Robyn Cage is a truly talented singer/songwriter from Park City, Utah. Though she only started writing songs in 2010, she is able to convey elaborately vivid stories with concise musical vision and her orotund vocal prowess.
Her artful presence and powerful musical delivery is indicative of professional theatrical training. So, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that she is also a professional actress. Having graced the stages of New York City after training at the Boston Conservatory, she realized that her heart was being pulled into songwriting. She followed her instincts and recorded her first E.P., Raining Sideways with producer Alex Houton.
2014 found Robyn working with two time Grammy-nominated producer Darryl Neudorf (Neko Case, Sarah McLachlan) to record her single “Burning Now”. An opportunity to work with Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning producer Dan Burns (Carina Round, Lenka, Michelle Branch) brought Robyn to Los Angeles to complete her second E.P. Tales of a Theif. Robyn’s debut full-length album, titled Born In The Desert, will be released in Spring 2015.
Evensound was extremely excited to have the opportunity to talk with Robyn about her experience fund raising for her first full length album and her plans for 2015.
You just exceeded your Kickstarter campaign by nearly double your goal back in December. Congratulations! How was your experience with crowd sourcing the funding of your record. What is your progress with the recording of the full length?
Thanks! The Kickstarter campaign was one of the most exciting, but also one of the most exhausting things I’ve ever done. It was really incredible to get that support from friends and fans, and even people who just stumbled across my project- it’s so reassuring to know that people believe in my music and are cheering me along. I couldn’t be happier with how the album turned out! We just finished the mastering, so I’ve been running Audiokite reports to test which ones songs will make the best singles.
Having studied in Boston and worked in musical theater in NYC, to your cross country move to Utah, you seem to follow inspiration and opportunity. Where are you from originally, how was the cross country move from NYC, you’ve said that the change in environment helped your inspiration, can you expand on that ?
I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, and I could hardly wait to get out of Utah! I went to the Boston Conservatory and then moved to NYC after graduating. I was passionate about acting, but when I started songwriting I felt that I had found my true calling, so I planned to move to Los Angeles. I returned to Utah to save up for the move, and completely fell in love with Park City. I still travel to L.A. for conferences and to do most of my recording, but I’m only truly at home in the mountains and desert. My album is actually titled “Born In The Desert”, and the dramatic Utah landscapes are a constant source of inspiration for my music, plus they make exceptional music video locations!
How did you meet your producer, Dan Burns? Did he help introduce you to the rest of your band (the members featured on your Kickstarter page) are they your live band as well?
I discovered Dan through an artist named Carina Round. I love her music and the production was so creative, yet supported the songs really well, and was just the right balance between polished and edgy. He connected me with all of the session musicians who played on the record, who were all mind-blowing amazing. I have a different band here in Utah that I tour with, and they are also super talented.
You seem to surround yourself with experts in their fields, the artistic direction for your releases have been very in tune with and highlight your musical aesthetic. How did you get involved with your team of visual artists?
Honestly, I got incredibly lucky. I live in a small town, yet I’ve managed to assemble a team of world-class artists, most of whom I met through mutual friends. I really love collaborating, and the people I work with are all really open to each others ideas and receptive to the overall vision of the project. I think it’s safe to say that we have a great deal of respect for each other, which allows us to trust in each others creative instincts.
You certainly have crafted your own unique brand of compelling emotional and theatrical music. You’ve made mention of your contemporary influences and genre mates like Fiona Apple and Florence + The Machine. Having worked as an actress before your solo music endeavors, who would you say your heroes and influences were when pursuing and crafting your own sound?
I grew up listening to Tori Amos- she’s the artist who really made me want to be a songwriter- and Fiona Apple. My acting background has definitely played a role (haha) in my sound, so I’m particularly drawn to artists like Tom Waits and Amanda Palmer, who are both hugely theatrical, and Lana Del Rey, whose music is very cinematic. More recently, while crafting my own sound for the album, I’ve been listening to a lot of Chamber Pop. I love Susanne Sundfor, Agnes Obel, and Florence + The Machine, who create music that combines traditional Classical sounds with current production and electronic elements.
What are the plans after the release in the Spring? Tour, PR Campaign?
We’re looking at launching a PR campaign right around the release of the album, and then touring in the Summer and Fall. I just went to the red desert in Southern Utah to shoot 2 new music videos, which I’m crazy excited about, so they’ll be coming soon!!