After a sports injury, hours working on music in his room led Tarrant-Steedman to the stage

He’s up on stage and the crowd cheers. Each sound booming from the speaker is aggressive and crisp. They gyrate and sway in anticipation – the beat drops.

Robbie Tarrant-Steedman first hit the stage over a year ago, and has been producing music for over three years. He is a 19-year-old producer and DJ of electronic music. He is part of a two-member group called RealTalK, and has played shows for hundreds of people at a time.

Tarrant-Steedman was not always producing electronic music.

His passions for his other hobbies still live close to his heart.

“When I was young I was really into sports and music, they were my two main things,” the former soccer player said.

Music in my room

He has always been interested in sports and music but after multiple concussions, it was deemed too dangerous for Tarrant-Steedman to continue playing competitive sports.

With sports out of the picture and bullies at school, the teen found himself spending more and more time playing guitar in his home tucked away in Bragg Creek, Alta. teaching himself new songs.

During this time Tarrant-Steedman had been a part of multiple bands. None of them lasted long, though.

“They were good but it was really hard finding people who were into it as much as you were,” he said.

As his years at Springbank Community High School passed he became interested in electronic music.

Discovering electronic music

Tarrant-Steedman said now that he has joined Smithson in creating RealTalK, every opportunity they have gets bigger. Smithson, 20, has been a DJ and producer for over 3 years.

Photo courtsey of Stoked On Photos

Tarrant-Steedman had never heard the type of music before a friend showed it to him.

After hearing it for the first time he spent hours downloading and listening to the entrancing music.

“At the time it kind of sounded like hip hop with a bunch of weird noises. I thought it was really cool,” he said.

Then he got curious.

“I found out it was all done on a computer and I wanted to give it a try,” he added.

Creating RealTalK Dubstep

After about a year and a half of producing music, Tarrant-Steedman met Jeremy Smithson online. Smithson, who lived in Nelson B.C., was known to the electronic music community as RaveFormz.

Smithson, 20, said he was drawn to Tarrant-Seedman’s music because of his “weird wonky melodies.”

The two began to collaborate on songs by sending files back and forth. After many successful trials the two, along with a vocalist formed RealTalK. The vocalist has left since then, but the two producers continue to work together.

After many successful tracks, some gaining over 10,000 plays online; the two began to be invited to play at more shows.

Tarrant-Steedman said, “Every show is bigger and it is a bigger opportunity each time.”

They have met and played shows together before, but often Tarrant-Steedman DJ’s as RealTalK in Calgary, Alta. and Smithson DJ’s as RealTalK in Nelson, B.C.

The formation of RealTalK has benefitted both members.

Smithson said, “He’s always making new music, so whenever I hit a creative wall he’s always there to give me something to work on. We can feed off each other’s energy and not have to worry about always starting new things.”

Logan Turner, now 19, met Tarrant-Steedman when she was 13, and has been in a relationship with him for over a year and a half.

She has been to many of his shows and said, “I love watching him on stage so much. He just makes me really proud of him. When you watch him you can tell that he really loves it.”

“I definitely admire the way he interacts with the crowd and how involved he is in his work,” she added.

Chris Murphy, owner of Stoked On Photos, has been shooting events for over 3 years.

Tarrant-Steedman said that it was curiosity that drove him to explore electronic music. He has been producing music for over 3 years and started DJing just over a year ago.

Photo courtsey of Stoked On Photos“I love that I can capture the energy,” he said. He takes pride in the fact that he takes part in documenting the progression of electronic music, a scene that Tarrant-Steedman is quite active in.

“Robbie is really fun to take pictures of. He has an awesome stage presence,” he said.

What’s next

For the past six months Tarrant-Steedman has been focusing on producing music. He has just gotten a full-time job in order to help support himself.

Recently, he has made the decision to part ways with Smithson. But, he said that being a part of RealTalK has been one of the most important parts of his life so far.

Tarrant-Steedman has no plans to stop producing music. He is launching his solo project in the near future.

“I always just loved being able to create something. I’ve always used music as a way to do that,” he said.

dleonard@cjournal.ca