Fri, Oct 15, 2010
By Emelie Krugly | Photos: Courtesy of Toast Press
Swedish pop phenomenon Robyn has done it again: not only is she celebrating 15 successful years as an artist, but she is doing so impressively by releasing a trilogy of albums: Body Talk Pt. 1, 2 and 3. The first album’s lead single “Dancing on My Own” is already a hit single worldwide, reaching the UK Top 10.
Robyn became known in the mid-nineties for her international dance-pop hits “Show Me Love” and “Do You Know (What It Takes)” from her debut album ‘Robyn Is Here’, which went platinum in the US in 1998.
I remember the girls at my high school jealously predicting that this young blond girl with her breakthrough single “Do you really want me” would be a one hit wonder and soon forgotten. But how wrong they were, as there was definitely something special about this girl with her honest and sometimes brutally personal lyrics combined with an experimental style. She quickly created a stir worldwide and has been continuously successful ever since.
In 2007, Robyn’s hit single “With Every Heartbeat” achieved mainstream success, racing straight to No.1 on the UK Singles Chart.
“It was an incredible experience,” says Robyn, who admits that it came as a complete surprise. “Although I was very pleased when I finished recording ‘With Every Heartbeat’, I was aware that it was a complex track that perhaps was not for everyone. That goes to show that the Brits have a very special character; they love and embrace dance music and have a very strong clubbing culture, so it obviously meant a lot to have a hit there.”
“This was also the year I set up my own record label, Konichiwa Records, in London, so the UK means a lot to me in many ways,” she adds. Konichiwa Records was created with the aim of firmly liberating Robyn artistically. “It was an exciting period of my life and has given me the freedom to work in a different way without constraints.” I managed to catch the busy 31-year-old Robin Miriam Carlsson for a chat over the phone, while she was touring in Trondheim, Norway. “I love performing in Scandinavia, in particular Sweden, of course. But recently Denmark and Norway have embraced me as if I was their own, it’s kind of sweet,” she says.
Road to fame
In the last fifteen years a lot has happened for this extraordinary Swede; not only has she set up her own record label, but she also performed as the supporting act for Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008. In January 2009 she won a Swedish Grammy Award for Best Live Act 2008. Robyn also sang backing vocals on Britney Spears’s 2007 single “Piece of Me“. On her latest album, Body Talk Pt. 2, she duets with American rapper Snoop Dogg. But Robyn is as humble as ever when she talks about her accolades; laidback is not word enough to describe her.
She grew up travelling with her touring and acting parents around Sweden. She never performed herself but believes that watching it all happen from backstage did have an impact and made her who she is today.
“I remember listening to David Bowie on the tour bus; it had a huge impact on me. I felt very safe growing up surrounded by a lot of adults. It built my confidence to believe in myself and that is something I thank my parents for today, although there was no pressure from their side that I had to perform or follow in their footsteps.”
Body Talk Pt. 1 was released in June 2010 and consists of nine tracks. It is her first album since Robyn (2005).
“It made sense to record three albums instead of one, and it was a personal wish for me to be able to spend a greater amount of time in the studio,” Robyn says. “People are consuming music in a different way these days. If you look back twenty years ago, an album only consisted of nine tracks, so you could say that I have both looked back and then taken a step forward, meaning that I’ve been brave enough to introduce a different concept. But it has also been a logical decision that suited my situation of wanting to work in a new way which turned out to be very inspiring.
“It’s always exciting to release a new album, but I’m not as stressed about it these days, the nerves have rubbed off with experience,” she concludes.
Body Talk Pt. 2 was released on 6 September 2010 in the UK. Body Talk Pt. 3 is expected to be released in December 2010. Robyn is also performing at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London on Friday the 22nd of October.
For more information visit www.robyn.com