Robyn : biography

12 June 1979 –

Music career

1989–1993: Career beginnings

Robyn voiced the character Miranda in the 1989 Swedish-Norwegian animated film The Journey to Melonia. The film, directed by Per Åhlin, is very loosely based on William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. She also did the Swedish voice of Anne-Marie in All Dogs Go to Heaven. 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 Ekhé, 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.

1994–97: Robyn Is Here

Robyn started her career in the pop music industry at the age of sixteen. 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’s 1996 single "Roll with Me." Robyn entered Sweden’s pre-selection for Eurovision Song Contest 1997, as co-writer 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 US 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 US, 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.

1998–04: My Truth and Don’t Stop the Music

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". Despite her success in the US 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 performed the song "Say You’ll Walk the Distance" to the soundtrack for the film On the Line.