“I want to get hearts racing, energy flowing, and make people feel good!” says John Roberts, singer & songwriter, EMMY Award-nominated actor and comedian.
His deep-rooted love for music can be traced back to his youth. At the onset of the 90’s he fell in love with the rave scene and frequented the storied warehouse parties mythologized in movies like “Go.” He visited Other Music in New York City’s fashion forward Village neighborhood on a weekly basis to buy new releases from Orbital, Moby and more.
Going from music lover to being in a band was a no-brainer and Roberts found himself the frontman for Opti-Grab. The group released one album and toured relentlessly. Bringing things full circle, former tour-mates Blondie tapped him to drop some lyrical fire on “Love Level” from their critically acclaimed 2017 chart-topper Pollinator.
“Looking,” a wild anthem produced by Big Black Delta, followed in 2019, marked his solo debut with remixes by Tensnake, Junior Sanchez and Gerd Janson. The song—which landed at #19 on UK club charts–along with “Dirty Little Secrets” and “Lonely Boys Have Fun Too” appeared on his self-titled EP released last summer.
Flashforward to 2020, John Roberts found himself in the studio with legendary producer and longtime club friend Junior Sanchez for its follow-up. “Freaks” due out this fall is one of the many songs the two collaborated on to create a body of work that has a vintage but completely modern vibe, digging deep into eighties new wave, pop and house music through the lens of the twenty first century. “I loved the remix Junior did for ‘Looking’ and was a big fan of his production on Azealia Banks ‘Anna Wintour’ so of course he made the perfect choice for my new project,” says Roberts. “It’s a song about letting your freak flag fly–an empowerment song for freaks and those who have been cast aside. Vote for your freakness!”
Powered by vintage electro, indie panache & pop bombast, its corresponding video directed by creative director and choreographer Nina McNeely (Rihanna, Bjork, Banks) compliments the song with a Bauhaus-inspired theme. Unique moves from a synchronized line of dancers set among popped blocks of color gives “Freaks” a fresh retro look.
On the acting front, John Roberts has gone from viral YouTube clips like “The Christmas Tree,” “My Son is Gay” and “Jackie & Debra” (generating more than 40 million views) to appearances on “The Tonight Show,” “Archer” and more in addition to multiple tours alongside Margaret Cho. He went on to join the cast of the EMMY Award-winning “Bob’s Burgers” as lovable & loud matriarch Linda Belcher which landed him first EMMY nod in the category of “Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance” (2015). The show is now in its 10th season with a feature film to be released spring 2021.