Robin Miriam Carlsson, better known by her stage name Robyn (born 12 June 1979) is a Grammy Award-nominated Swedish pop singer-songwriter. Robyn was known in the late nineties for her dance-pop hits "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)". Robyn entered Melodifestivalen 1997 as songwriter with the entry "Du gör mig hel igen". She has since started to gain mainstream success worldwide owing to the popularity of her No 1 hit single "With Every Heartbeat" and subsequent album release. In January, 2009 Robyn won a Swedish Grammis award for Best Live Act 2008.
In 1991, at the age of twelve, Robyn recorded the theme song for the Swedish television show Lilla Sportspegeln, named Du kan alltid bli nummer ett ("You can always be number one"). She performed her first self-written song at this age on another television show, Söndagsöppet.
Robyn was rediscovered by Swedish pop singer Meja in the early nineties. Meja and her band Legacy of Sound visited Robyn's school and were involved with a musical workshop. Robyn's performances impressed Meja so much so that she contacted her management and a meeting was arranged with Robyn and her parents. Following the completion of her middle school education, Robyn signed to Ricochet Records Sweden, a subsidiary of BMG. She collaborated with producers Max Martin and Denniz Pop, who provided the singer with a gritty yet popular sound. Writing duties were assisted by Ulf Lindstrom and Johan Ekhe, who also helped to produce the album, and they stayed on board with Robyn until the completion of her album Don't Stop the Music in 2003.
1994–1997: Robyn Is Here
Robyn started her career in the pop music industry at sixteen years old. She signed a record deal with RCA Records in 1994 to release her debut single, "You've Got That Somethin'", in Sweden. Later that same year, her Swedish breakthrough came with the single "Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)". These singles became part of the album Robyn Is Here, released in October 1996. Robyn contributed vocals to Blacknuss' 1996 single "Roll with Me." Robyn entered Swedens pre-selection for Eurovision Song Contest 1997, as songwriter and producer of the song "Du gör mig hel igen", which was performed by Cajsalisa Ejemyr. In Melodifestivalen 1997 the song ended up in fourth place.
Robyn's U.S. breakthrough came in 1997, when the dance-pop singles "Show Me Love" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)" reached the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. She performed on the children's show All That in 1997, singing "Show Me Love", proving her growing popularity in the United States. The songs also performed well in the UK. Robyn re-released "Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)" internationally but it did not fare as well as the other releases. In the U.S., it was ineligible to chart because there was no retail single available, but it reached number thirty-two on the Hot 100 Airplay chart. The song "Show Me Love" was prominently used in the 1998 Lukas Moodysson film Fucking Åmål, and the song's title was used as the film's title in English-speaking countries.
As Robyn's popularity grew across the globe, especially in the United States, she was diagnosed with exhaustion and quickly returned to Sweden to recover.
1998–2001: My Truth
Recording began on Robyn's second album in 1998. The album, My Truth, was released in May 1999 in Sweden, with subsequent releases elsewhere in the continent. The single "Electric" was a hit across Europe, and propelled My Truth to number two position in Sweden. My Truth was an autobiographical release for Robyn, and included the tracks "Universal Woman" and "Giving You Back", which explained her secret abortion. Despite her success in the U.S market with Robyn Is Here, My Truth did not receive an international release.
In 1999, Robyn contributed to Christian Falk's debut solo album Quel Bordel, appearing on the tracks "Remember" and "Celebration". In 2000, she appeared on the track "Intro/ Fristil" on Petter's self-titled album. In 2001, Robyn contributed the song "Say You'll Walk the Distance" to the soundtrack for the film On the Line. The song was later covered by fellow Swedish pop singer Darin Zanyar.
2002–2004: Don't Stop the Music
In November 2002, Robyn swapped labels at BMG (from RCA to Jive Records) and released the album Don't Stop the Music in Sweden. Singles Keep This Fire Burning and Don't Stop The Music graced playlists in Scandinavia and mainland Europe. The title track (a subsequent single) was later covered by Swedish girl group Play, and the lead single, "Keep This Fire Burning", was covered by British soul singer Beverley Knight.
In May 2004, the album Robyn's Best was released in America. It is essentially a condensed version of her debut album; containing no material from her later releases. In 2006, following her departure from BMG, Det Bästa Med Robyn (The Best of Robyn) was released in Sweden. It included material from her first three albums. Notable omissions from this release were the singles "Don't Stop the Music" and "Keep This Fire Burning".
2005–2006: Konichiwa Records and Robyn
The decade-long relationship between Robyn and her label ceased in 2004. When her superiors reacted negatively to "Who's That Girl?", which showcased a new electro-pop sound, Robyn decided to release music on her own. In early 2005, she announced she would be leaving Jive Records to start her own record label. Konichiwa Records was created, with its aim firmly set on liberating Robyn artistically. Robyn revealed on her website that her new album would be released earlier than anticipated, and noted several fabled collaborators on the album, including Klas Åhlund from Teddybears STHLM, Swedish duo The Knife and former Cheiron producer Alexander Kronlund.
Robyn released the single "Be Mine!" in March 2005. A month later, her fourth studio album, Robyn, became her first number-one album upon its release in Sweden. Sampling influences from electronica, rap, R&B and new age, Robyn received rave reviews, and gained the singer three Swedish Grammy Awards in 2006 for "Årets Album" (Best Album), "Årets Kompositör" (Best Writer, alongside Klas Åhlund) and "Årets Pop Kvinnlig" (Best Pop Female). It also garnered Robyn interest on a global level. She gained recognition for writing the song "Money for Nothing" for Darin Zanyar, his debut single. Robyn released three more singles—"Who's That Girl?", "Handle Me" and "Crash and Burn Girl"—from the eponymous LP, which proved immensely popular in Sweden.
Robyn featured on the Basement Jaxx track "Hey U", taken from their album Crazy Itch Radio, released in 2006. The year also marked the release of Christian Falk's second album, People Say, on which Robyn contributed the tracks "Dream On" and "C.C.C".
2006–2009: International comeback
In December 2006, Robyn released The Rakamonie EP in the UK as a preview to her more recent material. This was followed by the release of "Konichiwa Bitches" in March 2007. The revised edition of Robyn was released in the UK in April 2007, and contains two new tracks—"With Every Heartbeat" (a collaboration with Kleerup) and "Cobrastyle" (a cover of a 2006 single by Swedish rockers Teddybears)—alongside slightly altered versions of two of the original songs. It was deleted from British stores to make way for an August re-release.
The second single from the UK release was "With Every Heartbeat", released in late July and reaching number one on the UK singles chart. Robyn was featured on Jo Whiley's BBC Radio 1 showcase show, Live Lounge, a reflection of her growing popularity in Britain. Follow-up singles "Handle Me", "Be Mine!", "Who's That Girl?" and "Dream On" were top forty hits. In Australia, where Robyn reached the top ten of the iTunes Store's album chart, "With Every Heartbeat" received substantial attention on radio and video networks in Australia. Also in 2007, Robyn contributed vocals to Fleshquartet's single "This One's for You", from their album Voices of Eden.
Konichiwa Records signed an international licensing deal with Universal Music Group to launch and distribute Robyn's music globally. Releases in the UK are issued under the Island Records label. The Rakamonie EP was released in January 2008 under Cherrytree Records, a subsidiary of Interscope, and the U.S. edition of Robyn was released in April 2008. "With Every Heartbeat", "Handle Me" and "Cobrastyle" were top ten club hits, and the former received airplay at U.S. pop and dance radio stations. Robyn was visible in the U.S. market in 2007 when Britney Spears released the single "Piece of Me", which contains Robyn's backing vocals. She was also featured on the Fyre Department remix of "Sexual Eruption" by rapper Snoop Dogg.
Robyn completed a short U.S. tour to promote Robyn, and was the supporting act for Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour at select European dates in 2008. In January 2009, Robyn won a Swedish Grammis Award for Best Live Act 2008; in her acceptance speech, she said that Madonna was to thank for the prize.
Robyn stated to Aftonbladet, a Swedish newspaper site, that she wants to start recording a new album in the beginning of 2009 and that she will work with producers such as Kleerup ("With Every Heartbeat") as well as Klas Åhlund who she worked with on Robyn.
In 2009, she appeared together with International pop artist Dr.Alban on stage at "Way out west 2009", performing his hit, No coke.
After the release of her second album in 1999, My Truth, Robyn became a UNICEF ambassador and visited, among other countries, Kenya and Tanzania. During her two years of dedicating herself to this work, she intended to draw attention to UNICEF and their worldwide work for children in need of aid.
Top ten hits
The following tables lists Robyn's singles which have charted in Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, Netherlands and Norway. For a comprehensive list of Robyn's singles, please go to Robyn discography
|1995||"Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)"||2||20||28||—||—||7|
|1996||"Do You Know (What It Takes)"||10||26||7||48||82||—|
|1998||"Show Me Love"||14||8||7||34||20||—|
|2002||"Keep This Fire Burning"||3||—||—||—||52||19|
|"Don't Stop The Music"||7||—||—||—||85||19|
|2007||"With Every Heartbeat" (with Kleerup)||11||1||—||69||7||—|
|2009||"The Girl and the Robot" (with Röyksopp)||25||—||—||—||—||2|
- Official website
- Robyn interview, Clash magazine, March 2008
- Robyn interview on Buzznet.com
- Robyn interview on musicOMH.com
- Robyn interview on ilikemusic.com
- Robyn interview by Rashmi Shastri
- Robyn Carlsson at the Internet Movie Database
- Robyn's AOL Music Session
- Bellaboo interview with Robyn
- Robyn Exclusive Student Pocket Guide Interview
Biography from Wikipedia