“I’m Robyn, I make music and I like robots.”
Before this article goes any further, it should be made known like a disclaimer that this writer is a slightly obsessive, stalking fanatic of the following female artiste who goes by the name of Robyn, and will do his utmost in bringing across a justifiable and unbiased article piece without screaming/ stamping too much “I love you!” intentional messages all over. That is, only consciously of course.*
* – Subconsciously though, is not guaranteed.
MEJA, MAX MARTIN & EARLIER DAYS OF WORK
It may take a little more than just one’s private emotion to remember who this artiste is, but one may recall the Ricky Martin smash (which is also a cover) from way back in 2000. Yes, she is the female featured vocalist on that song. Part of Robyn’s earlier music journey was attributed by this exact artiste through a school musical workshop visit which got her initial sign-on to a record label (her performance of a song about her parents’ divorce written at the age of 11 won and caught Meja’s attention), leading to collaborative efforts with Max Martin – a renowned producer/ songwriter for your average successful mainstream pop songs (such as Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life” to Britney Spears’ “… Baby One More Time” to a string of Backstreet Boys’ numbers). Prior to the beginning of her music career at 16, with the influence of actor parents and that of growing up in a creative environment, Robyn dived headfirst into theatre and film voiceover work at a tender age.
“I’ve been able to create my own audience that’s not depending on record sales or whether I am on the radio or not, which is amazing and that is indie, but I would never define myself as an indie artiste because I think that I still make pop music and it’s very mainstream in a way.”
KONICHIWA RECORDS, BITCHES!
With her clinching on a major record deal, hits like “Show Me Love” and “Do You Know (What It Takes)” were proven successful commercially, breaking into the mainstream American market and reaching top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and beyond internationally. Amidst global success and growing attention drawn on this Swedish export, she suffered and was diagnosed with exhaustion, had to cancel out her opening act support for The Backstreet Boys’ 1997 tour, and returned swiftly to her home ground for the road to recovery.
“Who’s That Girl?” – a song worked on and produced together with Swedish experimental electronic duo The Knife, Robyn decided to lead her own direction and game for a more electro-pop direction that stayed truthful to herself, while in the meantime straying away from the major record label management’s expectations.
Agitated with much restrictions and regulations at self-expression and releasing material that truly mattered to oneself, Robyn set out to do what she does best – to lead her own story, success in her very own way. This was accomplished through the birth and creation of her own record label, Konichiwa Records, to release exclusively and only her own music (then**), as well with the aim to propel herself artistically, pushing as much boundaries and knocking down obstacles as she would encounter along the way.
** – proving herself as an entrepreneur and savvy business-minded woman, Robyn recently announced (on Valentine’s Day 2014) the debut signing of an artiste named Zhala under her Konichiwa Records label.
“I decided to start my label because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do; it was really simple. It was a really frustrating situation and I was trying to make music that I thought maybe other people would have the guts to release, but I couldn’t really go all the way and I just found myself, censuring myself all the time.”
COBRASTYLE (HER STYLE IS THE BOMB, DIDI BOM, DI DENG, GI DENG, DIGI DIGI)
On looking out into the audience and seeing all different types of people out there, of “goths, gays, hipsters and nerdy white men”:
“I always get really happy when I see that because that’s how I look at the world. I’m interested in all these differences/ the different kinds of people there are – I’m just happy that’s what I’m attracting.”
Style is never a compromise for someone like Robyn. Ever-varying haircuts that may mislead and confuse audiences into wrongful deriving at her sexual orientation, backed with a trendy, steadfast and loud (but never too loud in an annoying mannerism, never ever) fashion sense that spells and spills originality, personality and creativity, she is never one to be boring and of expectancy. From her head to her toes, she will captivate with her unique designed clothing that no other artiste had donned on, her platform shoes of odd shapes and proportions, to her tribute of the streets and the good (not the bad) Hip-Hop genre/ lifestyle with her extravagant display of bling-bling.
What’s ahead for Robyn, one may ask? The year of 2014 sees Robyn continuing keeping her schedule busy and checked in all the right places, with the Do It Again Tour 2014 with Röyksopp, and for her fans awaiting on more new material from their idol, you should be more than pleased to hear that she is currently working on recording new music, alongside collaborative efforts with Swedish rapper Neneh Cherry, Röyksopp and Syd Tha Kyd from the critically raved Odd Future collective and one-half of The Internet. On a personal level, she is engaged to videographer Max Vitali, who she became acquainted with from the “Be Mine!” video and had since worked on all the music videos for the Body Talk album.
“I’m definitely not pro-major labels – I think they suck, but they are also the norm and I’ve to be able to deal with them, and I think my music is made for more people than just an indie crowd in Stockholm, and so I’m trying to use them and be a part of it without being a sucker.”
One thing is for certain though when it comes to Robyn, and that is to always expect the unexpected. And it is with much bated breaths that we await for her next release.
“There’s not going to be like one new solution that replaces everything else; it’s going to stay diverse and undefined, maybe for forever. So I don’t think there’s any stress of trying to find the new [music] format. I think what’s going on is really good for music, because people are forced to find their own solutions and figure out things for themselves, I mean that’s what I did.”