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Outback with…Robyn

She’s world record holder with a high score of two gazillion in Tetris. She’s listed in Section 202 of the United Nations Security Act of 1979 as being too hot to wear tight sweaters on international airspace. She’s…well, you know the drill, she’s pop kween Robyn.


I saw you live recently, your moves are pretty tough, right?

Yeah, you should check out Rosie Perez in the opening scenes of Do The Right Thing. She’s great. I was a club kid and I hung out with a lot of people that danced professionally. I always took classes here and there but I never wanted to be a dancer. I just liked dancing in clubs. That energy - when the dancing isn’t too choreographed, when it’s something that you just have to let out. Dance to me is one of the most inspirational things ever.

You have so much energy onstage, what’s your secret?
It’s down to the audience to be honest. I think it’s something really beautiful, where if you go out there and give it your all, no matter what you do, people are going to respond to that. That’s why every show is different. You go onstage, you figure them out and what happens that night is a one-off. It’s really inspiring to me because it’s the same thing every night but with a new audience, a new vibe and that’s what gets me going.

Do you get that excited when you go to a gig?
It doesn’t happen that often. I saw Grace Jones in Stockholm a few years ago and it definitely happened then. I haven’t seen him but I hear Jack White does that. I do get it once in a while when I see a great dance performance or a movie, but it’s really about that live energy.
If you had seen me ten years ago you wouldn’t have got that at all. You’ve got to have 300 shows under your belt before you can give it your all. You have to stop caring about your vanity.

There are lots of different types of female artists right now. Where do you see yourself fitting in?
I’m not trying to fit in. I was lucky to experience success early on and then release an album of things that I like. I didn’t want to be a role model, I’m just trying to have fun. It’s more selfish. It’s about what gets me going. 
I do agree with you that we’re in a time where there are so many girls doing such different things. I think it’s the first time in pop music that that has happened. There were always two girls - Whitney and Mariah doing almost the same thing whereas now you have all these really commercial artists like Rihanna and Beyonce but then you have M.I.A., La Roux and all these other girls exploring their expressions as well. 


You’ve worked with Max Martin on Body Talk again after a long break. How was that?
Yes. It was fantastic. I needed to build my own record label and define myself away from the commercial pop industry. But at the same time I never felt I had to distance myself from that completely. Working with Max again is a way of showing that. I had my first success with him but he had his first success with me. We both entered the Billboard Top Ten at the same time.

Finally, ‘Dancing On My Own’ is from a gay guy’s perspective, right?
No. It was always written from my own perspective. I know a lot of people think I sing ‘I’m not the guy you’re taking home’ but I’m singing ‘I’m not the girl’. I’m cool with that - whatever you want to read into it, it’s cool with me.       

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