OK fellas, Valentine's Day is less than a week away and you know what that means: It's time to take wifey out for a romantic flick and get the slow jam playlist ready. Luckily for you, actor/singer Keith Robinson has both bases covered. He's starring as "Captain Stone" in this past weekend's release of the romantic war film Dear John (a.k.a. the flick that knocked Avatar out of the box office no. 1 spot), and he's an accomplished R&B singer as well.
You may remember Robinson as C.C. White from the 2006 Oscar and Grammy award-winning film Dreamgirls, where he performed alongside Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy. Robinson is also recording his studio album Utopia, which features the singles "Gurl" and "DJ Lady" currently available on iTunes. The versatile Kentucky native spoke with Complex about his experiences in the industry and lists five of his favorite R&B albums...
Marvin Gaye What's Going On (1971)
• "This just has a really soulful feel to it. It also was conscious, covering a lot of issues 'going on' in society at the time. Marvin is one of my favorite artists of all-time."
Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
• "A classic, definitely one of my favorites. Soulful with a bit of funk. He was actually with me for the release of my iTunes single 'Gurl,' it was truly an honor. Stevie Wonder is a big musical influence of mine."
Michael Jackson Thriller (1982)
• "Thriller. You don't really really have to say much more. I love that album."
D'Angelo Brown Sugar (1995)
• "This album was just a great fusion of R&B, soul and hip-hop."
Mary J. Blige Share My World (1997)
• "A real album that you could just feel. Another great mix of some of my favorite genres: soul, R&B, and a bit of hip-hop."
Complex: Which came first acting or singing?
Keith: Singing. I've been singing for about as long as I can remember. I was actually signed to Motown before starring in any films or TV series. I love them both but singing came first.
Complex: What's been your most memorable experience in the industry so far?
Keith: Performing "Patience" with the cast of Dreamgirls at the Academy Awards, it was really an honor and an amazing experience.
Complex: If there's one actor you could work with on your next project, who would it be?
Keith: I'd have to say Denzel Washington. I have a huge appreciation for his skills as an actor and what he brings to films.
Complex: How would you describe your upcoming album Utopia?
Keith: It's definitely a really soulful R&B album with a bit of hip-hop in there.
Complex: Who would you say are your musical influences?
Keith: I'm a huge Stevie Wonder fan and also love listening to Michael Jackson. In addition to them, Jodeci has had a big influence on me as well.
Complex: So when you're not listening to R&B, you're probably listening to hip-hop?
Keith: Yeah, I'm a big hip-hop fan too. As far as current rap artists go, I've been listening to Jay-Z a lot.
VIDEO: Dear John Trailer