Courtesy of Red Bull

robyn discusses therapy and her forthcoming album

This week the Swedish singer sat down with her friend Kindness to discuss her life since Body Talk.

by Alexandra Bondi de Antoni
25 May 2018, 8:00am

Courtesy of Red Bull

Hearing demos of your favourite tracks is a rare gift. During Robyn’s Red Bull talk with British musician and frequent collaborator, Adam Bainbridge aka Kindness, at NY’s MoMA earlier this week, she gifted her fans over and over again. While discussing her multifaceted career, the Swedish singer started off playing the demo of 2005’s Be Mine (ft. heavy guitars), made the crowd go crazy when the previously-unheard original version of 2010’s Dancing on my Own blasted through the room and finished of with Honey, a song that everybody has been waiting for since she teased it out on the last season of Girls in 2017. But without a doubt best thing we learned was that a new album -- her first in eight long years -- is officially coming. While she didn’t reveal when exactly, Kindness assured the audience that what’s to come will be beyond anything we could possibly imagine. Here is everything we learned…

She loves to collaborate but took a different route for the new album…
“It’s is not finished yet, but it's almost there. I felt very raw when I started making this album. No filters. I started it on my own in my studio, listening to music that I loved dancing to and making beats. I wanted to start on my own before collaborating this time because I had some things that I wanted to try. I love to collaborate, but I wanted to flesh it out a little bit on my own before I brought other people into the process. I think I'm always going to look back at that period and feel happy that I was in that space and just got in touch with a sense of sensuality and softness that I've wanted to explore.”

Finding the right energy to work took a whole year…
“It’s really hard to find something that feels honest without it seeming pretentious. That's just not something that I can do anymore under pressure. With this album I've gone back to realise that the softer I get, the more colourful and the more dynamic a song gets. For me it meant just shutting down for a while and being really sparse with my impressions or being very sensitive to what I needed.”

She has been in therapy for the last 7 years..
“I had started psychoanalysis in 2010 already, but it wasn't until around 2014 when Christian [Falk, a Swedish producer Robyn worked with a lot] passed and I went through a separation at the same time. I was really searching and looking for new ways of making music -- it was then that my therapy really started to take off. I stayed in psychoanalysis for about seven years. Things happen in life, but there's nothing good about people getting sick and dying. I mean there's no romantic way of looking at it, but that experience and helped me to appreciate life a lot more.”

Music is not a therapy for her...
“I'm a fan of when there's light and dark at the same time -- when there's just happiness or just sadness it just gets boring. That's so predictable. The magic happens when there are lots of things going on at the same time. That's much more satisfying and that's what I'm drawn to when I make music. You're able to turn something around that might feel like you're holding in or that you're censoring yourself, or somehow not giving or showing. You're able to make something good out of it. Something positive, which is amazing. Maybe making music is a kind of a therapy, but I wouldn't call it that. Therapy to me is something very different and much slower. It's a way of being and a way of living that I just haven't been able to change.”

But maybe dancing is...
“I'm not a well-trained dancer but I love to dance. I think what informs me the most is clubbing. That's what it all comes from and what happens to a person when you start letting go of and judging your behaviour. I feel like the Call your Girlfriend video inspired people -- which I'm really happy about -- to dance and move their bodies in a way that feels good to them. Lots of people have done that before, but the video created a moment that I'm proud of.”

She thought about Prince when working on Dancing on my Own...
“I had this ‘I keep dancing on my own’ part, and I knew I wanted it to finish like that. I always try to write songs that I feel like maybe Prince would like... and I think he could have liked it. That's how I get myself in shape. I think about him.”

Adam Bainbridge
dancing on my own