MTV Artist To Watch: Robert DeLong

Check out MTV Artist To Watch Robert DeLong.

Meet MTV's Artist To Watch: self-proclaimed performance artist Robert DeLong.

We're suckers for an innovator, and that's exactly the word we'd pick for one-man-band and musical multitasker Robert DeLong. The side-parted singer is basically an instrument himself, kicking a recent NYC set off at the Highline Ballroom by looping his voice before tying in the myriad noisemakers around him.

The EDM mastermind/self-proclaimed performance artist will utilize anything, be it a snare drum, vocal mic, laptop, tambourine, joystick, game pads, guitar, or even his own audience's shouts. (He's usually got 15 to 20 instruments on stage at once -- that's some serious coordination.) For all those puzzle pieces, Robert doesn't employ any backup players -- it's just him pounding the drums, singing into the mic, and spinning dials, all culminating into an EDM, dubstep, electro, and 8-bit symphony.

Read more about Robert DeLong after the jump.

Instantly recognizable via his always-orange shirt (or, in live shows, face paint), Robert's an authentic mix of his Seattle-meets-Los Angeles background. True, you could immediately compare him to electronic/8-bit acts like Anamanaguchi, The Chemical Brothers, and Moby, but if you listen carefully, you can hear low-key Northwest influences like Death Cab For Cutie or The Postal Service in his melodies.

In "Global Concepts," a dizzying track with thoughtful, philosophical lyrics and a monster EDM beat, the 26-year-old argues that music and dance are what unites us all, a "concept" he unravels further in his debut Just Movement album, now out on Glassnote Records. The good vibes expand further on "Happy," an electro-earworm track that constantly circles back to an inviting set of sunny synths. If you want an up-close look at Robert's looping prowess, however, check out "Change (How You Feel)" -- it's a tidal wave of dubby beats with a welcoming xylophone overlay, accented by 8-bit blips and bloops.

Now one of MTV's Artist To Watch for 2013, Robert's currently taking his dance parties on tour; he'll hit NYC's The Studio At Webster Hall on Feb. 15, then festivalgoers can catch him at SXSW, Coachella, and Governors Ball.

+ Watch Robert DeLong perform "Happy" and "Just Movement" live at NYC's Highline Ballroom, then check out an exclusive interview.

Photo credit: Myles Pettengill

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