“Discreet; No drama,” Robyn advertises herself on
Craigslist 2010 single “Fembot,” and she lives up to her reputation: Ever since the news broke in January that she’d be opening for Katy Perry‘s California Dreams Summer Tour (which began June 7 in Atlanta), those who see the two performers as opposite ends of a musical spectrum have tried to reconcile the pairing. Before Robyn played Radio City Music Hall in February, Sophie Harris at Time Out New York thought she’d found an angle: asking Robyn if she was a fan of Perry’s music. The Swedish singer wisely dodged, “You know what? I have to go now,” but her non-answer was printed—and thus read—as if it were a de facto no, and footage from an earlier interview with MTV implied confirmation.
Robyn finally fired back—and set the record straight—in an interview with MTV at Bonnaroo. She claimed not to have known Perry’s music well enough at the time to answer with confidence, and pointed out that the question was one she’d faced many times before, about many other artists—all female. (The criticism is definitely on the mark.) Katherine St. Asaph wrote at Popdust that this imagined drama was invented to confirm incorrect ideas about authenticity, and went on to suggest that Robyn and Katy Perry are, in fact, extremely similar musically.
To hear Robyn tell MTV, the tour is strictly business: Perry gave her carte blanche for her show, and exposure to many more potential fans, which was exactly what Robyn was seeking. That Perry is a Robyn fan (or that Robyn really loves the pre-chorus in “Teenage Dream”) are beside the point.