Monday, February 25, 2008

robyn is there

Great interview with Robyn over at Pitchfork (from whom I stole the above photo), and if her music and that picture don't make you realize that she's like one of the coolest people in the world, I refer you to the below excerpt, which is really long but says a lot about her, particularly for fans of really awesome electronic music, specifically those who realize that, without a doubt, Silent Shout was the best album of 2006:

Pitchfork: Is it true that you were at least partly inspired by the Knife?

Robyn: Yeah, I was inspired by the Knife. But the idea of starting my own company was there for a long time. I think the way that I was brought up...I was brought up in a theater family. My parents had an independent theater company here in Sweden during the 1980s, so I was raised watching my parents create independently, having a lot of fun and just doing what they wanted to do. I think that idea of independence as an artist was something I was always used to. And then I entered the industry from a very commercial perspective, and things were very different then from what I grew up with.

I spent the next 10 years kind of finding my way back to a place where I could feel like I could bring these two worlds together. After working with three different major record companies, not being happy with making music, starting to feel like maybe I just quit, go back to school and get myself an education [laughs]. I started to think about the idea of starting my own record company. I started talking to people and did a lot of research, then in 2004 decided to go for it. It was around that time that I worked with the Knife. Of course, seeing how they were working, they were already doing what I was hoping to do. It was like a kick in the butt. If they can do it with this very kind of leftfield music, and make it on their own and still have success, then my situation as a commercial artist, even though I would have other obstacles, would definitely be possible. Also, it was very inspiring to work with them because they were relating to pop music in a way I felt I could really connect to.

It was maybe a little bit like the way my parents looked at theater, where they were also kind of experimental and leftfield, but also not afraid of communicating on a very almost democratic level. Even though they were doing something that was only for a few people that knew about this little genre in theater that they were in, they were looking at themselves as something that could still communicate to all people. I think that's something that the Knife do as well. Even though they make the kind of music that they do, and they don't do interviews or show their faces and stuff, their music communicates with a lot of people outside the indie world. I felt connected to that, that philosophy. Commercial music is music that a lot of people connect to at the same time, but that doesn't mean it has to be something shallow or without personality.

As an addendum, The Knife produced the track "Who's That Girl" from Robyn, a fact which surprised me at first, as I had no knowledge of their connection, but now that I listen to it I can't imagine that awesome beat coming from anywhere else.

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