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Friday, June 14, 2024

Indie-folk musician and UF graduate Nicholas Roberts will return to his roots this weekend with a show at The Bull, located at 18 SW First Ave., on Saturday.

Following his graduation from UF, Roberts moved to Nashville, Tennessee, with a band. After the band broke up, he returned to Florida, where he worked on his solo debut LP, “The Rest of Our Lives,” in Orlando.

The time Roberts spent writing and recording his album in his studio apartment, at the public library and in coffee shops was a period of self-discovery and finding his style as a solo artist. He said he went through the process of finding his voice outside of the band.

Roberts said he likes the sound of bands and that he’s able to do multiple vocals and play different guitars. But being a solo artist has allowed him to try new sounds more freely, and it has made traveling easier, he said. The decision-making process in a band is a lot slower with voting and figuring out things as a team.

He goes onstage accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, which he started playing 12 years ago when he learned on an electric guitar.

“I played heavy metal first,” Roberts said.

Considering the slow, melodic style of his new songs, this might come as a surprise to his fans.

He said the change in music style came about six years ago, when he started listening to instrumental rock bands like Explosions in the Sky. His music was also influenced by the band Bon Iver.

“Back in 2009, they put out a really folkie, intimate record that affected my music,” he said of Bon Iver.

Roberts said he enjoys coming back to visit Gainesville, especially for the town’s food and environment. Some years ago, when he was still a student at UF, he played at an open mic at The Bull, and now he returns to play a proper show as a solo artist. The show begins at 9:30 p.m.

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