Jon ALi Interview: Robyn

Me: Hello Robyn! How are you?

Robyn: I’m good, How are you?

Me: I’m great! This is Jon from ALi’s Blog, and I’m super excited to talk to you today. How are you feeling?

Robyn: I’m good, I’m good… I’m in Dublin. Just came in this morning

Me: Oh, Wonderful. What are you doing in Dublin?

Robyn: I’m doing a festival here tomorrow

Me: Exciting! It’s been about 5 years since you released your last LP “Robyn” and now you’ve decided to continuously be releasing new music with the “Body Talk” series and Part. 2 is just days away from being released on the 7th (September). It must be really exciting to be releasing all this new music. How has this process been for you?

Robyn: It’s been great. It’s been what I’ve wanted it to be which is something that has allowed me to do more of the things I love to do at the same time. I think when you work in a Major Industry and the way they release albums tend to end up in this cycle of making an album every third or fourth year or something and I felt like I’ve been doing it since I was sixteen and I felt like with my own label I should be able to change that structure and do something that actually fits me and what I like to do. I’ve been thinking about for awhile, you know? Just having that structure where your like gone from your home for like a three years in a row and your home for like a year doing nothing and trying to write music. the experience is schizophrenic and I just feel like there’s a more natural way of doing it where you can keep your songwriting going and at the same time tour and release music more often. If you do it in shorter portions, you keep working. It seems to be working and I’m working a lot but I also get to spend time home in the studio and stay connected with everyone on working with there and stuff. I really like it.

Me: Yeah! The hard work is clearly paying off. Part one and Part two have turned out more than great. How do you feel about the work you’ve done already with the “Body Talk” series?

Robyn: I feel like it’s all very exciting. I’m kind of discovering everything as I go along. I don’t really know much more then you do at the moment about the last album but I’m really happy with how it’s all come together. I feel like it is an album. The three parts are connected musically. I’m really happy about the visuals I’ve been able to do like with video directors and album covers. I feel like there’s a climate at the moment that understands maybe the kind of more unexpected pop music that I’m trying to do and that’s nice. I don’t have to explain what I’m doing to people. In the states last month it was great the response from the audience was amazing of course but also when I was doing interviews and stuff people are more open to dance music. I think it’s a good time for what I’m doing.

Me: It’s a great time for dance music. Everyone seems to be jumping on it but I for sure feel you are standing out a lot more then others.

Robyn: Thank You

Me: So when you begin to write songs like “Hang With Me” and “Indestructible” do they start out as the acoustic versions or do you later transition them into acoustic versions.

Robyn: It’s kind of both at the same time. When I write songs it’s usually on a guitar or a piano at the same time as building the production and figuring out what I want it to sound like. I like to do stuff and scrap them and re-do them and do different versions while I’m writing too so it’s not so structured but the way I look at songwriting is that you know the songs that you are able to take out of the production and play them on a guitar or on a piano and it still sounds good. Those are the songs that have like the structure and like the meat on it’s bones that it takes to maybe last a little longer. So whenever I write a song even though, you know I wrote “With Every Heartbeat” on the track for example. I always try and take it out of that context and try and do it without it as well to see what it feels like. So must songs I do, kind of, have both of those identities while I’m working on them and I just felt like it was nice to show people that perspective of the singles as well. We did it on the last album with “Be Mine” and It got a really nice response so It’s like a way of adding something that maybe explains those songs a little bit more and you get a different feel for the lyrics. It was fun like with “Indestructible” it’s just fun to take a song about lasers, and the dancefloor in like a rock kind of very pink environment.

Me: Yeah, exactly! So that means we will be hearing a different version of “Indestructible“?

Robyn: Yes, you will

Me: Awesome, can’t wait! I have to say one of my favorite cuts from Part 2 is your collaboration with Snoop Dogg on “You Should Know Betta.”

Robyn: Thank You

Me: How was it working with Snoop?

Robyn: Snoop is a really nice guy. He’s just like you want him to be…like very smart, funny, down to earth, generous and cool. We had a really good time. We were in the studio together a couple years ago recording this song and I took it back home with me to Stockholm and finished it with Klas Åhlund for this album.

Me: It came out great. I love it. It seems you both had a lot of fun on that record.

Robyn: Yeah, it was fun. Definitely had an outer body experience being in the studio with Snoop. I’ve been listening to him ever since I was a little kid.

Me: Must have been amazing for you. Now I know you’ve recently finished your tour with Kelis, how was that?

Robyn: Great, shes a really nice chic. She’s a very down to earth person as well so we just kind of hung out. We both felt like it made sense for us to be on tour together. Just looking at the reaction from the audience, it was really good in a lot of ways.

Me: I actually got the chance to see the tour on one of the New York dates and like you said the energy in the room beyond great. So much love.

Robyn: Awesome, I agree.

Me: After the release of Part 2 and Part 3 are there plans to return to the US?

Robyn: Yeah, I’m actually already scheduled to come back in November to tour.

Me: Great! Are you looking to add more dates overseas as well?

Robyn: Yeah, I’m on tour here now. I’m in Dublin for tomorrow and I’m going to do shows in Europe all through October then I’m going to go to Australia after the US tour. I’m touring for the rest of the year and probably next year as well.

Me: Alright, good to hear. I know you have tons of fans wondering where you’ll be touring next so they’ll be happy to hear that.

Robyn: I know, I’m actually going to try and put the dates out on my website as soon as possible. We’ve been putting together the schedule for the last couple of weeks but it’s been hard to put anything up that hasn’t been confirmed. The plan is to tour with the “Body Talk” series as much as I can. For me it’s something I really love to do and it’s something I’ve been doing for a long time with the last album. I grew up around the stage like my parents who both work in theater and they always had me with them when they were working. Communicating with an audience and being on stage feels really natural to me. With this album and how it’s made with this structure of being more organic, being more direct with the listeners is like a part of the plan to really push on the authenticity of the whole thing so that it’s just simple and not so complicated. It’s more about the energy and the emotion of it then anything.

Me: Yeah, for sure. I feel everything comes off real and genuine. How it’s suppose to.

Robyn: Good, thank you

Me: No problem… now i know you’ll be at this years VMA’s performing with this years house dj Deadmau5. Do you know what you’ll be doing together.

Robyn: Yeah, he’s actually working on a version of “Dancing On My Own” now but I can’t tell you what it sounds like, but it’s going to be great.

Me: Can’t wait. I know many people are excited about it and are looking forward to it.

Robyn: That’s cool. I’m really excited about it too, it’s really nice to be able to perform in front of all those people.

Me: It’s going to be great, can’t wait. Now I have some fan questions for you. The first is… Who are your contemporary inspirations? What music are you listening to right now?

Robyn: I listen to a lot of old music but most of the new music I listen to is like club music and instrumental music. I listen to a lot of old house/techno records. The Bat for Lashes album that came out last year was really cool. I think M.I.A. is really interesting. Inspirational wise it’s more music with no vocals right now for me. I always listen to Prince too.

Me: Prince is always great to go back and listen to… Someone wants to know is there a word you would never use in a song?

Robyn: Um, I don’t know actually… I don’t think about it like that. I think it’s more about the context and like what words become before and after then about a single word.

Me: Konichiwa Records right now concentrates on distributing your music. Do you ever plan on signing any undiscovered artist?

Robyn: Nope, I don’t. I mean I would love to because I know a lot of people that make music and things that I like but I know it would just take more time then I have at the moment. The label is just there for me so that I can keep doing my own thing. It’s not a record label in the sense that I want to be in charge of other people.

Me: Yeah, that makes sense. Next question…. What are your thoughts on being considered one of the big gay icons of our time? How do you feel about having such a big gay following?

Robyn: It’s great, of course. I mean it’s great to have any following but the gay audience is always a very loyal, very encouraging, and positive force. I think for me it’s always important to make that connection but it’s not always a strict gay perspective it’s also a queer perspective of feeling like an outsider or feeling like somebody who has an urge to define yourself and not be defined by society and I think that’s a quality that the gay audience has had to deal with, you know? I think that’s what the connection is. I’m a big fan of all the music that has been important in the gay culture and club scene as well so I guess there’s lots of ways of looking at it.

Me: Yeah, you definitely have a big loyal fan base in that community and they appreciate everything you do.

Robyn: It’s fantastic. The shows we’ve had in the states have been crazy. Insane, such good energy in the room and everyone is dancing, singing, and having a good time. It’s been fantastic.

Me: Yeah, too feed off that energy must feel amazing.

Robyn: Yes, yes it does.

Me: Someone wants to know… Do you ever plan on releasing a live concert DVD or a DVD with all of your music videos?

Robyn: Yes, I mean I would love to do that. I think about it all the time, every time I want to do a tour. It’s such a big production and I want to do it in the right way. We haven’t really had the opportunity to do it properly but I do hope to do it some time.

Me: Awesome, I know fans would love to add that to their Robyn collections. Alright, well I wanted to thank you so much for taking time to talk to me today Robyn. It’s been great.

Robyn: No problem. It’s been nice to talk to you

Me: I look forward to the rest of the Body Talk series and I wish you the best.

Robyn: Thank you, thank you very much. Take care.

BUY Robyn’s album “Body Talk” on iTunes NOW!

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