Wannabe Rob makes debut performance

TV Production student Rob Barker is on a mission to become a pop star in just a month.
TV Production student Rob Barker is on a mission to become a pop star in just a month.
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WANNABE star Rob Barker fought back his nerves to perform his first gig as part of his manufactured pop project.

The 23-year-old Sunderland University student is aiming to be a pop star in one month, despite having no musical training or talent, as part of his dissertation into the fickle nature of the pop music industry.

As part of his plan to become a pop star, Rob took to the stage at the Glass Spider, Sunderland city centre, where he works part-time, for his first ever gig.

Single Twilight, which has been specially written for Rob’s Manufacture Me project, is also on You Tube where it has received nearly 500 hits in a few days.

Rob, who revealed his project in the Echo last month, said: “I’m normally a confident guy, but I was genuinely nervous. I even got the shakes.

“Everyone was really supportive though and loads of people came down to support me. I felt like a bit of a pop star afterwards because people were coming up to me.”

Rob, who is donating any proceeds from his single to Help for Heroes, added: “The project has caused a bit of controversy and not everyone understands why I’m doing it. I’m not intending to mock the music industry as a whole, or people with genuine talent, just the manufactured side.

“I want to see if a normal person like me, with no training or record label backing, can make it.”

Manufacture Me is part of Rob’s dissertation for his TV and radio production course at Sunderland University.

As part of the project he is putting together a radio documentary for community station, Spark FM.

Since setting himself the mission to become a pop star in a month Rob has undertaken voice coaching, styling sessions and has carried out promotional work to plug Twilight which will be released on iTunes on April 19.

Rob, from County Durham, who wants to be a TV presenter when he graduates, said: “Since people have read the articles written about me, they’ve been bugging me about hearing the single. Everyone’s been so supportive and my tutors love the idea. They are pleased I’m taking the project so seriously.”

To hear Rob’s single log onto www.sunderlandecho.com

Twitter: @SunechoKaty