Robyn Loau (born c. 1972) is an Australian singer, songwriter and actress. From 1991 to 1994, she was lead singer of pop group, Girlfriend, before leaving the group to become the face and voice of world music project Siva Pacifica. Loau launched her solo career in 1997 with the Adamski produced single Sick With Love.
Robyn Loau first came into the spotlight as the lead singer of Australian all girl pop group Girlfriend, with fellow vocalists Jacqui Cowell, Siobhánn Heidenreich, Lorinda Noble and Melanie Alexander. From their debut single, Take It from Me, released in January 1992, the band's popularity skyrocketed, which peaked at number one on the ARIA Singles Charts.
The fantasy of teenage boys and idols of teenage girls, Girlfriend adorned the cover of teen magazines across the country. As their popularity continued to rise, publicity was high, as was public demand. Shopping centre appearances would see the girls mobbed by their fans. Success continued with their second single "Girl's Life" also becoming a top 20 hit. Girlfriend's debut album, Make It Come True, sold over 140,000 copies, and became Australia's highest selling debut CD--until Silverchair's Frogstomp.
A third single, "Without You", was also a top 20 hit and Girlfriend further impacted on the Australian fashion scene. Their trendy style and funky attire help launched their own fashion label available through Myer. Make it Come True had another two singles released from the album. Bad Attitude and Love's On My Mind secured the bands success, enough to see the girls head overseas to Europe, where they enjoyed moderate success. However it was Japan that embraced the group as their own. So much so that Girlfriend re-recorded the single "Take It from Me" in Japanese. They also recorded a number of Japanese-only tracks. The Make It Come True album was repackaged with these extra tracks and released in Japan with the new name of Girl's Life.
The year 1993 saw the release of the up-tempo single "Heartbeat", the first single from the band's second album, It's Up To You. To coincide with the album and single release, the Heartbeat Tour travelled the country to promote the bands new material and look. Even though the album did not have the same impact as the first, it still spawned 2 top 50 tracks, "Heartbeat" and the ballad "Wishing on the Same Star".
Loau left the band in mid-1994 to pursue a solo career. The four other members, continued performing and renamed themselves GF4. However, the group disbanded in 1996 after two further singles.
Loau was the face and voice of the South Pacific project Siva Pacifica. Loau worked with producer Anthony Copping to arrange a CD, similar to Deep Forests work, capturing the voices of the native island people. After its completion, Loau travelled the world introducing countries across Europe to the ancient music of the islands. Siva Pacifica was released internationally and found its way into the homes of over 100,000 people.
Loau's debut solo single Sick With Love (written with and produced by Adamski) immediately caught the attention of listeners across the country; receiving heavy airplay on Alternative radio station Triple J and peaking just one place shy of the top 20 singles sales chart. Loau's next single Love Addiction (featuring EMF singer James Atkin) continued to cement her reputation as a world-class musician and a few months later Loau's debut album Malaria (recorded while working on the Siva Pacifica project) received a promotional release within Australia.
Malaria was well received by Australian critics, drawing comparisons to Portishead and Neneh Cherry. In a four star review, Rolling Stone Magazine proclaimed Malaria 'A wickedly classy solo debut'. However, with only weeks to go until the commercial release of the album, Loau (along with several other Australian artists) was dropped by her label PolyGram due to their merger with Universal Music, and the album was shelved.
The following years saw little music output from Loau, with the main exceptions being a cover of Duran Duran's "The Wild Boys" for the various artists Duran Duran tribute album UnDone in 1999; and Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras theme "Never Miss The Water" in 2003.
She Devil / Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime:
2007 saw the release of a new single from Loau, "She Devil". The single was released and Who Magazine compared it to Madonna's Ray of Light Era.
The song managed to hit the Top 50 of the ARIA Physical Singles Chart, going top 20 on the ARIA Chart in both NSW and Victoria. It was top 5 on the AIR independent artist chart and was listed as the 29th highest selling indie single of 2007.
"She Devil" was performed in the Charlie's Bar on the TV soap opera Neighbours (25 October 2007 Aust and on the second last episode screened on the BBC 8 February in the UK).
Loau covered the track "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" by The Korgis which was used to promote the 2008 series of The Biggest Loser across cinema, TV and radio. It was released as a double A-side single with "Foreign Life" penned by Loau and Sven Tydeman.
Malaria: The Lost Album:
In July 2008 Loau's critically acclaimed 'lost' debut album Malaria was finally released to the public. As well a digital and limited CD release; the album was also one of the first albums by an Australian artist to be released on USB wristband format.
By plugging-in the Loau pre-loaded USB wristband to their computer (or newer model car and mobile phone/handset with USB port) the user gets "Malaria: The Lost Album" in mp3 format, a Josh G Abrahams remix, a PopRepublic.tv interview, bonus music videos and 2 short documentaries/EPKs. To play, the wristband is simply unfastened and inserted into the USB port where the files can be played or transferred to an mp3 player.
A teaser single "Hard" (with Josh Abrahams) preceded the album Only Human. Hard was released on iTunes and featured provocative lyrics exploring the Columbine shootings from the killer's point of view. The music video (also available on iTunes) was shot on the Northern Beaches by The Hive production crew (Cameron D'arcy, Ed Coyle, AFI award winning cinematographer Denson Baker and Samson and Delilah/Australia colourist Trish Cahill).
The lead single "Never Let You Down" (written with Cameron McGlinchey) was released in late 2010 preceding the album release. Released in 2011, the full length album Only Human featured songwriters and producers include Robyn Loau, Josh Abrahams (Puretone), Future Sound Of Melbourne, members of the Resin Dogs, Skin and Len Arran (Skunk Anansie).
During this time, Loau also made a guest appearance on the Street Warriors's album Unstoppable Force (on the song "How Much You Mean To Me") alongside other guests such as Nesian Mystik and Shannon Noll.
In March 2012, Loau announced the forthcoming release of her next single Wuthering Heights featuring the S:Amplify (Josh Abrahams/Davide Carbone) produced version alongside an alternate version of the track produced by Stu Hunter
The feature film Idiot Box saw Loau's acting debut. Directed by David Caesar, Idiot Box drew warm reviews from critics locally and internationally and debuted at number 10 at the Australian Box Office. The film was also released in the US and UK. Loau played the female lead role of Lani, a drive through bottle shop attendant. Loau starred alongside actors Ben Mendelsohn and Jeremy Sims.
In the late nineties, Loau also appeared in the Paul Fenech-directed film Somewhere in the Darkness. Loau has also appeared in critically and commercially successful TV dramas such as Wildside and All Saints.