Robyn Charles airs ‘dirty laundry’ at The Looney Bin

September 20, 2018

I’m child number 11!” said Robyn Charles after finishing one of the many video recordings for her new music video at The Looney Bin in Bradley this past Sunday night.

“I don’t even like singing my own songs over and over,” said Charles. “I like to sing them three times and be done with it.”

Fans of the late iconic musician Ray Charles might know some of his dirty laundry, but now his youngest daughter, 40-year-old Robyn Charles, of Chicago, is ready to tell her own truth.

This past Sunday night, Robyn showed up to The Looney Bin to film a music video for her brand new song, “Dirty Laundry.”

Everything sung by Charles in the song is from her true life experiences — from an ex burning through her cash to fathering a baby with her own sister.

The concept for the music video is for it to be seen as a live performance, with Charles singing on The Looney Bin stage, and incorporating her perspective in the shots, along with crowd perspectives.

Being raised on the west side of Chicago, Charles attended Columbia College in Chicago, where she received training in music business and management. Coming into her own musically, Charles found it hard to establish herself as an artist without people wanting her to be as good as her father.

“I don’t even know what that means, to be as good as my dad,” Charles said.

These lyrics in “Dirty Laundry” come from Charles’ real-life events.

“Life isn’t all rainbows and butterflies,” she said. “But I got to air out some of my dirty laundry, and I used the songwriting as therapy for myself.”

Emily Sifrit, fashion designer from Manteno and one of Charles’ stylists, provided the idea for the venue and Charles’ look for the video shoot.

“I saw photos and videos of The Looney Bin, and it just had the small, intimate and organic feel that I wanted,” Charles said.

“We talked about having a chill but edgy look for the video,” Sifrit said. “For jewelry, we’re gonna be mixing wood and metals with some tiger’s eye in there.”

Accompanied on stage by guitarist Matt Shipley, of the local band All The Cool Molecules, Charles sang over her track as Shipley only pretended to play the guitar, making music video magic happen right in front of The Looney Bin crowd.

Along with trying to avoid living up to the expectations to be as “good” as her father, Charles always receives the same unusual question when fans come up to meet her — if her dad really did feel the wrists of women to determine if he was interested in them or not.

“I don’t know,” she jokes. “I wasn’t there!”

As for her upcoming album?

“I was hoping for it to drop this month, but there’s always a glitch in the matrix,” Charles said. “Hopefully, it’ll be released at the top of 2019.”

That album release will correlate with a “Dirty Laundry” tour.

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