Canadian Artists

Interview: Robyn Ottolini Won the Hearts of C2C Festival 2022 Fans at London’s O2 Arena. We talk F150, how she landed her record deal and more

We were very excited to see Robyn Ottolini at C2C Festival this year.

Hailing from Uxbridge, Canada, Robyn is described as the Eminem of country music on her website. Basically, she is unapologetically herself.

That is one of the many things that makes Robyn and her music so appealing.

Live, Robyn is an absolute blast and by far was one of the best acts across the C2C Festival weekend. Her charm, wit, sass, confidence and kind approach blended with her emotive side made her incredibly easy to love.

Robyn has plenty of music out for fans to enjoy and for new fans to discover. The I’m Not Always Hilarious EP is one of her most recent. These songs will be ones that fans who saw her across the festival will no doubt recognise. On this EP is the viral single F150 which was a massive hit with her audiences as well as other songs such as Sincerely, drunk me off of the follow up EP, But I’m Not Always Sad Either EP.

We caught up with Robyn at C2C Festival and had so much fun chatting with her. Robyn has such a warm and energetic personality and was a joy to interview.

Hi Robyn, how are you? Is this your first time playing in the UK?

Yeah, we have been here since thursday, jet lag is a real thing. We have been fighting it off well. We played the Town Square yesterday and it was absolutely packed. We were like the last ones to go on so I was worried that everyone would leave but they didn’t. It was a great turnout, a great audience, it was so good.

Good. Did you have lots of people singing along?

Yeah! I was like “my music made it here?”

Well yes, I heard about loads of people wanting to come and see you. We do do our research in the UK. Once acts are announced we make a point of doing our research, going through an artists entire catalogue and then by the time the shows start, we know all the words to all the songs.

Yeah, I appreciated it.

Have you managed to do any sightseeing?

We are staying in Greenwich. Greenwich is a pretty little town. It’s very nice, it’s like young and hip. We have been to the bars around there but we haven’t done anything like Buckingham Palace or Trafalgar Square or anything yet. We will!

Have you managed to see anyone’s set here yet?

We have seen some acts on the Big Entrance stage and we caught Russell Dickerson and Breland last night. Other than that we have been sound checking.

Tell us a bit about your sound because your website describes you as the country Eminem.

Yeah, it’s more about the indifference, irreverence that Eminem has. He doesn’t really care about what people think. He says what he knows and that is kind of what I do. I will either piss you off or make you fall in love. Either one I am still going to do what I am going to do no matter what.

I read that people like Kacey (Musgraves) and Maren (Morris) have helped open that door for you which I can completely see as they are women in country music who also don’t care, are told they are controversial when really they just sing about real life and for some reason that pisses people off. Women in country have to almost be….

Perfect? Yeah! I’m over it! The guys wake up, put on a black tank and walk out and I am like this you know?

You have to play the game but hopefully when I’m at the top, I can help change that. If I get to the top haha!

Well I am sure you will.

I hope so.

I hope it changes in general and I said artists like Kacey and Maren are helping that happen and now you too.

Yep, we do what we want.

And thank goodness you do.

https://youtu.be/U0cImod1Dk0

So tell us about F150. That’s a truck right?

Yep, it’s a ford pick up truck and my boyfriend drove it, well my ex boyfriend. We were in a small town so when he broke up with me I didn’t want to see it and see him and I was so scared of seeing the same make and model. The town is so small that the chances are high that it will be his truck. So I pulled over to the side of the road and I sung “When I see an F150….it drives me mad”.

It is such a relatable song because everybody has that reminder, that trigger, whatever it is; a vehicle, a jacket, a name….It’s like you meet someone and ask their name and it’s the same name as an ex and you’re like “ok, bye”

Haha, yes exactly!

When you name your children you realise how many people you don’t like and it makes naming kids so hard. You’re like “I went to primary school with a boy with that name, he wasn’t nice so nope, we ain’t naming him that”

My cousin is pregnant right now and she was telling me baby names and I was like “I used to work with one of those, don’t name them that” hahaha!

I Get It” is another song that I really really like.

Oh thanks!

It’s another very relatable song…

Yeah! I wrote that one alone. After F150 guy broke up with me for the second time…

Oh no!

Yeah it was three whole times.

Noooo

I know, I’m an idiot, don’t take men back and also men don’t take women back haha nobody take anyone back hahaha. Be done with it! Yeah so it was the first time I really felt like a heartbreak heartbreak. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep and I was like “I finally get it!” I finally get why people go psychotic when they go through break ups. I think that I am pretty level headed and smart, I make good decisions but I was bat shit when I was going through that break up, I was not a good person. I was like I finally get why girls eat ice cream!

They made us that way.

Exactly!

https://youtu.be/HOzw9CRtpjs

What was it like releasing music in the pandemic? You were geared up to release it before it all happened so what were the positives of releasing it in such a tough time?

So I was releasing music just before the pandemic. F150 came out on January 21st 2020.

Oh…

Yeah haha. Bom bom bom…..

And then I had a few other songs , F150 and then Trust Issues came out and then Girl Next Door. It was leading up to the pandemic and no one could really see it coming. It was kind of in the news but we didn’t think it could hit us, no one really knew what was happening . I was ready to go, set up a few festivals and then lockdown happened. I was sad obviously and went into a little bit of a depression and my managers said “be sad for a couple of weeks, really feel what you’ve got to feel but use whatever you can to do what you can do” so I turned to social media because we were locked inside. I love being creative, I love videos and stuff like that so I just focused on social medias and tik tok, learning about the platform. I was watching tik tok about 8 hours a day. It was work haha, so I really worked on that. I think it paid off because F150 went Viral six months after I released it and it was already doing amazing independently and then virality, virality? Is that a word?

I don’t know but if it isn’t it should be. Trademark that now haha!

So Virality haha is how my publisher found me and how my label found me and how my booking agent found me and that’s how I got here (C2C Festival). I am really proud of it because it’s a song that I put out because I loved it and not because it had a reaction online. It was a very proactive music release and I am just lucky that it went viral after I released it.

When you heard that you were coming to the UK for C2C Festival , that must have been pretty crazy?

I have always wanted to play C2C Festival so I was “ahhhhh” that was my little scream that I did haha. I was really excited because I have never been to Europe. It is cool because music takes you to so many places. As much as it is long hours and jet lag, you sit back and think “it’s sunny in England and I am playing country music to people who want to hear country music. I don’t care how tired I am right now, this is amazing”.

What is next for you? What do you have planned?

I have been writing a lot and I am going on tour with Tyler Rich in April in America. I am Canadian so going to America I am like “ahhh”. So that and I really want to work on new music. I want to be very strategic when I do the next music so I want to think like a concept and have a plan and really sell it home.

Are you still living in Canada?

2021 was so busy with the pandemic and travelling so I am kind of looking for a house right now in Nashville.

Nice!

Canadian mortgages are a little bit more difficult to get so “we are playing the old bank game” (said in an Cockney accent). I am working on my accent haha. So we are going to see what the bank says and if not I will just rent somewhere so I have a home away from home.

You are from Uxbridge in Canada?

Yeah Uxbridge.

We have an Uxbridge here in the UK too.

There is haha and every time I google something like an eye doctor in Uxbridge it sends me to UK websites. I was looking up dog rescues because I wanted to get a rescue dog, I eventually got a dog and she’s perfect. But I was looking at rescues and googled rescues near Uxbridge and they were all in England and I was falling in love with the dogs before I realised it was in England and I was like “dang it” haha.

Aww. You of course have a London in Canada too?

Yeah, it’s so funny, I was on my way here and I posted a video that said “checking in to London, United Kingdom ” and my best friend from High School said “oh my gosh this whole time I thought you were talking about London, Ontario” .

Not as exciting for you I guess?

No haha!

Thank you so much for chatting today.

Of course, thank you!

And I will be catching your show at All Bar One.

Oh great, see you there!

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