From its sly spoken-word opener “Don’t F—— Tell Me What to Do,” to the techno-dub exercise “Dancehall Queen” and the floor-stomping overload of “Dancing On My Own,” “Body Talk Pt. 1” — the latest album from Swedish dance-pop diva Robyn — is nothing if not mad-scientist experimental. It’s also the first of a 2010 trilogy, with parts two and three to be released later this year. The 31-year-old can afford to be inventive. She’s the CEO of her own imprint, Konichiwa Records.
How is Konichiwa doing? It’s doing well. It’s still a very small company. But the last album (2007’s “Robyn”) was an amazing breakthrough for me — I got to connect to a whole new audience and play for that audience for about two years straight. And I felt like the audience I connected to was a really honest and dedicated one. So the company has grown, of course, because a lot of things have happened. But it’s still based in my kitchen.
An artist usually made something like 97 cents for every major-label album sold. How are you doing as an indie? I’m making a lot more. But it totally depends on where. In Sweden, it’s a distribution deal with a bigger company, EMI, and it’s very much my own money that goes into it and that comes back to me. In the U.K., I have a joint-venture deal with Island, and in America I work with Interscope, and it’s a more traditional artist, or license, deal. So the deals are different, depending on how well I know the market and how much I need help.
So you would tell young artists that running your own label is totally doable? Yeah. It is doable! At least that’s how I see it. I mean, I wasn’t brought up in the indie world — I was a club kid who was catapulted into the pop industry at a very early age, and it took some time for me to figure things out. But I figured it out for myself, and I think that’s how everyone has to do it.
Now you can release three albums a year if you want, right? Yeah! For me, it is an album — it’s just being released differently.
“Don’t F—— Tell Me What to Do” — is that your business statement? No. It’s not personal, and it’s not business, either. When I was coming back off tour, I just felt like I had people in my face all the time. It’s like a diary, you know?
IF YOU GO
The All Hearts Tour, with Robyn and Kelis
Where: Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., San Francisco
When: 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Tickets: $25 to $40
Contact: (415) 625-8880, www.ticketweb.com