POPTASTIC Rob Barker is aiming to reach the top of the charts in just one month – despite having no known musical talent.
The 23-year-old Sunderland University student has set himself the tough target as part of his dissertation into today’s manufactured pop industry.
After recording a single – Twilight – to be released around April 15, he is now in a whirlwind of styling, voice coaching, promotion and preparation for his debut gig at Glass Spider, in Green Terrace.
Rob, who hails from County Durham, says the idea behind his project is to see if someone with no musical background can be moulded into a pop star.
“I am making a 30-minute radio documentary to try and see if anyone can make it in the pop industry,” he explained.
“The likes of Jedward and the Cheeky Girls have done really well for themselves, although you wouldn’t necessarily say they have talent.
“I haven’t really got any musical background, apart from karaoke.
“I’m not a buff guy either, like the likes of Chico, but I want to see if the average person can do it without financial backing and a record label behind them.”
Pop song Twilight has been written and composed for Rob and recorded at Sunderland’s Bunker studio, Stockton Road, where it is being edited ahead of its release on iTunes.
In the meantime, Rob, who wants to be a TV presenter, is trying to create a buzz around the single’s release.
He has undergone photo shoots, assigned a manager and is designing a Facebook page to promote his brand of pop.
Rob will debut his single live at a gig at the Glass Spider, where he works part-time, on April 9.
The TV and Radio Production student, who will air his documentary on SparkFM, said: “Because I’m trying to do this as a manufactured artist, elements are given to me without my choice.
“I wouldn’t normally dress like this but the girls who styled me said this is the kind of thing JLS wear.
“I’m trying to live the life of a pop star I guess so I can tell the story and enlighten people.
“I’m doing this for charity so there’s no financial gain. I want to test the theory, rather than make a profit out of it.”
Up until a month ago, Rob had no experience of the music industry and had never sung in public aside from karaoke.
He says: “The likelihood is that this is impossible. But I want to see if I can defeat the odds. Never say never.
“I’m not going to lie if I do break the rules, I’ll be scared.
“I like a bit of attention but not to the intensity of a pop star, but I’ll take whatever comes.
“The pop industry is a game really, and I want to see if I can step into the game as a rookie and come out as a pro.”