In the early 80’s if you dreamed of being a female “ROCKER” you were watching and studying Robin Lane. Robin and her band, The Chartbusters, were one of the very first videos EVER on MTV! Robin had all the essential ingredients: strong songs, infectious attitude, interesting lyrics, rock star looks.

A few months ago Robin and I met to talk about how Over My Shoulder Foundation and her foundation, Songbird Sings, might collaborate. It was all very formal and professional so I tried to repress the “star-struck-fan” in me. We became fast friends eager to partner with our songwriting and foundations. Over My Shoulder Student Liaison and Singer Ms. Santana Roberts is the writer of today’s mentoring interview with our new dynamic friend Robin Lane.

-Dawn Carroll, Over My Shoulder Foundation Co-Founder

I had the amazing opportunity to interview singer/ songwriter Robin Lane at the Over My Shoulder Foundation “Thank Your Mentor Day” event on January 25, 2012. In my excitement to learn about her life and her contributions to the music world, we sat down on a modern couch tucked in the corner of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. I didn’t know what to expect; it was the first time I ever interviewed someone but I had prepared to ask her a few questions. I imagined what I might tell someone years down the road when I have accomplished all that I dream about as a singer. Here’s some of what I discovered about Robin Lane.

 

Robin Lane as a Young Music Lover

I discovered that growing up Robin did not have a mentor, but that her childhood was filled with music. She loved listening to groups like the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. She never thought of music as a career, it was simply something she loved to do. Robin did not view music as anything she wanted to pursue for her future, but as she aged, she realized that singing was her calling. Easily connecting to the passion in music, she loved all genres from rap to classical to country. “I love everything that I think is good” she says.

 

Robin as a Singer/Songwriter

Since the revelation that singing was her calling, Robin has been writing songs for over 40 years. Robin spit out 10 songs a day when she first started, often on napkins in restaurants or a handy piece of cardboard. Blessed with a very successful career, Lane can proudly say that she has the 11th video ever played on MTV. Since then, Lane mentors teenage girls from Roxbury Youth Works and youth from Home For Little Wanderers, through her “Giving Youth A Voice” workshop. She believes that change is possible and that the past, no matter how painful it is, should never define you.

 

Mentorology in the Life of Robin Lane

Robin told me she did not have a physical person to guide her in her childhood days but she looked to the moon, which she named John, for comfort. Despite not having someone to watch over her, she has dedicated her life to speaking out against all forms of violence. Lane is the founder of a non-profit organization called Songbird Sings. Songbird Sings provides healing through songwriting for women and youth suffering from domestic violence. Robin is passionate about giving a voice to those silenced by trauma. Participants in her programs learn how to use music, specifically songwriting, as an outlet to express emotion. Music has the power to illuminate the horrific memories of someone’s life, thus healing from the inside out. Freeing spirits by cleansing the mind and soul through music, Robin hopes that she can make a difference in the world, one song at a time.

 

From L to R: Santana Roberts, Patti Austin, Robin Lane at the Over My Shoulder Foundation “Thank Your Mentor Day” Celebration Event

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