The Reel Chicago Black List: Rob Morrison, Composer

Rob Morrison

Rob Morrison

Robert (Rob Diggy) Morrison is an established yet emerging multi-talented composer / producer and a Grammy-certified arranger having earned accolades through his remix piano-keyboard work on Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love.” His storehouse of knowledge not only brings skill and expertise, but flair to everything he puts his hands on.

Robert is known as the sixth man of music, because of his cinematic compositions and movie scores on various independent and big budget films. Robert has a very unique style when scoring films, he has been compared to the likes of phenomenal composers, Brain Tyler and Hans Zimmer whom he looks up to as his composer mentors.

“Since a very early age, I’ve been intrigued by the way music makes me feel,” says Robert. “It has the ability to lift your mood, and take you to far away places without ever leaving your seat.”

Favored by fortune, and guided by his gift, Robert is setting the bar high and leading by example. Robert’s latest work titled Gandhi The Conspiracy, Produced by Nugen Media of the United Arab Emirates will be released this summer.

“This film will open up even more opportunities to enrich the world with my abilities,” he says.

What was your first break?

Not so much as a break but entering the business, but more so getting my chance as a musician to arrange on remixes for the first time was pretty cool. Michael Jackson and The Notorious B.I.G. was a huge platform for me because it showed I had range as a keyboard player, and I could listen to vocal acapella and play new chords around them.

Worst thing that ever happened to you to remind you that you are Black?

OMG It just hit me when I was eleven years old my mother had taken my brothers and I to Louisiana to visit my grandmother. My mother had taken us into town to see a movie, once there we were told of the rules no blacks on the lower level and no rest room privileges, I knew then it was real.

Best thing to ever happen to you to remind you that you are Black?

Well two things lol.. When I graduated from John Marshall High School proud moment, and graduating from The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff where I was in the marching and jazz bands respectively M4for life. Those were the best times because they molded me into a fine musician.

Work you are most proud of?

Wow moment again, when I was called upon to score a big budget feature film titled “Gandhi The Conspiracy”

I was most proud of myself because I had composed an entire music score electronically, then I flew to Sofia, Bulgaria where an eighty piece orchestra was brought in to give the score a much richer sound with live musicians, for me that was a personal high something I will never forget.

How has the business changed since you broke in?

Well being a musician I can tell you first hand that the young people don’t want to study the business of music, heck I’m still reading for understanding because the laws have somewhat changed. Music has changed so that these young cats sample more and play less. New laws are on the books everything is on the web now, you can become a star overnight, wasn’t like that when I grew up we had to use the yellow pages to call a record label.

Trapped on an island, what are the creative essentials you must have?

My portable recording studio, and a beautiful woman to share that creative synchronicity with.

What is the difference between score music and soundtrack music?

There is a difference between creating a soundtrack for a film and creating a score for a film. A soundtrack is comprised of individual song; recordings, typically, but not always containing vocals placed in the film.

Although, for the overall continuity of all aspects of the film, songs included in a soundtrack can be, but do not have to be created specifically for the film. The score can be best described as all the other music you hear in a film and very time consuming because of it’s originality. The more thought provoking, mood-changing elements that sometimes can make you even tear up. It conveys that emotion of the scene. Personally, I am thankful to have been able to compose films scores and create records for the soundtrack, and often times serve as music supervisor, either creating both the score and soundtrack or overseeing all the music for the film.

If you could have a one-on-one with anyone who would it be? And why?

Dr. King would be my choice why, because I would want to ask him if he didn’t have to take that trip to Memphis, Tennessee that day would he have gone knowing what was going to happen to him.

To read about others on The Reel Black List, click here