Rostafa: Behind the Scenes

The Montclair Dispatch caught up with Montclair State University graduate Rostafa and interviewed him about his passions.

Photo courtesy of Dave Blinder.

Interview with MSU 2015 Graduate Rostafa.

Rostafa (Robert Wilson), is on the path to much success in both the field of music and stage/film. A class of 2015 graduate of Montclair State University will do the school proud. The Montclair Dispatch caught up with Rostafa to get some more insight.


How did you become interested in playing the guitar?

I got my first guitar when I was seven years old, but I never used it! I didn’t pick it up until I was 17. In school, I played when I was 10 years old! I played tenor sax for 4 years, Baritone for 2 years and alto sax as well.

How long have you been playing guitar?

6 years! And harmonica for 4 years.

How did you become interested in playing the guitar?

Richie Havens! I started playing guitar on my lap. I slowly began to lift the guitar so I could play it correctly.

When did you actually begin playing the guitar?

When I was 17 years old.

Who are some of your musical influences?

Richie Havens, Bob Dillon, the Band, Elton John, Ray Charles, Bob Marley and many others.

Where did you attend High School?

West Orange High School.

What brand name of guitar do you prefer?

Guild D 40-acoustic/electric, Fender Stratocaster, Hollow body guitars and Harmonicas: Blues King Johnson and Suzuki.

Do you like playing the acoustic more, or the electric?

I am still learning electric frequencies, however, I started on the acoustic. I am willing to learn all sides of the spectrum.

Do you consider yourself a singer/songwriter?

Yes! And an all-around performer! I view myself as an ongoing growing seeker as a singer/songwriter while still growing.

What draws you to open mics? And do you feel it is part of growing as a musician?

Knowledge, crafting! Playing for my life! The audience is very important.

What do you think is the current state of the open-mic scene?

Beneficiary; the most important thing to an artist is growth.

Do you have a favorite open-mic that you like?

Trend, Hat City Kitchen, Maywood Inn and Tierney’s.

How did you acquire the name Rostafa?

I always have been keen about hidden meanings; it is a stage name! It means chosen happiness.

You recently graduated from Montclair State University, what was your major?

I got my B.A. in Theatre Studies.

Do you feel that music will or can play a role in your development as an actor?

It always has!

Do you prefer musicals or dramatic acting?

Both are equally significant.

Were you active in theatrical productions in high school? And what productions are some of the productions that you appeared in, in high school and college?

Yes! From day one, I started acting in middle school. In high school, I was in Rent, The Outsiders, Cabaret and Arsenic and Old Lace. In college, I was in The Persians and Rent on campus and Redemption off campus.

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