At this point, nothing really surprises [artist id="500933"]Robyn[/artist] anymore. After all, she’s had the sort of career that defies explanation: great periods of international success followed by long stretches of dormancy, false starts and fantastic returns to prominence and, finally, just maybe, if reception to her ongoing Body Talk series is any indicator, some long-deserved Stateside success.
She’s basically seen it all, been everywhere, met everyone. That’s why it’s sort of amazing to hear her talk about her performance — alongside house artist deadmau5 — at Sunday’s Video Music Awards, because she seems generally shocked by it all.
“When I released the last album, what happened in America, all the attention I got was so unexpected. I never, ever expected an audience to still be here for me,” she told MTV News. “And usually, awards shows can be so strange, but [the VMAs] felt really real. There were so many stars there and so many expectations, so I wanted to make sure I went up onstage and did something that felt real, and I got all this love from all the people at MTV. I felt really wanted. It was really amazing.”
It was even more amazing considering that Robyn and deadmau5 didn’t even get to rehearse their version of her “Dancing on My Own” song until the morning of the show (“I met him for, like, five minutes, and then we were playing,” she laughed). But, buoyed by the Swedish singer’s boundless, effervescent energy, the performance was a runaway success. That kinetic spirit is a staple of her live shows, and it was her ace in the hole on VMA night. Robyn knew she had to bring it, and the rest would fall into place.
“The intent is always to go for it. For [the Body Talk albums], I didn’t want to take anything for granted. … I wanted to tour, and I wanted to do it right. We didn’t want to go crazy with advertisements or go to radio too early but really build it through the touring,” she said. “And I think it’s worked, because all the press I’m getting and all the love I’m getting now is really based on people seeing me perform live, which is nice, because there’s no pyrotechnics in it, it’s just more of a connection to the audience.”
And now, she’s aiming to build off her VMA momentum. Body Talk, Pt. II just debuted in the top 50 of the Billboard albums chart, and she’s headed back to Sweden to begin recording the third (and final) installment of the series, which is due in November. And on Tuesday, she filmed a cameo for an upcoming episode of “Gossip Girl,” an experience that, like the VMAs, left her rather agog.
“I did ‘Gossip Girl’ yesterday, though, to be honest, I don’t know a lot about it, because I’m Swedish,” she laughed. “I shot a scene where I performed and I’m also, I wouldn’t say I’m acting, but maybe you can say I’m reacting. It’s reactive. I’m reacting to what’s going on around me. I don’t have any lines, I react. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m bragging, but my reacting skills are amazing.”
Are you looking forward to Robyn’s “Gossip Girl” cameo? Let us know in the comments!
The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there’s plenty of MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on MTVNews.com.