A native of Drumcondra, Dublin, Arkins has been a professional musician from the age of 15, He left school at 17 to front his band, Housebroken. He is a vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who counts piano, bass and trumpet in his repertoire. Housebroken won the Sunday World Bandslam competition in 1988, after only having been established for three months.
With no prior acting experience, Arkins heard of the filming of The Commitments from his sister. Following seven auditions, Arkins was cast as "Deco Cuffe", the band's lead singer, but was replaced in that role after Parker discovered newcomer Andrew Strong. Despite not featuring as a singer in the film Arkins did provide lead vocals for two tracks – Treat Her Right and Slip Away – on the accompanying soundtrack album. Following the release of The Commitments Arkins moved back into music and signed a record deal with MCA Records in 1993, although he did not finish recording the consequent album.
He has composed and produced work for a number of commercial clients, television projects, and for two short films. In 1998, he did briefly return to acting, in a short film entitled What Are You Looking At? In 2011, he joined fellow various cast members from The Commitments to perform a series of concerts across Ireland, to celebrate the film's 20th anniversary. This was followed by three dates in the UK in 2012.
- Wolf, Matt (9 August 1991). "Irish Robert Arkins finds fame after making his debut in movie". Reading Eagle. p. A9.
- Gaffney, Caitriona (27 February 2011). ""They shouldn't be calling themselves The Commitments", Roddy Doyle's surprise blast: 'They're not a band, that was all just acting'". Mail Online. Retrieved 23 September 2013.
- Milton, Stephen (2 October 2016). "He said it once and said it loud… So what became of Jimmy Rabbitte?". Irish Independent. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
- Schoemer, Karen (18 August 1991). "A Film Pursues the Redemptive Power of Rock-and-Roll". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Kendall, Paul (29 September 2013). "Whatever happened to The Commitments?". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD liner). The Commitments. Geffen Records. 13 August 1991.
- "Artist Profile: Robert Arkins". My Music Source. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Martin, Paul (26 November 2001). "Soul searching 10 years on". The Mirror.
- "Whatever happened to the other stars of the Commitments?". Independent.ie. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
- McHarrie, Emma (5 September 2011). "The Commitments Reunion Tour 2012". Click Liverpool. Archived from the original on 19 January 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
|This Irish biographical article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|