When Amanda Wikström, 25, Petra Brohäll, 26, and Ebba Lovisa Andersson, 26, had little to do on a recent Wednesday evening, they decided to film themselves performing Swedish artist Robyn’s hit song from 2010, “Call Your Girlfriend”.
As all three are part of the Uppsala-based women’s choral ensemble Erato, which Brohäll and Andersson formed a few years back, filling the downtown with music seemed like a fun and obvious choice.
But the trio had no idea that their ad hoc performance would end up receiving more than 100,000 views on YouTube in just a couple days as well as international media coverage.
“We posted it on Facebook to share with the other girls in the ensemble,” Brohäll told The Local.
“Then someone e-mailed us and asked if he could post it on YouTube, and since we’re not very technically skilled we said ‘sure’.”
The following night the trio checked the traffic to their video and were thrilled with the high number of views, but there was more to come.
Later they were notified via text message that the video had been tweeted by Robyn herself.
“She gave me a high five,” Andersson said.
“I was left hanging at the end of the video so she was nice to smack it. And then she shared our link.”
While Andersson refused to go into specifics about exactly what took place after they learned that the trio had gained the attention of Sweden’s reigning queen of pop, she said it could be summarized as “mass celebrations”.
There was even a short write up about it in the Guardian in the UK.
The three women met while studying at Uppsala University, but originally come from different corners of Sweden.
Wikström is studying to become a doctor, Andersson is a language consultant, and Brohäll is writing her BA thesis and is working two extra jobs.
But now they’ve had to find time for the media as well.
“Newspapers started calling and right now all of us are talking to different people [from the media],” Andersson said.
“It’s hard to cope. We’re just in love with Robyn.”
One reason the video had such breakthrough, the trio thinks, is because of the simplicity of it.
Three girls around a kitchen table, singing and drumming on empty cottage cheese boxes.
“It’s something everyone can do,” Brohäll added.
She also explained they’ve picked up the beat on YouTube from various clapping games, and that they chose Robyn because “she’s cool.”
“Ebba and I tried that song a few weeks ago too, and I think there’s even a clip where we sit and laugh,” she said.
“But it didn’t take very long to rehearse. Once you’ve got it down it just works.”
The three singers don’t yet have their own YouTube channel, but after the attention their first video has received, they’re now considering starting one.
“We’ve always been doing music and we’ve written some songs and we brainstorm ideas all the time, so of course we will keep doing it,” Brohäll said.
“And I think we might put some more stuff on YouTube as well.”