If ever there was an individual destined to be a singer/songwriter, it would likely have been Robert Bidney. For one thing, he trained for it in a very practical sense. Working in an advertising agency, his creative impulses were encouraged by writing the jingles for such big-name clients as the Sports Authority, Levitz Furniture, and PetSmart. He even got to mingle with rock royalty while working with Randy Bachman in the branding campaign for Office Depot, the one that cops the familiar refrain for Bachman’s classic-rock standby “Taking Care of Business.”
OK, that seems a somewhat roundabout way of carving out a career, but the 26-year resident of Cooper City had his sights set on loftier goals all along. Even though he pursued songwriting part-time while working at his day job, he managed to find some success by contributing material to other artists, among them, the gospel group the Swan Silvertones, old-time ’50s crooner Frankie Laine, and various other artists with a range of professional pedigrees. Still, Bidney’s ultimate goal was to write songs and perform them himself, ambitions he recently realized with the release of his debut album, tellingly titled It’s All About the Love.
“Although I continued to always write songs, my focus over the years was on supporting my family and raising my children,” Bidney explains. “Now that they’re grown, I felt comfortable moving forward with this album project. I want to get my songs out there in a big way, big platforms, big stages, big media outlets. I’ve got a lot to say, and I believe there are a lot of people who can positively benefit from hearing my songs."
Given his high-minded platitudes — expressed through songs about love, nonviolence, overcoming obstacles, realizing one’s dreams, and, heck, simply making the world a better place for us all — Bidney admits he can be a bit of a Pollyanna. And while his songs may lack the gimmickry and glamour that propel most music to the upper reaches of the charts these days, Bidney maintains he’s motivated by purer intents.
“Writing songs has always been a great outlet for helping me try to understand life, as an outlet for expressing myself, and as a means for reaching out to help others,” he insists. “When playing live, I’ve consistently experienced incredible audience reaction to my songs, genuine connections. That, to me, is extremely gratifying, not to mention inspiring.”
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Citing such influences as Smokey Robinson, Graham Nash, and, perhaps not surprisingly, Frank Sinatra, Bidney says he was especially pleased to connect with producer Fernando Perdomo. Perdomo, a former South Florida musician who relocated to Los Angeles, boasts a varied résumé of his own, one that includes albums by local rockers Jim Camacho, Ed Hale and Ex-Norwegian, veteran singer/songwriters Andy Pratt and Emitt Rhodes, ‘60s folk chanteuse Linda Perhacs, his former band Dreaming in Stereo, and the various efforts recorded on his own. After the two agreed to record one song to gauge their working relationship, Bidney was sold and headed to Perdomo’s studio in Reseda, California, to record the majority of the music for the new LP.
“Fernando truly understands how to produce pop music, and that’s exactly what I wanted,” Bidney says in retrospect. “He also liked my songs and what I had to say. It was a great match. We have grown to be good friends. He’s a very special person, an amazing musician, and a truly wonderful human being.”
Bidney knows of what he speaks. After all, the title of the album expresses his sentiments succinctly. Apparently, it is all about the love.
It's All About the Love can be purchased on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon, RDIO, Deezer, Tidal, YouTube, Beats/MediaNet and Bandcamp. CDs are available at robertbidney.com .