Photo courtesy of Robyn Adele Anderson Voice
BY DANIELLE BRODY
Four years ago, Robyn Adele Anderson
starred in a YouTube video that
launched a music career she never
Anderson, who had recently
moved to Astoria and was working
at a local immigration office, had her
life-changing moment when she saw Scott
Bradlee, founder of Postmodern Jukebox,
at the Manderley Bar in Manhattan. He was
performing pop and hip-hop hits in vintage
and ragtime arrangements.
“I was amazed by this world set in the ‘20s
and the jazz singers dressed up from the
era,” Anderson said. “I just thought it was
the coolest thing ever.”
Bradlee asked Anderson to sing a vintagestyle
cover of Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop”
for a YouTube video. The performance was
shot by a single camera in one take in a
Jersey City apartment.
“I had no idea what I was doing,”
Anderson said. “We put it on the channel
just hoping it would get a few views and
people would like it.”
The video ended up going viral overnight
and had a million views within a week.
Today, it has more than 14 million views.
Anderson became one of the lead singers
for Postmodern Jukebox, a group whose
current tagline is “We take pop music back
in time.” PMJ started with four people and
has become an international entity with
rotating singers and musicians.
Through PMJ, Anderson has made several
television appearances and has traveled
worldwide on tour, performing at venues
ranging from rock clubs to 3,000-person
Anderson had always hoped to travel for
work, but she imagined she’d do so as a
foreign service officer. Although she had a
lifelong interest in singing — she participated
in band and choir growing up and considered
going to college for music — she put it on the
back burner to pursue a political science and
Arabic major at SUNY Binghamton.
After graduating, Anderson moved to New
York, sometimes doing karaoke and working
at ANSOB Center for Refugees. Her chance
meeting with Bradlee led to a career switch,
and she left her job about two and a half
years ago to pursue music full time.
Watching Anderson on YouTube — or
better yet, at a live performance — she truly
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Photo courtesy of Robyn Adele Anderson