I caught up with pop singer Robyn just as Body Talk 2 was ready to hit stores in September 2010. She talked to me about her creative process, breaking out of the restrictions in the major label industry, and pop music itself.
Bill: The first question I wanted to start with asking was about the song "You Should Know Better" recorded with Snoop Dogg. It is a lot of fun, and has a point. Could you tell me more how that came about?
Robyn: We met in America. We hooked up after working together on a song of his, but we never met while we were recording that song. So we hooked up in L.A. to say hi, and we just started talking about music, and decided it would be nice to try and do something together.
Bill: How did that go? Was it as much fun recording it as it sounds?
Robyn: Yeah, he's a really nice guy. He's funny, and he loves music. We had a really good time. It was definitely work, and I wanted to make sure I got the most out of it. We were only in the studio for like three days. It was fun.
Bill: Your heart seems to be completely in pop music, but you don't play by the industry rules. I wonder, however, how important is to you to break through barriers to get to those who normally just listen to mainstream pop music, or does that really matter?
Robyn: It's going to be interesting to see how far this album goes in that perspective, but it's not something I think about when I make the music. I really don't feel like there is anything for me to prove. I feel like I'm just trying to make the best record I can. Of course when I'm promoting it, and this time around I've been back in the US, there's like a new thing this time. This time people are more open to the concept of, I guess, unexpected pop music. That makes me wonder. Yeah, I wonder if radio would play this. It's going to be interesting to see, but I don't really let it affect me or my creativity. I just kind of...I like watching the process.
Bill: For a number of my readers who don't know you as an artist, if you were going to introduce yourself and give them an idea what you would offer to them, what would you say?
Robyn: I would say I make pop music. I think, I know, in a lot of ways what I'm doing...I don't even think it's that different...but I know what you mean...that there is, I guess, an unexpected thing to it. But to me that's my point. I almost don't want to address that, because I want people to be able to listen to the music and make up their own mind. I think defining stuff or putting labels on things is one of those things that we do because there's so much information out there, and it's a way of organizing the world, but when I make the music...You know, I'm really happy when people want to take the time out to define what it is that I do, but when I make it, what I'm trying to stay focuse on in order to be able to make more music is something different. That has nothing to do with labelling anything. It's more about trying to convey an emotion or communicating a thought or just making people want to dance, whatever is a good time, and I guess I don't want to tell people what it is either. The name pop music sounds good to me. I think that's what it is, it's pop music.
Bill: Your career started about 15 years ago as a teen artist with a pair of big single successes here in the US. I'm curious whether you see a lot common between the artist you were back then and what you do now.
Robyn: What do you mean exactly?