15 minutes with New Zealand-born artist Robinson

Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

On touring, the making of her new single and an Aussie debut.

New Zealand-born artist Robinson is no stranger to impressing international crowds, having toured Europe earlier this year with Hayley Kiyoko.

Now, with singles like the intensely romantic ‘Medicine’ under her belt, the pop singer is doing her first headline shows on Aussie shores.

Ahead of tonight’s Melbourne show, we sat down with Robinson to chat touring, the making of ‘Medicine’ and what she’s up to next.

So, you’re about to do some headline shows in Australia. Is performing live something you get psyched about?

Performing live used to really scare me when I was first starting out, I think because I was so new to it and it was all very unfamiliar. But now, I’ve gotten to the point where going on stage and performing is so much fun. It’s something that I really look forward to and actually miss when I’m not doing it.

Does it feel different performing somewhere other than New Zealand?

I think it’s definitely different, in the way that all your surroundings are new. So it feels very surreal, being in a different country, playing music to all new people.

What’s the most surreal thing that’s happened to you since starting out?

Something that never gets old is when you’re playing a show in a different city and there are people that are singing your words to you. That’s such a surreal feeling. I remember it happening when I was in Europe and I was just thinking, ‘Oh my god, someone this far away from home knows all the lyrics to my songs’. That’s so crazy to me.

You’re doing shows with Dean Lewis, too. Are you excited about that?

We actually got told about that just before I went on my London trip a couple of months ago. It was so exciting coming off a European tour and knowing that I was coming to Australia to open for Dean Lewis. I absolutely love his music, so it’s really awesome to be able to play with him as well as doing my headline shows.

Your latest single ‘Medicine’ has had a really great reception, both from listeners and radio stations. What does that kind of support mean to you as an artist?

It’s just so incredible that a song you write within the space of a couple of people can then take on a life of its own when you release it out into the world. It’s pretty amazing for me to think that so many people have heard ‘Medicine’ and reacted to it really well. That’s all that you can hope for when you release a song.

What was the inspiration behind the video for ‘Medicine’?

When we were writing ‘Medicine’, I was imagining the music video for it, and I could imagine it being something dramatic just because the storyline is very dramatic. I wanted a dark story with a twist. Then when I was talking to Morgan [Gruer], who directed the video, she came up with this treatment and, initially, I was like ‘Oh my god, can I be that person?’ But then I realised, obviously, that it’s only acting.

Was there a reason behind using the ocean as your set?

I think it was just that on screen, it looked really cool. But then, it was also symbolic of the mistakes you make, and feeling like you’re drowning in those mistakes. It was so much fun to film that scene, because I was out in Malibu at five in the morning, just in the ocean. But I had so much adrenaline going, and I remember looking behind me and there was a seal. It was really crazy.

Morgan Gruer directed the video for your single ‘Nothing to Regret’ before this. Did that affect the process at all?

Working with Morgan the first time was so positive and she just brought the best out of me. So, I really wanted to have her back again for ‘Medicine’, because she made everything so easy. And creatively, I think we really connect, which is all you could ever want.

The dress you were wearing in that video was also incredible. Is fashion something that’s important to you?

It’s so important to me. It’s all I spend my money on. I love clothes. I’ll take a cheap flight just so I can spend more money on clothes. That dress was amazing, wasn’t it? I think it was vintage, too, so I don’t know why they were okay with me wearing it in the ocean. But it looked really cool, so I’m glad they were.

The big question is, what’s next for you?

Finishing this tour and heading to Bali, and then hopefully it’s time for another tour. So, lots of live music and maybe a new song on the horizon.

Grab tickets to see Robinson at the Northcote Social Club here, and check out the music video for ‘Medicine’ below.


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