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Presented by OG vodka baddies themselves, Smirnoff are this month featuring Naarm-based singer/songwriter, Robert Baxter, as our LGBTQIA+ identifying, culture creating, emerging artist of the month!
Yep, the famed vodka favourite, and subsequent masterminds behind the new ‘Smirnoff Soda’ range (that’s available in three fruity flavours, made with real fruit juice!), and ‘Smirnoff Hard Soda’ (these ones are low in sugar, lower in calories, 6% ABV and pack full on flavour) have decided to use this ad space to instead promote an emerging LGBTQIA+ local musician.
It’s a big vodka soda slay, celebrating those LGBTQIA+ icons who desire to create the backing track to your most iconic memories.
So next time you’re en route to a big gay gig, having the gals and the gays round for a drink, or meeting a ferociously fabulous someone at the bar, feel free to grab yourself an equally fabulous Smirnoff Soda.
In Naarm/Melbourne, one name is creating ripples in the world of creativity: Robert Baxter (they/them). A true renaissance artist, Robert seamlessly transitions between roles as a singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actor, and mentor for budding talent.
Growing up in Shepperton, Robert’s journey into music began at 16, and now – at just 23 – they’re already well on their way to become a household name.
They fondly recall writing their first ‘real song’ when their two favourite teachers encouraged them to enter into a song writing competition they’d organised.
“That was when I first started writing music…and I’ve been writing ever since!”
Initially Robert’s music struggled to find an audience, feeling more like an expensive hobby than a profession, though everything changed last year after relocating to Naarm, igniting a new chapter in their musical journey.
What inspires their music? For Robert, music is a mirror reflecting their emotions. Their art is fuelled by raw, unfiltered feelings mixed with their youthful freedom to experiment.
“My main inspiration is emotion. Whenever I feel something emotional, that’s when I start writing. If I go through a breakup, or I meet someone new, or any big moment in my life, that’s what inspires my writing.”
In their latest offering, Tokyo, they transcend the conventional boundaries of music, turning it into a poignant message for a friend struggling with their inner demons.
Robert shares the heartfelt origin of the song, saying, “my best friend was having a rough time mentally, so I wanted to write a beautiful letter to him, just to let him know that my life won’t be as good without him.”
Robert is defined by his unwavering work ethic. In five years, they envision a future filled with international recognition, stating, “one thing I can really praise about myself is my work ethic. I’m determined to keep working hard, and I can see myself building on this, going international, touring and so much more. It’s going to be great.”
Exciting times lie ahead as Robert continues to captivate audiences with their music. Their upcoming single, Blue, is set to be released on October 11th, accompanied by a ~spooky~ music video.
To support Robert Baxter, follow them on Instagram @robertbaxtr and stream their latest single on your fave streaming platform.
ROBERT’S QUICK FIRE FAVES
Q. FAVE QUEER EVENT IN AUSTRALIA?
A. Midsummer Festival
Q. FAVE LGBTQIA+ VENUE?
A. Yah Yah’s
Q. FAVE SMIRNOFF SODA?
A. Smirnoff Yuzu Citrus Burst Hard Soda
This article was written in (paid) partnership with Smirnoff, an LGBTQIA+ inclusive brand that supports A Modern Gay’s Guide’s free LGBTQIA+ offering.