After years of playing with local bands, Milwaukee musician Roman Edirisinghe has decided to record a solo disc – as Roman Rising – based on the music he's absorbed during his unusual life's journey.
To make it a reality, Edirisinghe has launched a Kickstarter campaign to that he explains in a video at the link above. Hoping to raise $5,000, Edirisinghe has – at the time of writing – garnered $3,662 from 117 backers with five days to go.
Edirisinghe was born in Moscow and lived in Sri Lanka, Germany and Sri Lanka again before relocating with his family to Milwaukee, where he has spent most of the past 25 years.
These travels have exposed him to a wide variety of music, from folk to punk to reggae to Latin, Russian and Sri Lankan music and more.
If you've seen his work with One Drum, De La Buena, Urban Empress and the UrbanItes, Tristan Royalty Squad and Sindoolaa, you've already seen him in action.
Among the goodies that pledgers can claim are downloads of the music, autographed CDs, original artwork by Edirisinghe, home-cooked Sri Lankan food, unreleased demos and more.
Kick in a few bucks before 10:50 p.m. on Jan. 7 and help him show what he's got as a solo artist, too.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.