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Music / Robyn

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"Konnichiwa, bitches."

Describe Robyn here.

Okay, but first we're going to need some rain, thunder, and some hell's bells.

Robyn Miriam Carlsson (born 12 June 1979), known by her stage name Robyn, is a Swedish singer-songwriter who is famed for her combination of dance-pop and keen, earnest subject matter, as shown in her hit singles "With Every Heartbeat", "Dancing on My Own" and "Call Your Girlfriend".

In the 1990s, Robyn was hailed as a typical, blemish-free pop act. Her 1995 album Robyn is Here produced two top 10 singles on America's Billboard Hot 100 chart ("Do You Know (What It Takes)" and "Show Me Love"), but Robyn was dissatisfied with the box that she found herself in. In the midst of her growing international popularity, she was diagnosed with exhaustion and returned to her native Sweden to recover. Her producer, Max Martin, shrugged off her departure and gave the world someone named Britney Spears instead.

Robyn's next two albums, 1999's My Truth and 2002's Don't Stop the Music, were only released in Sweden and Japan, due to her label balking at My Truth's lyrical content, effectively kneecapping her career.

In 2003, Robyn left Jive Records due to creative differences. She ended up founding her own record label with some help from Karin Dreijer of The Knife. 2005 saw the release of her fourth album Robyn, a bold statement that switched out her straight pop/R&B sound for songs indebted to synthpop and electro. The album took two full years to reach the United States, but it did re-ignite Robyn's career there and gave her her first Grammy Award nomination.

2010 saw the release of the Body Talk mini-album trilogy, which cemented Robyn's career as a solidified pop songwriter and a tastemaker (it's telling that Max Martin, who's had a hand in writing and producing a sizable chunk of all of the pop hits of the last 20 years, is handed a copy of Robyn's latest album as a creative starting point when a singer comes to work with him). Her fanbase extends to celebrities such as Lorde, Carly Rae Jepsen, Perfume Genius, and Ariel Rechtshaid, all of whom have cited Robyn's work as inspiration for their careers.

Outside of music, Robyn is known for championing equality and empathy, which has won her a sizable queer audience. She also promotes STEMnote  education in girls, with her Teklafestival only open to girls aged 11-18 (plus their parents).


  • Robyn is Here (1995) note 
  • My Truth (1999)
  • Don't Stop the Music (2002)
  • Robyn (2005)
  • Body Talk (2010) note 
  • Do It Again (with Röyksopp, 2014)
  • Love is Free (with La Bagatelle Magique, 2015)
  • Honey (2018)

Robyn provides examples of:

  • Badass Boast: "Curriculum Vitae" and "You Should Know Better" are two really strong contenders for the poster child of this trope, even though they border on parody.
  • Boastful Rap: "Konichiwa Bitches", bordering on Affectionate Parody.
  • Break-Up Song: "Call Your Girlfriend" (which takes the uncommon form of the Other Woman's advice to the breaker-upper), "Dancing On My Own", "With Every Heartbeat", and "Be Mine!".
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: Averted in her cover of Prince's "Jack U Off".
  • Darker and Edgier: Robyn was a complete genre shift with more confrontational and boastful lyrical subjects. Before this, My Truth wasn't released outside of Sweden because they thought her (slightly) stronger subject matter was inappropriate for a 90's pop starlet.
    • Her mini-album Do It Again with Röyksopp. Its lead song, "Monument", is about humanity's quest to be remembered and recognized for their achievements, even as the knowledge that their monuments to themselves will disintegrate in the future looms over them.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Half of her songs include some form of this.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: In "Konichiwa Bitches": "This shit is gettin' heavy like it weighs a ton." Also a Captain Obvious moment.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Robyn is Here may be her most successful album in America, but it features a teen-pop, proto-Britney Spears sound that is quite different from her later, more acclaimed work.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Her record label is Konichiwa Records.
  • Greatest Hits Album: "Det bästa med Robyn".
  • "I Am Great!" Song: "Robyn Is Here", "Konichiwa Bitches", and "U Should Know Better", among others.
  • Lighter and Softer: Honey, which is themed around self-carenote  and re-connecting with a former partner, is full of airy synths and slight builds.
  • List Song: "Don't Fucking Tell Me What to Do" is a list of all of the things that are giving Robyn grief. An interactive music video for the song allowed fans to add their own grievances to the list, which would extend the length of the song almost indefinitely.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: "My Only Reason", where she sings about how "love can make you do crazy things".
  • My God, What Have I Done?: She sings about rather realistic regrets and desires to go back and change them in "Time Machine".
  • Odd Friendship: With Snoop Dogg. They've made 3 songs together, all of which are Awesome Music.
  • The Oner: "Call Your Girlfriend." It takes some serious chops to completely captivate the viewer for the length of a music video with nothing but dancing and a lighting rig.
  • Punk in the Trunk: The end of "Konichiwa Bitches": "tape you up good, put you in the trunk, see you next tuesday, you is a punk"
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: With herself, actually. She has two personalities in her music. In some songs, she's overly confident to the point of being over-the-top; in others, she is sensitive, sombre and heartfelt.
  • Self-Titled Album: "Robyn". "Robyn Is Here" is a nearly-eponymous one with a nearly-eponymous song also called "Robyn Is Here".
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Pretty much the theme of her earlier hits "Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect)" and "Do You Know (What It Takes)".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Mostly Played for Laughs.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Crash and Burn Girl" and "Handle Me".
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Konichiwa Bitches"
  • Time Machine: The song, er, "Time Machine", has her singing about wanting one.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • 1995's Robyn Is Here was reissued in 1997 for the international market with "Show Me Love" replacing "Where Did Our Love Go".
    • Likewise, 2005's Robyn was reissued internationally in 2007 with an entirely re-organized tracklist, re-recordings of "Bum Like You" and "Robotboy", and singles "Cobrastyle" and "With Every Heartbeat" added.
    • Body Talk was released in three parts across 2010: in June, September and November. A compilation featuring five songs from each part was also released on the same day that Pt 3 was.
  • Wham Line: Her collaborative song with Röyksopp, "Do It Again", sounds like an innocuous dancefloor filler ("Wait for the build up / And then let's do it again") until the middle eight comes and the context of the full song is laid bare:
    "We can not be friends. We'll just do it again. If you stay around, we'll just do it again."