Artist Profile: Nygel D. Robinson

Artist Profile: Nygel D. Robinson

Nygel D. Robinson, the Music Director for HOMECOMING, zaps APTP with his multidisciplinary, generative, and generous spirit.

Since arriving in Chicago in May, Nygel has been busy: mentoring APTP’s teen musicians, creating new songs in collaboration with the ensemble, layering percussive beats onto movement, conducting voice lessons, hyping up the team, and spreading his infectious energy through HOMECOMING rehearsals.

In exchange, Nygel says, “The lessons I’m learning from these kids are, in my opinion, more valuable than anything I can teach them about music. Each day I’m learning to be more compassionate, empathetic, and emotionally open.”

As an all-round creative – a musician, composer, performer, instrumentalist – Nygel has been playing piano since he was seven; he has been singing since before he could speak. Now, he has mastered more instruments than you can name. He regularly experiments with music technology like looping, which he is using to create a new musical.

Nygel’s influences range from the gospel music at the church where he grew up in La Grange, North Carolina, to the old-school musical theater that he studied at UNC Pembroke, to rap, hip hop, and R&B giants whose poetry and politics shape contemporary life.

Most importantly, Nygel’s greatest influence is his family. He creates and performs to honor the musicians who came before him – his Uncle Norris, his cousin Vincent – whose lives were cut short or dreams never fulfilled.

With the aspirations of his ancestors on his shoulders, Nygel is ready to change Chicago through his music. “I see now why I stumbled into APTP back in the fall of 2021,” he says. “I’ve found a beautiful little artistic home at APTP and I’m looking forward to creating with these wonderful folks.”

Book your tickets now for HOMECOMING to experience in person the music the APTP ensemble has created in collaboration with Nygel.

Listen to Nygel’s latest release, a memorial to his grandmother.

Profile by Devika Ranjan