Bobbi Arlo: Artist features in RTÉ 2fm’s rising list 2021

By Aideen O'Flaherty

Bobbi Arlo is among ten artists who feature in RTÉ 2fm’s Rising List 2021, marking an exciting start to the year for the up-and-coming rap/pop musician.

Bobbi, 22, takes inspiration from American hip-hop star Ravyn Lenae and Haitian-Canadian DJ and producer Kaytranada, when crafting her infectiously catchy songs.

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Musician Bobbi Arlo

The past pupil of Blessington Community College has already seen success in recent months, with her songs receiving airplay on national radio and soaring up the charts.

The Blessington woman spoke to The Echo about the success of her debut single ‘Berries’ back in 2019, the response to a well-received song that she released at the start of the pandemic, and how it felt to be recognised in the RTÉ 2fm Rising List.

How would you describe your sound?

My sound is a new wave version of pop. It’s kind of mellow – almost hypnotic – but exciting and heavy-sounding. With every song I write, I have the strong intention to create happiness and a feel-good energy.

You released your debut single, 'Berries', back in 2019, which got airplay on 2FM. How did you feel about the response the song got?

It was crazy, because it was the first proper single I had ever released. I was practically a no one, and they picked it up and welcomed me into airplay so quickly. I feel like my career started overnight. I never even thought it was possible to get on the radio to begin with!

Last March, you released your uplifting single 'Breathe' to offer some hope amidst the pandemic. Why was it important for you to release a song during the early days of the pandemic?

I think it initially started as a selfish act, because I was struggling a lot with being locked up in the countryside.

My life was in Dublin, so were my mates – I didn’t have any friends up here. My work was kicked under the carpet, gigs were canceled, it was a traumatic time. so I wrote it to uplift and remind myself it’s temporary.

I eventually showed it to a couple of my friends they said it really made them think differently about their situations and when restrictions let up my team and I got straight in and recorded it and released it the next week.

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Musician Bobbi Arlo

You recently released your new single 'Signs', what has the feedback been like?

‘Signs’ has definitely been my most successful release. It’s got so much attention. I’ve been really lucky to have been playlisted. I was on the Irish Top 40 list for like four weeks or something. Every time I got into a car, I heard it. I heard it in taxis and shops – it was just everywhere. I really didn’t expect the support it got.

What is ‘Signs’ about?

It’s a timeline of a relationship I was in, and how it matured me a lot and definitely grounded me.

I had to learn the hard way that love isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. It’s actually quite complicated to have heavy feelings that aren’t exactly returned.

The song starts as me chasing that person, innocently asking them to just give me a chance. Then, as the relationship continues, it gets toxic.

We split, and then I became who they were to me – extremely not interested in relationships, never on board with something serious, not expecting much, and how I quickly came out of that because it just wasn’t me. I was just hurt by someone I loved.

You're also on the RTÉ 2fm Rising List 2021, what was your reaction when you realised you were on it?

I literally couldn’t believe it! To be named alongside so many incredible Irish artists I look up to and listen to all the felt a bit surreal.

I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet, to be honest. I’m just floating along, constantly shocked, yet excited, about how my music is being perceived.

I’m someone who makes music that I personally want to listen to, and then I release in the hope others will like it too. So, when they do, it’s an incredible feeling.

What plans do you have for the weeks and months ahead?

I’m releasing a new single on February 25, and I’m very excited about it. We worked tirelessly on it, and my whole team is so proud of it.

I’m very excited for people to listen and vibe. I also have been booked for so many gigs and festivals, that hopefully we’ll be able to play. It’s looking like a big year again. I’m loving every minute.

Bobbi Arlo’s music is available on all streaming platforms, and you can keep up-to-date with her output by following her on Twitter and Instagram.

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