BWW Feature: Popular YouTuber Robyn Adele Anderson To Debut at The Green Room 42
Robyn Adele Anderson, who makes her debut at The Green Room 42 this Saturday, is a performer who takes modern songs and covers them in a jazz style. Her YouTube channel, where she posts videos like her swing cover of "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World, has more than 59 million views and 569,000 subscribers.
Anderson shared that she never originally intended to pursue music as a career - at least, not until she met Scott Bradlee in 2011. Bradlee is the founder of Postmodern Jukebox, a musical collective with a rotating cast of performers who rearrange popular music in vintage styles.
The first video Anderson did with Postmodern Jukebox was "Thrift Shop," Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' hit, back in 2011; they redid the song in a 1920s style, and she said the video went viral overnight - and nothing has been the same ever since.
"I realized, this is my calling," Anderson said. "This is a thing that people like and they want. [Performing is] such a great way to express yourself and your emotions, whether it's a song that you wrote and you're saying your exact words and emotions, or you're taking someone else's words & interpreting [them]," she added.
Anderson believes that art should be up for individual interpretation; once she has created a video, it's up to her viewers how they will perceive it. And the reception tends to be positive.
"I like creating this thing that will mean a lot to other people," she said. "I love knowing that people listen to my music and it makes them happy or feel a certain way."
Anderson is responsible not just for singing the songs she covers, but arranging them as well, now that she's mostly branched out to be a solo performer.
"I love both equally," Anderson said of arranging versus singing. "I love the concept of taking new music and rearranging it. It was something I never thought I would be able to do, or be interested in...but I have this fanbase that was just waiting for me to put out new music, and that was very inspirational."
One of the first overseas tours Anderson went on with Postmodern Jukebox was to Europe; they discovered a huge fanbase in the Czech Republic, and when they did their show in Prague, Anderson says, "we were superstars. They were cheering so loudly, we had to plug our ears."
After that, she toured the world with them for five years, visiting multiple continents and dozens of countries.
These days, Anderson is mainly a solo performer, although she does occasionally still go on tour with Postmodern Jukebox. She posts videos to her own YouTube channel, has played multiple solo shows, and debuts at The Green Room 42 on Saturday, Feb. 29.
Anderson said she is very excited to play at The Green Room 42. "My friends have had the most amazing things to say about it," she said. "It's the ideal kind of venue; an intimate environment, almost having a conversation with [the audience]."