially, and emotionally its a lot of ups and downs. And it takes a toll on everybody, he continued. It takes a toll on Jordy with me continually travelling and doing this shit, but I think things will happen when theyre meant to happen. I think Im still young enough right now that Ive got some time to still build up some steam before I approach a record company, because if you do it too quick youre not as valuable as youd want to be to them. And I want to make sure that its really worth while.