For a 21-year-old with several million monthly streams on Spotify, Cavetown is a remarkably humble interviewee. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be used to it,” he says tentatively of his increasingly-massive popularity. Having only turned of US legal drinking age in December, he’s skipped university, moved out of his parents’ home in Cambridge and into a place with friends in London. Because of a demanding US touring schedule, he’s also looking at renting a place in New York. Not bad for someone who started off recording cover videos as a teen in his bedroom.
If you haven’t heard of Cavetown – fear not. The singer, otherwise known as Robin Skinner, may have started by paying homage to Pinegrove and Twenty One Pilots on Youtube, but these days he’s marking his own turf. Having put out debut single ‘This Is Home’ back in 2015, he’s since self-released three albums; his upcoming fourth ‘Sleepyhead’, meanwhile, will be his first on a major label. “It’s really good for artists to be their own boss and have control over their career progression,” he says of his independent beginnings.
“It’s really good for artists to be their own boss.”
As a musician who’s been around the internet since he can remember, it’s no surprise that his fans are ones seeking a similar level of connection from Cavetown. “I see myself in them,” Robin says: he too used to be a young Twitter stan, looking to and tweeting his musical idols for guidance. “It’s really great that I’m someone who can give them advice or polite criticism if they’re being too intrusive to me, because I know how that feels to be a kid who doesn’t really sense that they’re invading their idol’s personal space. That’s helped me grow my patience too, because I understand where that comes from. It’s definitely cool to be able to have a platform, to be able to…” he pauses, cringing, “I guess inspire people? Although that feels conceited of me to say...”
From sitting in his bedroom to house-hunting in New York, Cavetown’s ascent has been a thoroughly modern one. The end result, however, looks set to be a tale as old as musical time. As he puts it, “It’s a very cool side-effect that there’s people who get something out of the things that I make for myself.” Like we said, a modest guy.
As featured in the March 2020 issue of DIY, out now.
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