The Idolator Interview(s): Robyn x Kelis
Today our regular staff has been supercharged with the addition of Robyn. Her new album, Body Talk Pt. 1, is out now, and you should buy it. Robyn will be contributing throughout the day — show her a little love in your comments!
Even before she became guest editor of a popular music website, Robyn had more or less unfettered access to everyone in music. (Keri Hilson is a fan, and Robyn has already recorded new material with her pal Snoop Dogg that may find its way to Body Talk Pt. 2.). So when it came time for Robyn to interview someone for her big day here, she aimed high — she picked her fabulous soon-to-be co-headliner, Kelis. Check below for the first-ever double Q&A between Robyn and Kelis, and read what each reveals to the other about songwriting and survival on the road.
First, Robyn took on Kelis.
Hey Mama! Flesh Tone is a new direction for you sound-wise, what made you want to explore dance music on this album?
KELIS: It wasn’t a conscious effort; it really turned out that way. It was how I was feeling. I was inspired. I went to Paris and got a vibe out there and there was a whole movement and I thought was great. I think everything out here is too clean, pristine and polished and people need to sweat it out again. People go to the club – they’re way too serious and taking themselves way too serious. So I figured why not put a little fun in there.
I think you are super, how did you think around the concept of a super woman when making the album, both in relation to the music and the visuals?
KELIS: I’m a really visual person. So with every record that I do I always have a feeling and a vibe and it evolves on its own. It’s not a planned out thing but where my heart is at.
I hear you are a super chef too, I was wondering if I could get you to make me something while we´re on tour?
KELIS: Absolutely! It’s a date!
I’m a sucker for good food and I’m picky with what I put in my belly, but touring really makes me have to lower my standards. Any advice for a fellow touring food lover?
KELIS: Honestly, I’m constantly looking for good places when on the road. So I have quite an extensive list that I will share. Friends always call and ask me like, “We’re in Wyoming, where should we go?” Traveling makes it really hard. I feel like if I’ m not eating well I’m not as happy as I could be. So it definitely helps, I have a list.
The first song on my album is called “Don´t fucking tell me what to do”, it starts with: my drinking is killing me, my shopping is killing me, fill in the blank: ———— is killing me.
KELIS: The business, the whole business side of stuff is killing me
We’re calling our tour the All Hearts tour, what does “All Hearts” mean to you?
KELIS: It’s emotional; it’s about being okay with the choices we make. It’s about being really honest about it. And sometimes the hardest choices are the best ones. It’s all heart, it’s brave. About doing what’s right at all costs.
Then, Kelis turned the tables and asked our superfoxy guest editor a few questions.
It’s been a few years since your last album, Robyn, what have you been up to?
ROBYN: I was on tour with the last album until end of 2008 and then I went back to Stockholm to start working on the new album. Me and Klas Åhlund started writing in July last year and I´ve just been in the studio up until last week when I started promoting Body Talk pt 1.
Tell me about your new album, Body Talk Pt. 1.
ROBYN: Body Talk Pt. 1 is the first part of this album that will be released in three parts. Both musically and lyrically it’s inspired by club music and culture. I’ve been on tour, spending a lot of time in clubs, performing, but also just being a visitor. I think it’s an important place for our generation, a place where people go to let off steam and experience something bigger than themselves.
Your single, “Dancing On My Own”, has a strong dance vibe. What draws you to make that type of music?
ROBYN: I felt like I really found my voice on the last album and “With every heartbeat” was an important song for me. It made it possible for me to mix my obsession with a good melody and a strong emotion in a way that felt really good. I wanted to keep exploring that on this album. I also grew up on club culture in Europe during the 90s and emotional pop music from the 80s and I think I connected back to that too.
What’s one of your favorite cities we’ll be hitting along the tour?
ROBYN: San Francisco will be fun! But so will New York!
What’s your favorite night club or hot spot to “dance on your own”?
ROBYN: Tutti Frutti, my club night that I run with friends in Stockholm.
What three things are always on your tour bus?
ROBYN: Cava, my computer and my sleeping bag.
Is there something you do to prepare for each show on tour? Any pre-show rituals?
ROBYN: No, just the old tongue massage I do to keep my voice healthy.
What are some of your favorite songs on your iPod right now?
ROBYN: “Don’t Break My Heart” by UB40 and “Higher State Of Consciousness” by Wink.
What does “All Hearts” mean to you?
ROBYN: To me, that means it all, love, and everyone’s invited!
This is going to be fun. I’m bringing the confetti, you bringing the lasers?
ROBYN: I’m bringing the strobe lights!!