Interview: Youtube Violin Sensation Robert Mendoza in KL for Chivas Collab Presents: ETM
At the Chivas Collab Presents: ETM last Friday at Envy nightclub, classically-trained violinist and Youtube sensation Robert Mendoza wooed audience with rousing ad libs and a steady performance.
Energetic dance routines, DJs, ninjas, medieval maidens, fire breathers and an aerialist made their appearances during the 90-minute Electronic Theatrical Music performance, presented by Chivas Collab last Friday at Envy Night club. But it was violinist Robert Mendoza who made an impression on the estimated 800 millennial party-goers with a rousing electric violin solo, performing catchy ad libs on popular tracks and steadily keeping the momentum at a climb during his turn on stage. A classically-trained musician, Mendoza concentrated on the violin and piano at the Seville Conservatory of Music, and was formerly a violinist for the Royal Symphonic Orchestra of Seville for 6 years. Not many do a crossover from classical to electronic, but when they do, we’d like to think they’d be as successful as Mendoza in capitalising their talent: two years after starting his Youtube channel, Mendoza is a viral sensation. Collectively, his videos have 100 million Youtube views, 737K followers on FB, nearly 100k followers on Instagram and is a signed artist with Universal music. We caught up with Mendoza earlier this week for a casual, ‘get-to-know-Robert-Mendoza’ chat.
LuxuoMY: How did you like performing at ETM last weekend?
Robert Mendoza: It was funny! I’m looking forward to doing it again in Penang.
LuxuoMY: What are three things you can’t live without?
RM: My music, my family and my iPhone.
LuxuoMY: Are you doing any other performances while in KL?
RM: Yes, I’m performing on the 25th and the 26th at the Le Meridien with a few other local Universal artists — Alvin Chong, Sid Murshid and Eunice Hoo.
LuxuoMY: When did you take up the violin?
RM: When I was 8 years old.
LuxuoMY: How old are you now?
RM: As of October 24, I am 34.
LuxuoMY: Is the violin your only instrument?
RM: Yes, professionally. When composing, I use the piano.
LuxuoMY: When did you start your Youtube channel?
RM: Two years ago.
LuxuoMY: What made you start your Youtube channel in the first place?
RM: The truth? I was at home one afternoon feeling bored. So I decided to start a Youtube channel as an experiment.
LuxuoMY: How does it feel to have over 100 million views on Youtube?
RM: It’s incredible. I never expected that much at the beginning. It’s a motivation for me to keep doing it.
LuxuoMY: What’s a food you can eat any time, any day?
Chocolate. Even though I shouldn’t.
LuxuoMY: Have the artists of the songs you cover ever given feedback on your version of their music?
RM: Maluma and Luis Fonzi have shared my covers on their Instagram and Facebook.
LuxuoMY: Is the purple violin your favourite to perform with?
RM: Yes, it’s a Mark Wood electric violin. The sound quality is great, and it allows for a lot of free movement.
LuxuoMY: Any plans to release original tracks on violin?
RM: I’m working on a new album which will have covers and original music. It won’t be in any particular genre, but it will have my personal style. It’s a work in progress.
LuxuoMY: If you could collaborate with any artist in the world, who would it be?
LuxuoMY: Favourite drink at a bar?
RM: A soda.
LuxuoMY: Can you share a favourite memory from your childhood?
RM: I got my first violin when I was eight. After we brought it back from the shop, my father asked me to play something on it but when I did, there was no sound. So we called the shop, and I found out that I had to apply resin to the bow before playing it!
LuxuoMY: What’s your personal philosophy in life?
RM: I have it tattooed on my arm. It says: Surprise yourself with what you are able to do.”
LuxuoMY: Cat person or dog person?