Q&A: Robyn on Gossip Girl, Body Talk, Reinvention, & Her Advice to Britney Spears"/>
The blogs are a bit abuzz this morning with Robyn news -- she was on Gossip Girl last night, she's going to perform at the Nobel Prize Concert in Oslo this year. I spoke with the Swedish pop wonder this morning on the phone -- she called from London and chatted with me about those appearances, Body Talk, and her extended career.
Asked about Gossip Girl, she said, "Even though I'm not a fan, I don't watch Gossip Girl, it's really nice to get [asked], because it means people are interested in what I'm doing, and they think it makes sense for me to show my face." And the cast of the show? "They were cool. Nice people."
Robyn's made huge waves this year with her edgy, ultra-modern Body Talk trilogy, with such hits as "Don't Fucking Tell Me What to Do" and "Dancing On My Own." In 2005, she created Konichiwa Records in order to gain more autonomy over her own music. But her first hit came in 1997, with the smash single "Show Me Love." Since then, she says, "I don't think much has changed. I really don't. I'm older. And like everyone else, as you grow older what happens is you're able to define things, you get a bigger vocabulary as an artist, and you're able to differentiate between different textures and you become more dynamic as a person. But I think the biggest difference is that you're able to communicate it. And so I think this where I've always been heading, and this is how I always saw myself making pop music. But it's just very difficult to do it right away when you're 16. I don't know anybody who knows exactly what it is they're doing when they're 16.
"I realized pretty quickly that it was going to be hard to do on a major label. I wasn't an indie kid, I was a club kid. I didn't have friends who released their own records and did all the things that the people I know now do. It took me a while to find that space. And once I did find it, it was pretty easy for me to make that step. I was not afraid to risk anything. I felt it was my only way out, or actually like my last option."
As for her teenage years, she says, "I never felt like I had to distance myself from the music I made. I felt like I had to distance myself from the industry and from the way I think the industry decides to look at especially female artists. At the same time, it was never about making really arty, weird music. I always loved pop music, I'm always going to be obsessed with the perfect pop melody."
I asked Robyn if she had any advice she'd give to someone who might be in need of a career reinvention, someone like Britney Spears. "I don't have any advice for anybody. I don't think that's how it works. I think you figure it out for yourself. That's what I did. I started my own record company, but that might not be the solution that works for her. I have no advice but to try and have fun. Do something that makes sense to you."
Robyn's going to be at Neumos on November 21 -- hope you have tickets, because it's already sold out. You can read more of my interview with her in our 11/17 issue.