Robyn Sandhu is a talented singer, poet and lyricist who has garnered a loyal following over the past few years. However when he sat down with 5XPress to discuss his upcoming appearance for the 5X Blockparty next month, he described himself as “a poet who can also sing … sometimes.”

I was intrigued by this response and wanted to know the difference between Robyn, the singer and Robyn, the poet. Robyn graciously indulged my inquiry and explained that they are two facets of the same coin. 

“Robyn the singer is more expressive and energetic whereas Robyn the poet is more introverted and analytical” he explained. 

Luckily for his fans, there is no need to pick because Robyn assured me that we will get to meet both the singer and the poet at the 5X Blockparty this year.

Robyn spoke to 5XPress before his first festival performance at 5X Fest last year. Over the span of just one year, Robyn has further mastered his craft and evolved as an artist, while simultaneously  as humble as ever.

Robyn’s performance represented a monumental experience for him. He reminisced about how thrilled he was the entire time and remembered feeling encouraged after his performance.

“[I thought] this is something that is meant for me – I can do this,” he said. 

Robyn released one of his biggest projects Inception, produced by Yeah Proof last year, and it has since garnered 5.6 million views on YouTube. 

He has also worked with well-known producers like Big Byrd to make Riwaaz, and 13 as well as Surrey’s very own, Intense, to create Kyon in the past year. 

His latest project, Kade Kade, produced by Rafal, released on May 3amassed over 80,000 views and more than 250 comments within a week. 

Robyn has called Surrey home since 2017 but he originally hails from Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, India. He added that he gathers massive inspiration from his hometown and his roots. 

Oftentimes, Punjabi artists are naturally associated with Punjab because most of them are from there. 

However, the diasporic population around the world can attest that not all Punjabis reside in Punjab. It’s important to see Punjabi artists outside of Punjab repping their hometowns and representing their individuality. 

Robyn shared that he recently went back home to visit after a long time and his experience rejuvenated him while inspiring the artist within.

“I don’t have the words to encompass what an amazing experience it was. It was a dream come true to see the people of my city giving me props and appreciating my work. It was magical,” he said.

“I see kids from my city putting themselves out there and using me as an example. They give me credit for being one of the firsts to proudly rep Sri Ganganagar & it is the most incredible and humbling feeling. I love to see that.”

Despite the incredible strides in his career, Robyn shared that he too deals with imposter syndrome.  He shared a quote that he heard while watching a documentary about Kanye West called “jeen-yuhs”. He quoted, “the giant looks at himself in the mirror and sees nothing.”

“I feel imposter syndrome sometimes, especially when I’m not dedicating enough time to my work. I feel like I don't deserve all the love people give me if my work ethic doesn’t measure up,” he said. 

“Instead of getting down on myself, I prefer to translate those negative feelings into motivation and fuel my fire to set my sights on bigger goals. I believe there is always room for improvement.” 

Robyn told me that the biggest thing that gets him out of a rut or a negative phase is remembering his priorities and looking at the bigger picture.

“I don’t want to be ‘just a singer’ or ‘just a poet’. I think your values, how you treat people, and the kind of person you want to be should always be the priority. Your work will no doubt reflect that.”

Robyn shared his advice for other artists and those who look up to him. 

“Believe in yourself. If you have the strength to dream then you have the will power to manifest it into reality,” he said. 

“Take me for example; I used to drive by Holland Park frequently when I first moved to Canada. I even saw people performing there a couple of times and I remember thinking to myself ‘how amazing would it be to perform here one day’ and now I am.”

He wanted to add a footnote to his advice this time around, “Be patient and stay humble. Careers take off, but you have to be patient,” he added at the end.

We are extremely excited to once again see  Robyn hit the stage for this year’s 5X Blockparty. He also shared his excitement and said he’s really looking forward to meeting everyone and putting on an awesome show for Surrey.

About the author

Gurshabad Kang

Gurshabad’s educational background in Biology and Psychology is inspired by her lifelong pursuit to seek and decipher the human connection. She loves McDonald’s fries, long walks on the beach, and telling people how to correctly pronounce her name. She regularly forces her friends to sit in her car & record a podcast aptly named Sitting In The Car. You can find her but more importantly her dog, @gurshabadkang on all platforms.

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5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.