Life and work
Though electronica has typically been a producer's medium (and the few vocalists who succeed are usually women), Robert Owens became one of the people associated with the late-'80s golden era of Chicago house. Born in Ohio in 1961, Robert Owens grew up singing in church, but years later, he was working as a DJ in 1985, when he met Chicago producer Larry Heard. The pair formed Fingers Inc., along with Ron Wilson, and they released a few singles ("You're Mine"/"It's Over") plus the 1988 full-length "Another Side". The group disbanded quickly, as Heard's burgeoning solo-production career (as Mr. Fingers) took priority.Robert Owens had already released recordings on his own - "Bring Down the Walls" and "I'm Strong" made for Alleviated (with production from Heard), and he signed a solo contract with 4th & B'way Records. His 1990 album Rhythms in Me
lost visibility soon after within the quickly disintegrating Chicago house scene. (One of his best-known features of the late 1980s, the epic house moment "Tears" appeared with the names of Frankie Knuckles and producer Satoshi Tomiie.)By 1996, he had returned to dance music with "Ordinary People": a two-part EP recording for Musical Directions. He joined up with Tomiie (again) and Cevin Fisher in 1999, to make a track from Tomiie's Full Lick
LP. One year later, in 2000, Robert Owens appeared on the Photek hit "Mine to Give".In 2003, he joined with drum and bass act London Elektricity to provide the vocals for their album Billion Dollar Gravy
.He collaborated with Coldcut on their album Sound Mirrors
, on the track "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" in 2006.He collaborated with Rob Pearson on single "Escape from the Madness" which was released on Plastic City in 2007In 2011, he collaborated with the Brookes Brothers on their single entitled 'Beautiful' which was released on the Breakbeat Kaos label.Later on in the same year he collaborated with Dutch drum and bass producer Icicle, and featured on the tracks 'Step Forward' and 'Redemption', which appeared on Icicle's debut album 'Under the Ice' released 25/04/11 on Shogun Audio.In 2013 he released the single "Trusting Me" taken from the vocal collaboration album "Features" by Kris Menace. The video of the single was premiered by MTV Iggy in the US.
In October 2004, “I’ll be Your Friend” appeared in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
, playing on the house-music radio station SF-UR.