Robyn

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Robyn
RobynIn2011 cropped.jpg
Robyn at the 2011 P3 Guld in Gothenburg, Sweden
Background information
Birth nameRobin Miriam Carlsson
Born (1979-06-12) 12 June 1979 (age 39)[1]
Stockholm, Sweden
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • DJ
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • piano
  • keyboards
Years active1989–present
Labels
Associated acts
Websiterobyn.com

Robin Miriam Carlsson[7] (born 12 June 1979), known as Robyn (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈrɔbʏn]), is a Swedish singer, songwriter and record producer.[8] She arrived on the music scene with her 1995 debut album, Robyn Is Here, which produced two Billboard Hot 100 top-10 singles: "Do You Know (What It Takes)" and "Show Me Love". Her second and third albums, My Truth (1999) and Don't Stop the Music (2002), were released in Sweden. Robyn returned to international success with her fourth album, Robyn (2005), which brought critical praise and a Grammy Award nomination. The album spawned the singles "Be Mine!" and the UK number one "With Every Heartbeat". Robyn released a trilogy of mini-albums in 2010, known as the Body Talk series. They received broad critical praise, three Grammy Award nominations, and produced three top-10 singles: "Dancing On My Own", "Hang with Me" and "Indestructible". Robyn followed this with two collaborative EPs: Do It Again (2014) with Röyksopp, and Love Is Free (2015) with La Bagatelle Magique. She released her eighth solo album Honey in 2018.

Career[edit]

1989–1993: Early career[edit]

Robyn voiced the character of Miranda in the 1989 Swedish-Norwegian animated film The Journey to Melonia. Directed by Per Åhlin, the film is loosely based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest.[9]

She recorded "Du kan alltid bli nummer ett" ("You Can Always be Number One"), the theme song for the Swedish television show Lilla Sportspegeln, in 1991 at age 12.[10] Robyn performed her first original song[which?] at that age on another television show, Söndagsöppet (Sundays). She was discovered by Swedish pop singer Meja in the early 1990s when Meja and her band, Legacy of Sound, visited Robyn's school as part of a musical workshop. Impressed by Robyn's performance, Meja contacted her management and a meeting was arranged with Robyn and her parents. At age 14, after completing middle school education in 1993, Robyn signed with Ricochet Records Sweden[11] (which was acquired by BMG in 1994).[12] Robyn collaborated with producers Max Martin and Denniz Pop, who gave the singer a gritty (but popular) sound.

1994–1998: Robyn Is Here[edit]

She began her pop music-career at age 15, signing with RCA Records in 1994 and releasing her debut single ("You've Got That Somethin'") in Sweden. Later that year, Robyn's Swedish breakthrough came with the single "Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)". The singles became part of the album Robyn Is Here, which was released in October 1995. Robyn also contributed vocals to Blacknuss' 1996 single, "Roll with Me." She entered Sweden's pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 1997 as co-writer and producer of "Du gör mig hel igen" ("You Make Me Whole Again"), which was performed by Cajsalisa Ejemyr. In Melodifestivalen 1997, the song finished fourth.

Robyn's US breakthrough came in late 1997, when the dance-pop singles "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)" reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. She performed "Show Me Love" on the American children's show All That that year, and the songs also performed well in the UK. Robyn re-released "Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)" internationally, but it was less successful than the other releases. It was ineligible for the US charts because there was no retail single available, but it reached number 32 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. "Show Me Love" was featured in the 1998 Lukas Moodysson film, Fucking Åmål, and the song's title was used as the title of the film in English-speaking countries. As Robyn's popularity grew internationally, she was diagnosed with exhaustion and returned to Sweden to recover.

1999–2004: My Truth and Don't Stop the Music[edit]

Robyn onstage in an off-the-shoulder blue outfit
On tour in 2003

Robyn's second album, My Truth, was released in Sweden in May 1999 and subsequently in Europe. The single, "Electric", was a commercial success and propelled My Truth to the number-two position in Sweden. The autobiographical album included the tracks, "Universal Woman" and "Giving You Back". Despite her US success with Robyn Is Here, My Truth was not released in that country.[13] Robyn contributed to Christian Falk's 1999 debut solo album, Quel Bordel (What a Mess), appearing on "Remember" and "Celebration". The following year, she appeared on "Intro/Fristil" on Petter's self-titled album. In 2001, Robyn performed "Say You'll Walk the Distance" for the soundtrack of On the Line.

She signed a worldwide deal with Jive Records in July 2001, moving from BMG[14] after the singer was "disillusioned with [its] lack of artistic control";[15] a year later, Jive was acquired by BMG when it bought Zomba Records.[16] Robyn later said, "I was back where I started!"[15] In November 2002, she released the album Don't Stop the Music in Sweden. The album's singles, "Keep This Fire Burning" and "Don't Stop the Music", received airplay in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. The title track was later covered by the Swedish girl group Play, and the lead single ("Keep This Fire Burning") was covered by the British soul singer Beverley Knight. In May 2004, Robyn's Best was released in the US. It was a condensed version of her debut album, with no material from her later releases. In 2006, after her departure from BMG, Det Bästa Med Robyn (The Best of Robyn) was released in Sweden with material from her first three albums; notable omissions, however, were the singles "Don't Stop the Music" and "Keep This Fire Burning".

2004–2008: Konichiwa Records and Robyn[edit]

The decade-long relationship between Robyn and her label ended in 2004. When Jive Records reacted negatively to "Who's That Girl?"'s new electropop sound, the singer decided to release music on her own. In early 2005, she announced that she was leaving Jive to start her own label.[17] Konichiwa Records was created to liberate Robyn artistically. She said on her website that her new album would be released earlier than anticipated, with notable collaborators including Klas Åhlund from Teddybears STHLM, Swedish duo The Knife and former Cheiron Studios producer Alexander Kronlund.

Robyn onstage in a short black dress
Performing at the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize concert

Robyn released the single "Be Mine!" in March 2005. Her fourth album, Robyn, was her first number-one album in Sweden when it was released a month later. Influenced by electronica, rap, R&B and new-age music, Robyn was critically praised and earned the singer three 2006 Swedish Grammy Awards: "Årets Album" (Best Album), "Årets Kompositör" (Best Writer, with Klas Åhlund) and "Årets Pop Kvinnlig" (Best Pop Female). The album evoked global interest in Robyn, who was recognized for co-writing the song "Money for Nothing" for Darin Zanyar (his debut single). She released three more singles—"Who's That Girl?", "Handle Me" and "Crash and Burn Girl"—from the eponymous LP, which was popular in Sweden. Robyn appeared on the Basement Jaxx track "Hey U" from their 2006 album, Crazy Itch Radio, and contributed "Dream On" and "C.C.C" to Christian Falk's People Say (his second album) that year. In December 2006, Robyn released The Rakamonie EP in the UK as a preview of her more-recent material; this was followed by the March 2007 release of "Konichiwa Bitches". A revised edition of Robyn was released in the UK the following month, with two new tracks—"With Every Heartbeat" (a collaboration with Kleerup) and "Cobrastyle" (a cover of a 2006 single by Swedish rockers Teddybears)—with slightly-altered versions of the original music.

The second single from the UK release was "With Every Heartbeat", which was released in late July 2007 and reached number one on the UK singles chart. Robyn appeared on Jo Whiley's BBC Radio 1 showcase show, Live Lounge. In Australia, where Robyn reached the top ten of the iTunes Store's album chart, "With Every Heartbeat" received attention on radio and video networks. Robyn contributed vocals to Fleshquartet's single, "This One's for You", from their Voices of Eden album that year. Konichiwa Records signed an international licensing deal with Universal Music Group to distribute Robyn's music globally, and her UK recordings are released by Island Records. The Rakamonie EP was released in January 2008 by Cherrytree Records (a subsidiary of Interscope Records), and the US version of Robyn was released in April of that year. "With Every Heartbeat", "Handle Me" and "Cobrastyle" were top-10 club singles, and "With Every Heartbeat" received airplay on US pop and dance radio stations. Robyn provided backing vocals on Britney Spears' 2007 single, "Piece of Me", and appeared on the Fyre Department remix of "Sexual Eruption" by rapper Snoop Dogg. She made a brief US tour to promote Robyn, and was the supporting act for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour on European dates in 2008.[18] In January 2009, Robyn received a 2008 Swedish Grammis Award for Best Live Act.[19]

2010–2013: Body Talk[edit]

She released the first album of the Body Talk trilogy, Body Talk Pt. 1, on 14 June 2010 in the Nordic countries on EMI and on 15 June in the US on Interscope Records.[20][21] It was preceded by the single "Dancing on My Own" on 1 June 2010. The song was Robyn's first number-one single in Sweden and her fourth top-10 single in the UK and the US, peaking at number eight on the UK Singles Chart and number three on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Songs chart. In July 2010, she sang a minimalist, electro cover version of Alicia Keys' "Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart" live on IHeartRadio.[22] Robyn made the All Hearts Tour in July and August 2010 with American singer Kelis to promote the Body Talk albums,[23] and a four-date UK tour at the end of October.[24]

Robyn onstage in black, pointing up
At the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize concert

On 6 September, 2010, Body Talk Pt. 2 was released in the UK.[24] It was preceded by the lead single, a dance version of "Hang with Me" from Body Talk Pt. 1, the day before.[25] The album includes a duet with American rapper Snoop Dogg, "U Should Know Better".[26] Robyn performed "Dancing on My Own" with deadmau5 at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on 12 September.[27] In a BBC Newsbeat interview, she explained her decision to release three albums in one year: "It was just something I felt like I needed to do. I just never thought about selling records or not, making this decision. I just did it for myself. It's a way of, for me, to stay inspired and to be able to do the things I like to do".[28] However, Robyn said that she would not do it again: "When you do 16 or 13 songs in one go, you kind of empty yourself, and it takes a while to fill back up and have new things to talk about, so I think it's good for everyone".[28] Robyn announced the release of the single, "Indestructible", on 13 October 2010;[29] an acoustic version appeared on Body Talk Pt. 2. The song was released on 17 November in Scandinavia and 22 November in the UK.[30] Co-written by Klas Åhlund, it was described as a "pulsating full power version [that] takes every ounce of that emotion and wraps it up in another exceptional disco-pop record worthy of any dance-floor or passion-laden sing-a-long."[29] Robyn planned to collaborate with Swedish producer Max Martin on the song, "Time Machine";[31] Martin produced Robyn's US singles, "Do You Know (What It Takes)" and "Show Me Love", both of which peaked in the top 10 on the Billboard 100 in 1997.[32] The Body Talk albums have sold 91,000 copies in the US.[33]

Robyn guest-starred on "War at the Roses", a 2010 episode of Gossip Girl, where she performed an acoustic version of "Hang with Me"; "Dancing on My Own" was featured at the end of the episode. In November, she said she would return to the studio in January 2011 with enough material to release a new album later that year.[34] Robyn opened for Coldplay on their 2012 tour in Dallas, Houston, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.[35] In mid-2013, she appeared with Paul Rudd and Sean Combs on "Go Kindergarten" from the Lonely Island's The Wack Album.[36] Robyn posted two videos of the Snoop Dogg collaboration ("U Should Know Better"[37] and "Behind The Scenes")[38] and a game, Mixory, on 21 and 22 June 2013.[39] That year she received the Stockholm KTH Royal Institute of Technology Great Prize for "artistic contributions and embrace of technology", worth 1.2 million Swedish kronor (£117197), which she planned to donate to a cause of her choice.[40]

2014–2016: Do It Again and EPs[edit]

Robyn sang on Neneh Cherry's "Out of the Black", from Cherry's album Blank Project, in 2014.[41] She also announced the Do It Again Tour with Röyksopp and a collaborative mini-album, Do It Again, that year.[42] The tour ended prematurely after the death of Robyn's longtime friend and collaborator, Christian Falk. An EP of their final collaboration, Love Is Free, was released soon afterwards. Robyn appeared at the Popaganda Festival in Sweden the following year and performed songs written with Falk before she postponed subsequent performances because she was still grieving.[43]

She premiered a dance set of remixed versions of her songs at the May 2016 Boston Calling Music Festival, with plans for more dates during the year.[44][45] Robyn released Trust Me, a collaboration EP with Mr. Tophat, in November 2016.[46][47] She appeared on "That Could Have Been Me", a track from Todd Rundgren's album White Knight, the following year.

2017–present: Honey[edit]

In March 2017, a new Robyn song called "Honey" was used in the soundtrack of the final season of HBO TV series, Girls. The creator of the show, Lena Dunham selected it from a collection of her in-progress tracks. Robyn finalized it specially for the series.[48]

In February 2018, Robyn answered a fan on Twitter, that she will release her new album "some time this year".[49] During an interview with Kindness, she revealed she was almost done with her new album. Afterwards, at a party, she debuted the full version of her new song "Honey". On 23 July, a new song entitled "Missing U" was enlisted as a single, and later taken down. Fans quickly began noticing the hints she was dropping, including a post on Twitter with the hashtag #MissingU. It was released on August 1st 2018.[50]

On 1 August 2018, Robyn presented "Missing U" on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show. There she talked about the long silence and the process of making the upcoming album to be released before 2018's end. Robyn also released a mini-documentary featuring the song and a tribute to her fans who were missing her and her new music for years. On 19 September 2018, Robyn announced her upcoming album is titled Honey and will be released on 26 October 2018.[51] In November 2018, Robyn announced she would be touring across North America and Europe come 2019. The trek kicks off in February 2019 and ends in April.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Robyn, looking directly at the camera
Robyn on 17 April 2008

Robyn's parents led an independent theatre group, and growing up in that environment influenced her sense of style: "I was around people who dressed up for work every day, and so the concept of how you can use clothes to change your personality or communicate who you are is very interesting to me." [53] The singer began dating Olof Inger in 2003, and they were engaged until 2011.[54] She later became engaged to videographer Max Vitali, referring to him in a 2013 interview with Collection of Style magazine as her fiancé: "We became friends when we made the video for 'Be Mine', and now we work together a lot. He made all the videos for the last album."[55] She and Vitali separated for a period of time following the release of Body Talk, but had reconciled by 2018.[56]

Discography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Today in history". ABC News. Associated Press. 12 June 2014. Archived from the original on 15 June 2014.
  2. ^ McLean, Craig (11 June 2010). "Swedish Pop Sensation Robyn Brings 'Body Talk' To United States". Billboard. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  3. ^ Joyce, Colin (12 August 2014). "Robyn and Royksopp Explore the Cosmos in Weightless 'Monument' Video". Spin. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  4. ^ Blake, Meredith (18 June 2011). "Katy Perry Rocks a Sweet Tooth". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  5. ^ Caramanica, Jon (6 February 2011). "Outré Dance Music That Revels in Otherness". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  6. ^ Duffy, Thom (14 December 1996). "The Swedish Challenge". Billboard. Vol. 108 no. 50. p. 41. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Robin Miriam Carlsson LiljeholmsvДgen 8 A 2 tr Stockholm". Ratsit.se. 12 June 1979. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  8. ^ O'Donnel, Kevin (27 July 2011). "Robyn Turns Coldplay Cover into Disco Party". Spin. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
  9. ^ "Resan till Melonia (The Journey to Melonia) (1989)". Fandango. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Robyn flydde till Norge och gjorde nya skivan" [Robyn flew to Norway and made a new album]. aftonbladet.se (in Swedish). 2014-06-09. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  11. ^ Taylor, Chuck. "Hit Singles Catapult Colvyn, Robyn". Billboard. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  12. ^ bell, Carrie (8 Nov 1997). "RCA Looks Beyond Top 40 Base for Sweden's Robyn". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  13. ^ taylor, Chuck (2001-07-21). "Sweden's Robyn Returns With Zomba/Jive Deal". Billboard magazine. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  14. ^ "Robyn Signs Worldwide Deal With Jive". billboard.com. 2001-07-15. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  15. ^ a b Lewis, Pete. "Reliant Robyn". bluesandsoul.com. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  16. ^ Holson, Laura (2002-06-02). "BMG to Buy Rest of Zomba, The Home Of Pop Stars". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  17. ^ Vincentelli, Elisabeth (30 January – 5 February 2008). "Swede Relief". Time Out. New York. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Robyn To Support Madonna's 'Sticky & Sweet' Tour". Madonna.com. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  19. ^ Lindström, Anna. "Robyn årets liveakt – tackade Madonna". Expressen. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  20. ^ "Robyn joins EMI in the Nordic region". EMI. 26 April 2010. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  21. ^ "New Album Body Talk Pt. 1 Available June 15th in the US!". Robyn-us.com. 13 April 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  22. ^ "Two New iheartradio Videos: Robyn Strips Down Alicia Keys, K'naan Goofs Around for U2". Covermesongs.com. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  23. ^ "All Hearts Tour". Idolator.com. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  24. ^ a b Gregory, Jason (23 June 2010). "Robyn Announces October UK Tour And New Album Release Date". Gigwise.com. Retrieved 23 June 2010.
  25. ^ "New Robyn Album Gets a Release Date". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  26. ^ McLean, Craig (14 September 2009). "Swedish Pop Sensation Robyn Brings 'Body Talk' To United States". Billboard. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
  27. ^ "Robyn". TV Guide. 9 September 2010.
  28. ^ a b Hocking, Caroline (14 September 2010). "Newsbeat – Robyn: Triple album release is 'gamble'". BBC. Retrieved 3 October 2010.
  29. ^ a b "Indestructible Release!". Robyn.com. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  30. ^ "Music – News – Robyn streams new single on web – Digital Spy". Digital Spy. 15 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  31. ^ "ROBYN COMPLETES TRILOGY OF 2010 RELEASES WITH BODY TALK, SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER 22nd – Cherrytree Records". Cherrytreerecords.com. 20 October 2010. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
  32. ^ "Robyn Chart History", billboard.com, retrieved 10 December 2015
  33. ^ Graff, Gary (14 February 2011). "Robyn to Continue Working in Mini-Album Format". Billboard. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  34. ^ "Chatting With Robyn! – PerezTV". Perezhilton.com. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  35. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (24 February 2012). "Robyn among acts to open for Coldplay on North American tour". Hitfix.com. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  36. ^ "The Lonely Island – "Go Kindergarten" (Feat. Robyn)", Stereogum, retrieved 10 December 2015
  37. ^ "Robyn – U Should Know Better ft. Snoop Dogg". YouTube. 21 June 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  38. ^ "U Should Know Better (Behind The Scenes) Robyn feat. Snoop Dogg". YouTube. 22 June 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  39. ^ "U Should Know Better – Mixory". Mixorygame.com. Archived from the original on 18 August 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  40. ^ "Robyn wins Swedish university prize for 'embracing technology'". NME.COM.
  41. ^ "Listen: Neneh Cherry Shares Title Track From Four Tet-Produced Album Blank Project", Pitchfork, retrieved 10 December 2015
  42. ^ "Robyn and Röyksopp announce collaborative album Do It Again". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  43. ^ "Unfortunately, it's with great regret that Robyn has to cancel her appearances". Robyn.com. 14 September 2015. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016.
  44. ^ "2016 Robyn Set list at City Hall Plaza, Boston, MA, USA". Setlist.fm. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  45. ^ "Last Best Show: Boston Calling Day Two 2016". Boston Herald and Herald Media. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  46. ^ "Robyn & Mr. Tophat Announce 'Trust Me' EP: Hear The Title Track". Idolator.com. 4 November 2016.
  47. ^ "Trust Me (feat. Robyn) - EP by Mr. Tophat". Itunes.apple.com. 4 November 2016.
  48. ^ "Hear Robyn's Slick New Song 'Honey' From 'Girls' Final Season". Rolling Stone. 2017-03-20. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
  49. ^ @robynkonichiwa (2018-02-07). "I do. Some time this year honey" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  50. ^ "Robyn Might Release New Single August 1st". Papermag.com. 25 July 2018. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  51. ^ Minsker, Evan; Blais-Billie, Braudie (19 September 2018). "Robyn Announces New Album Honey". Pitchfork. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  52. ^ "Robyn Announces 2019 North American Tour". Stereogum. 2018-11-13. Retrieved 2018-11-13.
  53. ^ Symonds, Alexandria (2010-07-06). "Robyn". papermag.com. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  54. ^ "Robyn calls off engagement". Starlounge UK. 6 January 2011. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  55. ^ "Robyn To Evolve". Cosstores.com. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 26 February 2013.
  56. ^ "How Robyn transformed pop". The Guardian. 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.

External links[edit]