Anais, Faye, Rosie, Anna, and Janet Are Still PLAYing Around…
The Swedish girlband Play – which consisted Faye Hamlin, Anna Sundstrand, Anais Lameche, and Rosie Munter – burst into fame in 2002 with the single Us Against The World.
The girls, who were 13 and 12 when the song came out and even younger when they were signed with Sony BMG, were formed in 2000 by Laila Bagge, a famous talent scout and songwriter who’s written songs for such music industry heavyweights as Celine Dion and Mya. Bagge, who later managed Play with Beyonce’s father and Destiny’s Child former manager Matthew Knowles, first recruited the then 11-year-old Anna Sundstrand and 13-year-old Anais Lameche. The line-up was completed with Faye Hamlin and Rosie Munter, who were both also 13 and had somewhat made names for themselves by modelling and playing small roles in films.
Following the success of Us Against The World, the four sweet Swedes went on to have five albums. The first, having the same title as the single shot them to fame, was released in both Sweden and USA. In the wake of this, the Scandinavian teenagers went on tour with Destiny Child in June 2002. All four girls recall going on tour with Beyonce, Michelle, and Kelly one of the most nerve-racking moments of being in Play.
In late 2003, lead vocalist Faye Hamlin left the group to continue her education. Her last appearance with Play being the music video of It’s A hard Knock Life, out in December of that year.
She was replaced by 13-year-old Janet Leon. With Janet Play released the single EverGirl in March 2004, which is included in third album Don’t Stop The Music. Probably caused by the arrival of Janet, who was younger than all the Play girls at only 13 (Rosie and Anais were 16, and Anna was 15), Don’t Stop The Music was aimed at the younger audience. They promoted this album by performing at schools in association with Madd About Music, an anti drugs organization. By this time, rumors about the band’s break-up had circulated.
The break-up rumors were strengthened by the release of their fifth and final album, Don’t Stop The Music. It’s a greatest hits album and Janet isn’t featured on the cover. Instead, the album fronts a promo shot of Anais, Faye, Anna, and Rosie at the start of their career. Indeed a break-up was inevitable, and on September 29 2005 Play’s reps announced that the band was on indefinite break.
Now that it’s been almost four years since Play disbanded and for those of you who wonder whether the girls are still out at play…rest assured that they are! Here’s a rundown on each of the five girls’ current projects…
After leaving Play in late 2003 at 16 years old, the mezzo alto-voiced redhead went back to school. Other than studying, Faye, who was a fashion model before Play days, also went back modelling to make extra cash. In 2007, at age 20, Faye appeared as the face of MQ, a clothing company in Sweden. Not only did she model for the clothes, she also sang a remake of Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way in one version of MQ commercials. She goes by her real name Fanny Hamlin in this advertisement, and the full song of Go Your Own Way is accessible on her Myspace. In the greetings written by Miss Hamlin herself, she states that she’s still contemplating making a full comeback to the music industry, and even muses about doing so with Play. Faye’s current main activity is modelling.
French Alps-born Anais has lived a quiet life since Play split up. She keeps her Myspace semi private, and she hasn’t stated any plan to come back to the music industry. Anais is currently modelling in NYC.
Now officially going by her birth name Rosanna Munter, this slender blonde has had an album ready in September 2007, but is still unsigned today despite the wide recognition she’s received (for one, she was featured in Pop Justice, an UK independent pop publication, which touted her as ‘three times amazing’) Rosanna collaborated with Swedish DJ Kocky in three songs featured in the DJ’s 2007 album Kingdom Came. One of the songs, Tricks, has been made into a video.
In 2008, Kocky and Rosie re-collaborated in another of the former’s albums, Stadium Status. This time Miss Munter is featured in four songs, three of which she co-wrote.
Here’s the sample of a song off her unreleased full length album, Flashing Lights! Doesn’t she sound a very far cry from Play!
Anna Maria Carolina Sundstrand, who’s related to the legendary Greta Garbo, is currently re-making a name for herself in the Big Apple. She’s graced the covers and fashion pages of glossy magazines, starred in movies, and still makes music. Anna finished the filming of Sacred Journey in late 2007, playing Tara Nagel, and the movie came to theaters in April. She is currently filming another movie, The Truth About Layla.
Little Janet, who is 19 on October 18, is the most out there of all former Play members despite being the last to join. One busy bee, she’s presently hosting an American Bandstand like show, Made in Sweden, which has aired since January 10. As a result of show’s popularity, Janet appears in a version of Swedbank’s credit card. Janet is also touring with the radio station Rix FM, promoting her self-titled debut solo album, and her single Heartbreak on The Dance Floor is included in the double CD record of the tour. As if that’s not enough, Janet sang On Top of The World, a soundtrack of the animated motion picture Tomtar and Troll, which premiered in Sweden on March 27.