Before I met the girls I was a fan like you. Like most of you I hoped they might one day reunite. In late 2009 it became a reality. The problem is, with all things real there are inevitable bumps in the road. Anna was not invited to rejoin and some of you were unhappy about that decision. Then Rosie dropped out for unrelated reasons.
Still, with Anais and Faye I thought Play could conquer the world. As young women and artists they have many incredible qualities. They make an amazing team. Faye is one of the best vocalists and performers in the world as we all know, and Anais is so mature, polished, and determined. Anais walks in a room and just takes it over with her beauty, intelligence and presence, and no doubt she will be a great success no matter what she does. It was a strong trio because Sanne is not just window dressing, she is a formidable vocalist in her own right.
My work unexpectedly brought me in contact with Laila and I was given a chance to help the girls return to the U.S. When I first spoke to the girls I told them their timing was good because the world is waiting for the next big girl group to emerge, but if they wanted to fill that void they would have to work harder and with much greater passion than I had seen from them on the internet the past few months. They swore to me they were ready to do those things and would never give up. There was great excitement when the girls came to Los Angeles last August. Everyone loved them. Everyone was thrilled to have Anais and Faye back. We met with music people and television people and everything went perfectly. We went to Interscope Records, the biggest record label in the world, and they loved the girls. What was supposed to be a 20 minute meeting turned into a full day at Interscope. Before they left LA the girls gave a showcase before a large music industry audiance, and they performed with a passion that had been missing. People were buzzing with excitement, and everyone was convinced Play was a sure thing to be the next super girl group. The future looked so bright.
We were planning to finalize certain deals when Disney called and asked the girls to record Destiny. I was up all night negotiating the deal because the girls had to be in the studio the next morning. Then, out of the blue, Faye woke up, called Laila, and told her she had changed her mind and did not want to sing anymore. She quit, on the spot, with no notice. There was total hysteria. Total devestation.
Laila, Anders and Andreas had invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the new Play, on a television show and an album. Faye had come to Los Angeles and met everyone, so it was a huge embarrassment to go back and tell people one of the members had left already. Sanne and Anais had to record Destiny alone. They cried all day. Anders, Andreas, and Laila met with Faye but she would not budge. They felt betrayed, and Anais and Laila, in particular, were grief stricken.
In retrospect, it probably should have ended when this happened because let’s face it, Faye is irreplaceable. But then Emelie came along, and I like Emelie a lot. She has her own cool style, she is very intelligent, and I thought it could still work. All three girls were here in January and they did well. We had funding in place, we had a game plan, and it was time to make the big push.
But when the girls returned home from the U.S. they went their separate ways and never got back together. At first it was as though they were taking a break, but that led to disagreements and misunderstandings. Certainly part of it was poor communication, and I was confident if they just sat down and talked they could work it out, but they never got together. Further, some members felt they were willing to sacrafice more and work harder but that the others did not share that same commitment. Whatever it was, in the end, after Rosie left and Faye quit, perhaps it was just not meant to be.
Why do I tell you all this? Because as fans who have supported the group for so long you deserve to know what happened as best it can be explained. The lesson is, as fans it is important to keep a grasp on the distinction between reality and fantasy.
Our heroes are human, they are imperfect, and what we get to see of them is often more illusion than real. The truth is always more complicated. When you meet the girls it is hard not to love them even when they do things that drive you crazy.
I prefer to remember Play as the girls appeared at the time the Replay album was released and the group seemed headed for immense success. Anais, Fanny, Rosie, and Anna, four girls who were talented, fun, sweet and pretty — if anything, ahead of their time. What they created was very special and gave us much joy. With all things in life it was fleeting. We will never know how far Play could have gone, then and now, if Fanny had stayed. In my mind, she made the difference between a group that was good and a group that was great (unstoppable)..
Play gave us something to smile about, and whether the girls ever understood or even cared, we were all fortunate to experience the magic.