Toronto, ON – October 4, 2019 – Arista Nashville artist/songwriter, Robert Counts, is releasing his self-titled EP today with a party in San Francisco, California. But instead of tastemakers and industry colleagues, Counts is sharing the occasion with student songwriters, musicians and performers at the Notes For Notes recording studio at the Boys & Girls Club of San Francisco Excelsior Clubhouse. Listen here.  

“I mowed grass to buy my first guitar and learned chords over the Internet, so I really appreciate what Notes For Notes means to these kids,” Counts said. “To have access to an actual recording studio, gear, and people to help encourage and develop the next generation of artists/musicians is remarkable. When I was their age, the thought of releasing an EP seemed completely out of reach; I’m here because I want them to see that with hard work in studios like this, nothing is impossible.”

"It's inspiring to catch a talented artist like Robert at this stage in their career when he's already making giving back part of his music," said Philip Gilley, CEO and Co-Founder of Notes for Notes, which has 25 studios in 12 states. "It's such a positive message that music is as much art as it is a force to transform lives."

Counts will be touring the studio, performing with some of the young musicians, and taking questions from kids at studios in Austin, Denver, and Minneapolis. Since 2014, Notes for Notes has been a recipient of $2 million in funding from the CMA Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association that works to ensure every child has access to a high-quality music education by supporting music educators and innovative music education programs across the U.S.

With the release today of his self-titled, five-song EP, Counts comes into his own as an artist writing from an authentic place about simple themes that give a deeper meaning to the ordinary. Produced by Jimmy Ritchey and Dann Huff, Counts holds nothing back from parental life advice in Backseat Driver, to the sweet anticipation of Someone In My Someday, the sexy, take-you-as-you-are Dress Up, the yearning/hopefulness of Better People, and the smoldering soul of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy. As part of his Live In Nashville series, Counts is also releasing a live version of the Gnarls Barkely cover. Listen here.  

Counts grew up in Franklin, TN, just 22 miles from Nashville’s robust creative community, but his experience was far removed from famed Music Row. He got his first taste of musicality at church, where the house band was filled with session players and road warriors and Counts had a front-row seat to some of the most talented working musicians around. 

He started writing songs in high school and continued to play acoustic shows on campus while he majored in Biochemistry at Lee University. He was on a path toward becoming an orthopedic surgeon, but in the year between college and medical school, a local songwriting competition at Franklin BBQ mainstay Puckett’s changed everything. With a summer to kill and nothing to lose, Counts signed up: and won.  

It was the moment his passion became possibility. Counts took the year off to try his hand at songwriting professionally. He signed a publishing deal, churned out nearly 100 songs, and met his musical centrifuge in his manager Jimmy Ritchey, the songwriter and producer behind No. 1 hits for Jake Owen. 

“My life became far less mapped out than it had ever been, but suddenly the path seemed a lot clearer,” Counts said. “I knew writing and performing my music was what I was supposed to be doing.”

Counts’ demos were generating attention, not just for the meticulously constructed gems he was composing, but for the quality of his voice and the distinctive gin-over-granite delivery. 

“You better believe I’m going to play and sing that thing like I mean every word,” he admitted. “I want the people listening to feel the emotion in the lines: I’m singing things the way people say things.”

Next week, Counts leaves for Germany and four shows in Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Berlin before returning for several stateside dates through the end of the year. Click here for information. 

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