Play (Swedish girl group)

Play (Swedish girl group)

Infobox musical artist
Name = Play


Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born =
Died =
Origin = Stockholm, Sweden
Instrument =
Voice_type =
Genre = Pop, teen pop, dance, bubblegum pop, Europop
Occupation =
Years_active = 2001–2005
Label = Sony BMG, Columbia, (Music World)
Associated_acts = Amanda Lameche
URL = http://www.playmaniafans.blogspot.com/ http://groups.msn.com/Playalicioushttp://playfan.de/

Current_members =
Past_members =

  • Anaïs Lameche ('01-'05)
  • Anna Sundstrand ('01-'05)
  • Rosie Munter ('01-'05)
  • Janet Leon ('03-'05)
  • Faye Hamlin ('01-'03)

Notable_instruments =

Play was a popular Swedish pop girl group that made its debut on the music scene in 2001. Five young women in total have been Play members - Faye Hamlin, Anna Sundstrand, Anais Lameche, and Rosie Munter formed Play's original line-up from the band's formation until late 2003, and Janet Leon joined Play after Faye Hamlin's departure. This group has released a total of five albums and toured the United States several times, gaining a large fanbase among a pre-teen and teenaged audience in the United States and Canada and, to a lesser extent, the European Union.Fact|date=February 2007 Though Play performed as a group for the last time in December 2004 and rumors of the group's break-up abounded throughout 2005, official word was released by the members of Play on September 29 2005, that the group was indeed on an indefinite break.

History

It's "Us Against the World"

Play was formed as a result of a nation-wide talent search led by Laila Bagge, a recording artist and dance studio owner. Her original line-up for Play consisted of two girls discovered at her dance studio - 12-year-old Anna Sundstrand, a relative of the legendary Greta Garbo, and 13-year-old Anais Lameche, younger sister of recording artist Amanda Lameche - and two girls found in the audition process, 13-year-old Fanny, or Faye Hamlin, who had done modeling work, and 13-year-old Rosanna, or Rosie Munter, who had starred in a popular Swedish film called "Eva and Adam". Unbeknownst to Laila, Faye and Rosie had also been best friends before being selected to be in Play.

Play's career was launched both in Sweden and in the United States in 2001-2002. Play's first single and video, "Us Against the World," was released in September 2001 in the United States and featured an EPK of the girls. In Sweden, Play's first full-length English-language album "Us Against the World," was released, while in the United States, a self-titled Play mini-album consisting of 7 of the 11 "Us Against the World" tracks was released on June 25 2002. Play toured in the United States in the subsequent months, often partnering with girls' clothing chain Limited Too. Play's music was also featured in the 2002 big-screen flick "The Master of Disguise", for which they filmed a video with numerous well-known co-stars including Lil' Fizz who rapped on the track, J-Boog and Solange Knowles. The girls of Play concluded 2002 with an appearance on the nationally-televised Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, in which they, standing atop the Build-a-Bear float, performed a rendition of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me," which they had originally recorded with Chris Trousdale of Dream Street. The album peaked at number #74 on the Billboard 200 and eventually went gold.

Play returned to the studio to begin recording their second album, "Replay". Before their second album was released, a concert DVD called "Playin' Around" hit stores, featuring several Play music videos, special "Making of" segments, footage from a live concert, and clips of the girls of Play recording and preparing for their second album. "Replay", a more mature and R&B-influenced effort, was released on June 10 2003, and on that day Play made several appearances to perform, including a guest spot on popular daytime talk show Live With Regis and Kelly. In this new stage of Play's career, Faye Hamlin emerged as the group's lead singer. Rosie Munter was most notably the quartet's soprano, Anna Sundstrand the mezzo-soprano, and Anaïs Lameche the powerhouse-vocals contralto During this time period, a cover of British girl group Atomic Kitten's "Whole Again" and a coming-of-age song called "I Must Not Chase the Boys" were recorded, and released as singles in the US. The video made for "I Must Not Chase the Boys" was aired on MTV's TRL and made the top 10 requested videos countdown, and it also managed to be featured on Carson Daly's radio show as one of his picks of the week. The album debuted at number 67 and managed to stay in the top 200 albums for a couple of months.

Play continued to tour in 2003 while still affiliated with Limited Too and promoting "Clickits", a new decorative girls' product. The girls of Play also appeared on several Nickelodeon television specials as featured guests and performers.

"Don't Stop the Music": a new beginning for Play

In October 2003, Play's lead singer Faye Hamlin, then 16 years old, decided to leave Play to pursue a college education. Faye continued to make appearances with Play until December 2003, even appearing in Play's video "It's A Hard Knock Life," featured on a DVD re-release of the hit musical Annie. On December 15, a formal press release on the group's official site informed fans of the line-up change and introduced new member Janet Leon, a 13-year-old who would step up to become Play's new lead singer.

Play's third US album, "Don't Stop the Music", was released on March 9 2004, accompanied by numerous appearances and performances by Janet, Anais, Rosie, and Anna in Limited Too stores across the country and in the Spring Thing Tour, along with J-Me, Stevie Brock, and Jump5. This album was decidedly more aimed at a younger crowd and received a mixed reception by Play fans, especially older fans. However, Play proved to be as strong as ever, returning to the US in May 2004 to headline a school tour sponsored by anti-drug organization MADD About Music, for which Play is the official teen group. Play also became affiliated with Kohl's new clothing brand for girls called everGirl, recording a song as well as a video to promote this new clothing line. The title track from the album, "Don't Stop the Music", was originally recorded and written by Swedish singer Robyn in 2002 for her album, also entitled "Don't Stop the Music". Music fans have criticised Play for coveting Robyn's song and album title, which could have hindered the singer's possible comeback in the United States. However, as a co-writer on the track, it would be wise to assume that Robyn could have asserted discretion over Play's re-recording and so such claims of 'foul play' are disputable. The album had disappointing record sales.

"Play Around the Christmas Tree"

In November 2004, Play released their fourth US album, a Christmas collection entitled "Play Around the Christmas Tree". A brief trip to the US followed as the four girls of Play made what would be their final appearances in Limited Too stores and Build-a-Bear stores in the Northeastern United States. Other than this short set of appearances and performances, this Play album was, up to that point, their least promoted release.

2005 - Play's Greatest Hits

After the late 2004 release of Play Around the Christmas Tree, little news of Play (collectively) was heard. In April 2005, a fifth US album by Play entitled "Girl's Mind" was released. This compilation, which seems to be best described as a "Greatest Hits" album, features ten of the best-known Play songs all recorded when former member Faye Hamlin was a member of the group. None of the girls of Play came to the US to promote this album, and it was not widely released in stores across the country on its supposed release date. Finally, in September 2005, an official statement from the members of Play confirmed that they are on an indefinite break as a group.

Post-breakup

As solo performers, some of the Play girls have begun making their own marks. Following the expiration of Play-Central.com, the group's former official site run by Columbia Records, the girls of Play (most notably Anna and Rosie) have kept in touch with their still-dedicated grassroots audience by way of Play-Mania.com, a very active fan site that had been owned and maintained since 2003 by now 17-year-old Lisa Tardo. The site was featured in Popstar! Magazine when it was a few months old, and it has since held its own as the definitive information site for Play. In September 2007, Lisa felt like it was time to close Play-Mania, but she still keeps fans updated through her website's Myspace page.

Janet Leon recorded a song exclusively released by Build-a-Bear in 2005 and a new song for everGirl. Janet has continued to record songs in a studio and hopes to release a solo album in the future. Anna Sundstrand, Rosie Munter, and former member Faye Hamlin have all signed with modeling agencies and begun working in the modeling industry. Rosie is working on a new solo album featuring the single "Tick Tock," and also worked with Swedish producer Kocky on his new album. Faye recorded a duet with Swedish singer Adam Appel that appeared on the soundtrack to a 2004 Swedish film. Anna, in addition to releasing a 2006 calendar in the United States featuring her modeling photos, is also said to be working on her own solo album, and she has performed several times with Chris Trousdale since 2005.Fact|date=February 2007 Anais Lameche is said to be working on a solo project of her own.

Discography

* "Play" - June 25, 2002
* "Playin' Around CD/DVD" - January 28, 2003
* "Replay" - June 10, 2003
* "Don't Stop the Music" - March 9, 2004
* "Play Around the Christmas Tree" - November 23, 2004
* "Girl's Mind" - April 15, 2005

External links

* [http://www.rosanna-munter.com/ Rosanna Munter's Official Website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/rosannamunter Rosanna Munter's Official Myspace]
* [http://www.myspace.com/leonjanet Janet Leon's Official Myspace]
* [http://www.myspace.com/anaislamechemusic Anaïs Lameche's Official Myspace]
* [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=110405822 Anaïs Lameche's Second Official Myspace]
* [http://www.myspace.com/46968720 Anna Sundstrand's Official Myspace]
* [http://www.myspace.com/fayehamlinmusic Faye Hamlin's Official Myspace]
* [http://www.myspace.com/fayehamlinmusic2 Faye Hamlin's Second Official Myspace]


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