The Songbird’s Struggle to Success: The Robin Barnes Story

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Some people were born to sing!  That couldn’t be more true for Robin Barnes.  There’s a reason why she’s called “The Songbird of New Orleans.”  With her career taking off, the world is her stage.  But how much do you know about the local singer?  News With A Twist reporter Deepak Saini got to know the woman behind the voice.

Robin Barnes is known around town as…

Robin laughs, “I am the songbird of New Orleans.

Her vocal range goes as low as Etta James to as high as Mariah Carey.  Her voice celebrated, she even impressed us on our Twist stage, it’s the reason why she’s one of the star attractions at the Windsor Court Hotel and the Hotel Monteleone.

“When I was a child my dad was like, okay, Robin definitely has to be a singer.  My mom was like ah, no, no, no, let’s focus on business and education, let’s do that side of things,” says Robin.

But success for this songbird didn’t come easy.

“Oh! So many no’s! So many no’s! More like, who’s your mama? Who’s your daddy? Who’s your family? Do they play? My family was more in church so I couldn’t be like oh, My dad is Kermit Ruffins,” says Robin.

No one would hire her.

“If you can’t get a gig, it’s disheartening, it’s like, what’s wrong with me? Am I not a good singer?  Am I not a performer? What’s wrong with me that I can’t get a shot?” says Robin.

Often times, the struggling singer sang for free, hoping someone would notice her talent.

Robin says, “I was so hungry for gigs, I was doing whatever the places wanted me to do and forgot who’s Robin.”

Finally, one day, her first big break.

“I sang my heart out, even if there was only one person in the room, and she came up to me and said the Hotel Montelone is looking for someone new,” says Robin.

The hotel signed Robin right up.  In the years since, she’s drawn crowds and her popularity has soared.  She’s a favorite at local festivals and she’s incredibly popular in Europe, booking pristine gigs in places like France.  One of her biggest accomplishments?  Releasing her first EP.

“I had a big party for it and I was so happy.  I feel like I told 10 people and 300 showed up,” Robin laughs.

Robin comes off as confident and outgoing, so you’d never guess…

“I am super shy.  I’m that quiet mouse.  If something’s wrong, I’m not going to be the one that says it,” laughs Robin.

So what happens when you force this shy songbird to surprise someone with a serenade?

(Robin sings for guest)

It was worth the risk, making someone’s day, with a voice you simply cannot forget.

To learn more about Robin Barnes and her music, visit:  robinbarnesmusic.com

Robin’s Schedule:

Wednesdays:  Roosevelt Hotel, 5:30pm-8:30pm

Thursdays: Windsor Court Hotel, 5pm-8pm

Fridays: Hotel Monteleone, 5pm-8pm & Windsor Court Hotel, 9pm-12am

Saturdays: Windsor Court Hotel, 9pm-12am