Robert Glasper was raised in Houston, Texas. His mother was his first and strongest musical influence. Mrs. Glasper not only played piano and sang gospel music in the family's church, she led a band that worked the city's jazz and blues club circuit as well. By the age of twelve, young Robert was playing piano in that church. "Gospel music is built on emotion and spirituality; you go to church and leave crying," he smiles. "It definitely just gave me that sensitivity and knowing how to reach people and knowing how to be in tune with your feelings and the emotion of the music.