Italian musician Robert Concinaーbetter known as Robert Miles first rose to international stardom with his smash hit, Children (1995). Born in Switzerland, he grew to love music as a child, often listening to music from several soul artists. Later moving back to Italy at the age of ten, Miles took up piano, an instrument that he quickly mastered. By the time he was thirteen, he began DJing a number of parties at local house parties. Carrying on with his passion and hobby, he later adopted the stage name of Robert Milani and started to spin regular hardcore trance in several clubs around the Venice area in the 80’s. At the age of twenty one, he used the savings that he had earned from performing to establish his own recording studio; he also subsequently built a pirate radio station. In 1994, Miles penned a trance piece on acoustic guitar which incorporated various soft synthesizer effects; with a little more work, it eventually developed into his first single, Children (1995).
Although initial sales were slow, the single later began flying off store shelves; within just two weeks, it managed to sell over 350,000 copies in all of Europe. A chart topper in several different countries including his native Italy, it garnered Miles much newfound fame as a musician. Since it was originally released, it has gone Platinum in five Switzerland, France, New Zealand, the UK, and Germany. Not long afterward, the artist released his debut studio album entitled, Dreamland in the summer of 1996. Another big success for Miles, it further boosted his fame in the music world. Since then, he has released five more full-length albums including Dreamland (Limited Winter Edition) (1996), 23am (1997), Organik (2001), Miles_Gurtu (2004), and Th1rt3en (2011). Aside from Children, some of his most popular tracks include Fable, One and One (Feat. Maria Nayler), Freedom, Full Moon, and Paths (Feat. Nina Miranda).
The winner of numerous accolades including a Brit Award for “Best International Male Newcomer” and a World Music Award for “Best Selling Male Newcomer”, Miles’ music has been featured in several popular TV shows over the years including Top of the Pops (1996), Call Girl (1997), City of Ghosts (2002), Electric Dreams (2009), and (2013). Outside of music, he has also dabbled briefly in acting. In 1982, he made his television debut in an episode of the western drama, Father Murphy; he later appeared in the TV film, Little House: Look Back to Yesterday in 1983. A couple of decades later, Miles made his feature film debut in the sci-fi horror, Snake Island (2002). Since then, he has also appeared in a few episodes of the family comedy, Unfabulous (2004).
What has the award-winning musician of Italian-origin been up to recently? Is he still recording in his studio? If not, what are some of his latest endeavours? What happened to Robert Miles? Where is he now in 2018?
Robert Miles’ Early Life and Music Beginnings
Born on November 3, 1969 in Fleurier, Switzerland, Robert Miles (Birth Name: Roberto Concina) is the son of Albino Concina and Antonietta Lauro, both of whom were Italian immigrants. After spending many years in Switzerland, he moved back to Italy at the age of eleven with his family, settling down in Fagagna.
Having developed a keen interest in music, Miles often listened to American soul music of the 70’s as a teen. Wanting to get involved in the scene himself, he later took up piano at the age of eleven, an instrument that he quickly became proficient at. By the time he was thirteen, Miles was known in town for DJing at a number of local house parties. Continuing to DJ, he later became a regular figure in the Venice trance scene during the 80’s, having adopted the stage name of Robert Milani.
With the savings that he had earned from his performances, he eventually established a basic recording studio for himself, complete with a sampler, keyboard, digital board and a mixer. During that time, he also worked in several private radio networks. In 1994, the aspiring musician penned a trance piece called Children which featured soft synthesizer effects and acoustic guitar; after a little more work, it was released as his first professional single under Deconstruction Records in the UK (Arista Records in the US). Although initial sales were slow, it gradually picked up and by the end of the second week, had sold over 350,000 copies across all of Europe. By 1997, Children had sold well over 5,000,000 copies worldwide, and gone Platinum in multiple countries. Now considered to be a Trance classic, the song garnered Miles several awards including a Brit Award, and a World Music Award for “Best Selling Male Newcomer”.
Under the same label, he soon began working on his debut studio album, which would later be revealed to be called Dreamland.
Robert Miles’ Career as a Recording Artist Throughout the Years
On June 10, 1996, Miles came out with his debut studio album entitled Dreamland in Europe; it was released in the United States a month later. Produced by the artist himself, the trance album came with ten tracks, all of whichーexcept for One and Oneーfeatured Miles as the writer. Some of the memorable titles from the album include Princess of Light, In the Dawn, Landscape, Children, Fantasya, and Red Zone. At the end of the year, another version of the album was released in storesーDreamland: The Winter Edition. In contrast to the standard edition, it contained two additional pieces, One and One and For Us.
A successful debut, the album peaked at number seven in his native UK shortly after its released. Outside of the United Kingdom, it also charted in Canada, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria, among other countries. Warmly received by contemporary critics, Dreamland garnered near perfect scores from Allmusic, Q Magazine and CD Universe. Eventually going on to spawn three singles, two of which ended up being certified in the UK, the album has since sold over 600,000 copies in the country. In the United States, it has received Gold accreditation from the RIAA.
The following year, Miles dropped his second full length album, 23am also under Deconstruction Records. Recorded in Paris, the album included four vocal songs that were originally written in Italian and later translated into English. Featuring more complex arrangements than his debut effort, it incorporated sounds from real instruments such as the trumpet and saxophone in addition to synthesizers. Structured like pop songs, the music was generally considered to be much less beat-driven. Once again produced by Miles, the album came with eleven tracks including Flying Away, Leaving Behind…, Heatwave, Everyday Life, A New Flower, and Freedomーall of which were written by Miles. Amongst the track-list were also a few numbers that featured Kathy Sledge, Nancy Daino, and Barbara Prunas.
Although 23am didn’t end up charting in the UK, it did peak within the top thirty in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands where it reached number twenty nine, twenty eight and twenty three respectively. Noted as being less dance-oriented and more artistic than its predecessor, it was given a three star rating from Q Magazine and All Music. 2am eventually produced three singles, Full Moon, Everyday Life and Freedomーthe last of which featured fellow singer, Kathy Sledge.
After that, it wasn’t until the summer of 2001ーover four years laterーthat the Italian artist released his third full length album, Organik. His first independent album with Salt Records, the style of its contents is drastically different than that of his earlier releases. Composed and arranged in 1999, Miles recorded the album over a period of seventeen months in a London studio. Over an hour in length, it boasted twelve tracks including Endless, Trance Shapes, Connections, Release Me, It’s All Coming Back, Separation, and Endless. Aside from Paths, all of the album’s contents were written by the artist himself.
While Organik did not chart, the critical reception that it received was generally positive. For instance, Rick Anderson writing for Allmusic have it a four star rating, praising the hints of trance exotica in its melodically enticing tracks. Other publications such as the Alternative Press and Q Magazine also gave it favourable scores. His last album to spawn individual singles, Organik gave rise to Paths (Feat. Nina Miranda), Improvisations: Part 2, Connections, and Pour the Parler (remixes).
Three years later, Miles came out with his fourth studio album, Miles_Gurtu on February 10, 2004. His second release with Salt Records, it is unique in that it is a collaboration effort with Trilok Gurtu, an Indian Jazz percussionist whom the artist met while he was working on his last album. As such, it features a gamut of styles, including many jazz-oriented pieces. Consisting of a thirteen-song track list, the album included Languages of Conscious Thought, Without a Doubt, Small World, Inductive, The Big Picture, Wearing Masks, Soul Driven, and Golden Rustーall of which were composed by Miles and Gurtu.
Although it didn’t match the success of his earlier albums released during his peak years, the general consensus for Miles_Gurtu was positive. For instance, Q Magazine lauded Gurtu’s “emphatic drumming”, and gave it a four out of five star rating; similarly, critics at Allmusic also gave the album four stars. Miles_Gurtu is the artist’s first album not to spawn any independent singles.
Following the collaboration with Gurtu, Miles took a prolonged seven-year break prior to returning with his fifth album, Thirteen on February 7, 2011. A blend of progressive and alternative rock, it boasted thirteen instrumental compositionsーwhich gave rise to its title. Produced by the musician himself, the first half of the album explored a jazzy approach, while the latter half features more progressive sounds; some of the titles from the disc include Voices from a Submerged Sea, Miniature World, Everything or Nothing, Orchid Miracle, Nonsense, and The Wolf.
Upon its release, Thirteen received mostly positive reviews from fans and critics; for instance, the music websites MusicOMH and Allmusic gave the album a four star and a three and a half star rating respectively. Having said that, there were some less-than-favourable ratings from sources such as Guardian UK, who for example gave it a two star rating.
What’s Robert Miles Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
From the looks of things, it would appear that Miles has put music behind him to focus on another passion of his, radioーsomething that he’d been involved with ever since the 90’s. In 2012, the artist founded his own online FM alternative radio station called OpenLab on 106.4, which broadcasts from Ibiza. According to their slogan, they are a “cutting-edge station that brings together technology, media, innovation, arts and culture”. Just last summer, Miles held an opening party at Heart Ibiza alongside Nathan Fake and Andy Baxter, which drew in a large audience. For more information, you can visit the station’s official website at openlab.fm/events.
If you’d like to stay up to date and connected with the Italian record producer and musician, you can do so by following him on social mediaーyou can find him on Facebook at @robertmilespage or on Youtube at @suitablyalternative.