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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Nightclub concert will get you dancing

Singer Robyn will get the crowd on their feet and turn the Esplanade hall into a disco at her first gig
The Straits Times - September 18, 2012
By: Rachael Boon
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Nightclub concert will get you dancing PHOTO: NOW/LIVE

When Swedish pop singer Robyn plays her first gig at the Esplanade later this month, do not be surprised when the concert hall turns into a disco.

"If you've seen me live on YouTube, on the road, you'll know it's all about me and the band, all about the music," says the offbeat dance-popster, 33, real name Robin Miriam Carlsson, on the telephone from Stockholm.

"It's not about excess or lots of lights and pyrotechnics. It's very simple. We try to make people dance," she adds, in lightly accented English, about her Sept 26 concert. "It's a club night."

She means it. Reviewing her concert in New York City last year, the New York Times wrote that "she did her best to turn Radio City Music Hall into a nightclub": "In other words, exactly the sort of place a pop star doesn't play."

Summing up her appeal, the review went on to say: "Robyn's hustle - successful so far - has been in presenting mainstream dance-music ideas as something hipper and more outre: in essence she's underselling."

A child voice actor, Robyn began her pop career in 1994, at the age of 16. Back then, Swedish acts such as Roxette, Ace Of Base, Meja and The Cardigans were making waves on the international pop and dance charts.

Scouted by Swedish artist Meja, known for hits such as All 'Bout The Money (1998), Robyn was soon releasing hit singles such as Show Me Love and Do You Know (What It Takes) in 1997.

Since then, Grammy-nominated electropop tracks have followed, such as Dancing On My Own (2010) and Call Your Girlfriend (2011) - both bittersweet love songs from the perspective of the third party.

Last year, she opened for American pop princess Katy Perry on her California Dreams tour. Perry's hit song Teenage Dream, she tells you, is "a-mazing", in her soft, lilting voice.

Having left the indie American label Jive Records in 2004, she is now signed to her own record label, Konichiwa Records, which gives her the artistic freedom she desires.

She counts Swedish DJs, Savage Skulls, as one of her favourite artists. The electronic duo worked with her on two songs, Love Kills and Bad Gal, last year.

She says: "They make good music, and have a mix of old and new styles that the bigger DJs from Sweden don't have. Maybe because they come from a more similar musical background to me, like early house, techno, mixed with new tropically inspired dance music, that's why I can connect with them."

For all her success, she has no plans to groom young Swedish talents under her own label.

She says firmly: "I've so much to do, there isn't a lot of time. Of course, if I can use my knowledge to help someone, I would but I'm not ready to take on the responsibility of someone else's career right now."

"Of course, if I can use my knowledge to help someone, I would but I'm not ready to take on the responsibility of someone else's career right now."

Singer Robyn on grooming Swedish talents

Book it


Where: Esplanade Concert Hall

When: Sept 26, 9pm

Admission: $68 to $138 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to


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