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Some choices take a while to make.


It’s been three years since I came out of the closet to my closest friends, articulating that I don’t often feel like a man, and that I’d feel most comfortable using they/them pronouns in place of he/him.


In this time, I’ve tried out other names. “Robert” was shortened to “Rob”, then lengthened out into “Robot”, then “Robot X”. 

Eventually, I stumbled across “Rili” [pronounced like Riley]. This name phonetically felt light, and was spelled in a way that felt unique to myself.


Even though I introduce myself as Rili in most settings, the musical project I began under the name Robert X. Newman still feels relevant, and still feels like something someone named Robert X. Newman would write. Will I change it Rili X. Newman sometime soon? Probably.


Robert X. Newman is someone who is searching for something- an identity, a sense of connection, a self-accepting love that can only come from within.

Their music is both a soundtrack and an inner monologue as Robert traverses the landscape of Alaska, the stoops and bodegas of New York City, the inner realms of the mind, and personal relationships both fleeting and lifelong.

Daydreamer EP


The Daydreamer EP was Robert X. Newman's Debut EP. 

self-produced during the summer of 2020, the projects evolved from simple guitar/vocal arrangements to multi layered tracks, including string arrangements, layers of vocals, mandolin, and more. Found sounds such as rain on water, a dog collar, eagle calls, and children in an NYC park create background ambiance and soundscapes.

Hundreds of layers were recorded from makeshift studios with a Bluebird SL microphone and a Scarlett solo interface. They were mixed on a MacBook Pro that needed to sit on an ice pack to prevent overheating!

The Daydreamer EP was featured on The Eliza Monologues music blog by  Autumn Eliza Sheffy, and is regularly performed live in Brooklyn and NYC with a full band. You can read more about it, including guest features and credits HERE!