Teddy Robb used to be a cover artist until his career began to transform.
“I was doing open mics and learning and playing in different situations where I could get anyone to listen to me,” he said.
Now, the 30-year-old country singer and songwriter will perform at the High Dive on Sunday with Austin Hunter Band and Noah Alan. This concert is part of a showcase series organized with help from Country Music Association EDU, and it is Robb’s first time performing in Gainesville.
The doors for the concert will open at 7 p.m., and the show will run from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. Tickets to the show cost $8 during presale or $10 at the door.
Robb has collaborated with Grammy award-winning songwriters and producers and his single, “Really Shouldn’t Drink Around You,” has been growing in popularity. He said the audience can definitely expect to hear it at his show.
Additionally, he plans on playing music from his upcoming album as well as some of his favorite covers.
Robb said he is excited to continue growing his presence in the music industry as he works to gain his own following.
“My first paid gig was in Akron, Ohio, in January of 2012,” he said. “That was the first time anybody ever decided to give me money to do this, and that was such an iconic moment for me.”
He has been pursuing music since his junior year in college when he decided to pick up a few music classes in addition to his business major. The high school and college football star originally anticipated working in athletics until his passion shifted entirely.
“When music came along, it was the first thing since football that I really loved doing,” he said.
He was able to perform at Seven Peaks Festival in Colorado this past summer with Dierks Bentley, and he sang the national anthem at a Green Bay Packers football game to 85,000 people in a sold-out stadium in September.
The students who helped bring Robb to Gainesville are members of Country Music Association EDU (CMA EDU). It is a collegiate program for professional development and knowledge in the music industry that works to promote country music. Members of CMA worked enthusiastically to promote Robb’s Sunday show as part of their learning experience.
Isabela Teijelo, a 21-year-old UF business administration senior and president of CMA EDU’s UF chapter, said Robb is targeting cities that have CMA chapters at their universities.
Teijelo said planning Robb’s show was the UF chapter’s big project of fall semester. The idea of organizing a series of free shows for CMA EDU students originated at the CMA EDU Executive Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, over the summer, she said.
Preparation for the show has provided her and other members of CMA with valuable experience from Robb and his team, she said. They have promoted the event through Instagram, Facebook, word-of-mouth and the press.
Teijelo said their most important responsibility was to maintain close contact with Robb’s team throughout the planning process and provide the label with routine updates about their progress.
Nathan Pyle, 30-year-old marketing manager at Monument Records, said they held four online meetings with the students in CMA to walk them through all that goes into a show, start to finish. Pyle’s team outlined promotion expectations, explained how to make venue selections and taught them how to ultimately book a show.
They initially selected five markets to share their ideas with and then taught the students how to build promotional plans to share their event, Pyle said. In their meetings, Monument Records explained the works behind venue selections and how agencies have to process contracts, making it possible for the students to gain experience locking in the venues with a booking agent as part of their project.
“Networking and learning as much as possible is the biggest takeaway from all of this,” she said.
Pyle also highlighted the importance of experiential learning opportunities presented through this partnership. He played a significant role in marketing for Robb’s shows by helping to teach students how to take promotion into their own hands.
“Part of the focus of this program was a way for us to integrate and let students see what it’s like to go out and promote a show,” Pyle said.
Pyle said Robb’s past showcases have attracted full rooms of people so far, and he hopes for a similar turnout Sunday. This is the first time Monument Records has worked with CMA EDU to put on a multi-date tour like this, he said.
“What really hits home is how involved Teddy’s team has been as a whole, not just from the label side, but with management and with the booking agency,” he said. “It’s an opportunity that a lot of students don’t get first hand access to.”
Pyle outlined the way the showcases operate, explaining how they begin with an open sound check, then move into a Q&A session and finish with Rob’s country music performance. This structure is designed to give the audience a more intimate experience and a chance to converse with Robb at a personal level, Pyle said.
“Teddy is a fantastic mentor for a lot of students, and being a new artist, he can still connect a lot with students,” Pyle said.