Robinson is an overthinker, so perhaps it's slightly ironic that the song putting her on the map is about dancing without a single care in the world. Nothing to Regret, a pure earworm featuring a joyous, sugar-rush chorus, is pushing 60 million streams worldwide, but Robinson (first name Anna) is still learning how to let that sink in.

"Being an anxious person, it doesn't just go away," she says. "I feel like for a lot of people it just gets worse, because they've suddenly got this expectation, and then you think, 'If I get one more thing, I won't be anxious anymore'.

"Caring about your art and wanting people to like what you do is an expected part of creating things and putting them out into the world, but I think there comes a point where you just have to kind of let it be what it will be and do what you're doing and trust that process, because you drive yourself crazy otherwise."

Previously, Robinson's self-described "pedantic" focus on her songwriting held her back from believing in her work – she'd scrap a song before it was even finished. "Now I sit down and I just finish it. I finish it and I send it away," says the singer, originally from Nelson. "Sometimes when you're writing you lose the ability to know what's good and bad anymore because you're writing so much stuff. It's important to not worry if something's bad – that's okay. There's going to be lots of good stuff too."


It's certainly hard to argue with 60 million streams, and every day Robinson, 22, is surprised by Nothing to Regret's impact. She once had an entire Contiki tour tell her she'd provided the soundtrack to their overseas experience.

"A bunch of people messaged me and were like, 'Nothing to Regret is the song that we have played this whole Contiki, it's what we remember the trip by; we'd go into a club and we'd play that song, we'd go to all these different places and play Nothing to Regret'," she says. "That's so special because five, 10 years from now they're going to hear that song and it's always going to be significant to them. That's why music is so amazing."

It's safe to say the song has been life-changing for Robinson. She's since signed to Sony Australia and the UK's Ministry of Sound and received a glowing endorsement from Zane Lowe on Apple Music's Beats 1. While she says an album is on the distant horizon, she's focused on singles for now. She followed up Nothing to Regret with Medicine, a more cathartic, emotional pop song about recognising the responsibility of our roles in the lives of others.

"It's about realising the weight of the words that you're saying and the impact that you have as a person," she says. "I think people often forget – they're just like, 'I'm just me, no one's going to care what I say', but I think everyone has an impact and it's important to realise that and to make sure we're always being our kindest selves.

"I remember being in high school, I was 14 at the time and a little bit chubby. And I remember someone said something really horrible to me, and to this day it has never ever left my head. It's still there."

Fresh off the back of a festival slot at Rhythm and Vines, Robinson says she can't even begin to explain how excited she is to have joined the Laneway line-up. She describes her set as something of a roller coaster, with the hope of hitting emotional highs and lows. "There are some really upbeat songs but then it takes on a bit of a dark turn and then it's really happy again," she says. "So it's a bit of everything – happy, sad, dancing, everything."

Until now, many of Robinson's shows have been overseas, and there's a daunting edge to the fact that she'll now be performing in her adopted city of Auckland. She knows her friends will be there, which raises the stakes for her as a musician.

"I always thought playing for my friends would be the scariest thing in the world, and that will never change because they're the people that have known you throughout your whole life," she says. "You shouldn't feel this way, but you feel like you've got so much more to prove to them.


"But also, some of the most special shows you can play are to your hometown, to your friends, to your family, because they're the ones who back you 100 per cent."

As for her fellow performers, Robinson's counting down for one in particular. "I am so excited I could cry to see Jorja Smith. I'm going to be mesmerised the whole set."

What: Laneway
When: Monday, January 28
Where: Albert Park Precinct. Entry from Wellesley St.