Rob Costlow





Music is the soundtrack to my life. It ties into everything I do. I always have a theme or melody going on inside my head (be it my own or one of my favorite musician’s songs)

Music lovers of all ages become transported to a less complicated, more relaxed world with Costlow's collection of original piano melodies that showcase the talent and universal reach of his passionate and raw sound. Even though Costlow's music gets compared to certain genres, his style is not specifically ambient, new age, classical or jazz. Costlow simply delivers independent, sincere and contemporary music to which listeners can easily relate. By the time he was twelve, Rob Costlow was trying his piano instructor's patience by adding new endings to songs during lessons and recitals. "I despised taking lessons and especially practicing other people's music. It just wasn't for me. I had many melodies running through my head, and I wanted to turn them into songs," admits Rob. This mindset soon brought an end to the lessons that began at age five. Rob realized that his musical future was going to take a different path than the one set by his teachers. Rob is a true Hoosier born and raised in Indiana. Growing up in a large family helped Rob become focused and tenacious. As the youngest of six boys, Rob got used to seizing every opportunity. In fact, it was one of Rob's brothers that introduced him to contemporary piano music. "It was so different than the music I studied in lessons," says Costlow. "It helped give me the courage to try my hand at composition. I said to myself 'I can do this!' It was an immediate outlet for self-expression and also provided a sense of calm in times of stress." At age eleven, Rob lost his mother to ovarian cancer. Even as a young boy, Rob was affected by his mother's constant courage in the face of such adversity. This experience had a major influence on Rob's life and music. Rob received a Bachelors and Masters degree in Kinesiology from Indiana University, Bloomington (IU). Before transferring to IU as a junior, Rob began his college career as a Piano Performance and Composition major at Ball State University. He then changed majors to Kinesiology as a sophomore, giving an ironic twist to the meaning of Rob's first album, Sophomore Jinx. At IU, Rob was hit by a drunk driver and suffered injuries in both hands resulting in a broken left-hand and carpel tunnel syndrome in his right. Through surgery and physical therapy, Rob has recovered, but still feels aching in his hands after extensive piano performances. While working on his Master's Degree at IU, Rob unofficially started a record label based on a business class project. In 2002, Rob released his first professional solo project, Sophomore Jinx (re-released 2005), containing all original music. In 2004, Rob officially founded TOURIST RECORDS®. Through TOURIST RECORDS®, Rob continues to create and license music. He hopes to inspire other artists to make their unique impact in the world. Professionally, Rob has worked for influential New Media companies. It is through the Internet that Rob has connected with many people of different backgrounds and cultures. He has gained fans of all ages worldwide, confirming that people are in need of much more than just your typical "top 40" music. An admitted perfectionist, Rob will take all the time he deems necessary for a task, and he can carry on lengthy conversations. :) Rob loves God, traveling, "cutting a rug" when the mood is right, eating pizza and Twizzlers (not together), putting ketchup on everything and spending time with his family. While Rob has come a long way since his childhood lessons, his love for creating original compositions is still at the heart of his contemporary piano music. "Music is what inspires me," says Costlow. "It is in my soul. I never force myself to write. I do it when it comes to me. I take things a day at a time."



What does music mean to you personally?

It is the soundtrack to my life. It ties into everything I do. I always have a theme or melody going on inside my head (be it my own or one of my favorite musician’s songs)

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

I believe it is about imagination, if that is what you mean. It is the expression of a factual or fictional experience or idea.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

And Internet entrepreneur… Well, I actually found a way to pursue two career passions: music and Internet. I have worked for the past 15+ years online for various digital companies.

The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about your future?

Not at all. I have never considered my music classical. I do not like to put genre labels on it. I consider it contemporary and melodic. Stories people can continue to relate to and make there own.

What do you envision the role of classical music to be in the 21 century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

I believe it will continue to be a pillar for educational purposes as well as entertainment. I believe music is unlimited and will continue to evolve. Yet, classical music will always be the foundation to where we have evolved musically (and keep evolving).

When I say that classical music is searching for new ways or that the classical music is getting a new face, what would come to your mind?

People like you and me, who may have learned the fundamentals from classical music, but now apply it in a creative and ever-changing way.

Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

All original music is creative, and all original music (from classical to hip hop) can be manipulated by artists. Regardless of what is on a piece of sheet music, each artist can (and should) apply their own technique and artistry to it. Otherwise, I find it bland.

Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generation into the classical music concerts? How will you proceed?

Continue to create and experiment… and continue to ensure we have art and music education available to children around the globe. I feel I am doing my part by recording and releasing original piano music, which I know has inspired many young people to take up or continue to learn the piano.

Tell us about your creative process. Do you have your favorite piece (written by you) How did you start working on it?

I never force myself to compose. Sometimes it is days, sometimes year, before I start a new piece. I always start with a short melody/theme. Something unique, that truly reflects a strong emotion and/or experience from my life.

We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?

Yes, this is a great example of what I mean in my question 8 reply by “create and experiment.” I love it. Keep doing it. We need more of it.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Always have an open mind. As I mentioned earlier, music is unlimited.

Now it is a common practice in the media to talk that the classical music is getting into the consumption business, do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” in your case your compositions. How do you see it?

Music is so personal, so it can be very hard to market to and attract a vast audience. The majority of my music income is from sheet music sales and commercial licensing (for use in TV, film, online, etc.). Today, artists need to do more than just record and perform. Artists need to find a niche for their music.

If you're not head over heels passionate about music, stop. Go do something you're passionate about. If you're head over heals, here's some practical advice: - Work HARD - Save your money - Don't be in this for fame or fortune (have a mission) - Don't try to be or sound like another artist - Record a professionally engineered album (you want to sound your best) - Create a clear and easy-to-navigate website - Perform live where you can - Duplicate CDs or create digital download cards to have something to distribute in person - Heavily utilize the many great Internet services for marketing and networking - Get on CDBaby or another service that can digitally distribute your music - You don't need a major label to have great success - Keep expectations low (good things take time) - Respond to every fan that contacts you - Communicate regularly with all your fans (e.g. monthly newsletter, social, etc.) - Have fun, let your soul shine

Do you have expectations what regards your listeners, your audience?

No. My audience is global, all ages, and to people who can relate my melodies to their experiences, needs and wants.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

I intend to record a new solo album in 2017. It has been a little while, so I am excited. Yes, I always experiment. I have quite a few recordings I have never released to the public.