In Danish, ‘mø’ means both maid, virgin, damsel and maiden. But nothing in MØ’s seductive lyrics give off signs of either virginity or being a helpless damsel in distress. MØ has grabbed the world by the balls, and in a heartbeat, her fuck-it-all yet congenial attitute made enthusiasts around the globe raise their arms to embrace this shooting star from Scandinavia. This week MØ returned from a U.S. tour (where she amongst other things supplied warm-up for the chillwave duo Purity Ring) and I was lucky enough to exchange a few words with Karen before she went back to her studies at the Art Academy in Copenhagen and, oh, working on her debut album with producer Ronni Vindahl. MØ has been compared to both M.I.A. and Lana Del Ray, but I was thrilled to discover that the cult status noise quartet Sonic Youth is on the top of her list of inspration: “Sonic Youth has always been one of my biggest inspirations – also when it comes to lyrics. I love the whole universe they have created around themselves as musicians and artists. When I was a teenager I printed out the lyrics to all the songs ever made by Sonic Youth, and I would read in the pile of paper before I went to bed.” The inspiration of boredom and dreams is revealed in the aesthetic video for the blasting single “Glass”. Fish cutters rest in the harbor, pickled gherkins stand in straight rows at the supermarket, the Christmas decoration glistens in the window; life appears boring and tedious. But somehow director Casper Balslev made it all appear visually beautiful, accentuating the theme of growing up in a small provincial town while dreaming about making it big. “I was quite bored as a teenager – and so were all my buddies in the province. My biggest dream was to become a punk/rock star and touch people with my music. My biggest fear was to miss a party; to miss the fun.” Now it seems that the boring days are over and Karen is enjoying life in Copenhagen, though she finds it critical that Denmark has no mountains. She stresses that having a good time is not absolutely everything in life, but… “I consider it very important to be able to just let go and stop worrying about everything. You don’t have to look pretty and strive for perfection – fuck that – no one can live up to it anyway. Just try to let go, relax, express yourself when you need to, and be as happy
as possible – then things look brighter.” Fuck perfection, fuck appearances, just chill? This is an electro-pop heroine we can relate to.
10 Quickies for MØ What is important to you as a lyricist? To be personal without reaching the borders of privacy, and to express feelings in a simple way without being too obvious. What are you listening to at the moment? MS MR, Sonic Youth (as always, but I just had stormy revival of my SY obsession), Bonobo, Major Lazer… But I don’t listen much to music when I’m at home. What was on your stereo as a teenager? Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jimmy Hendrix, Smashing Pumpkins, Cat Power. What does youth mean to you? To wander around in the woods. Did you always want to make music? Yes – since I was seven it has been my big dream and obsession. What has been the greatest experience since your music career truly kicked off last year? All the traveling and the excitement of being in this position – chasing your dreams everyday. What is sexy? Confidence and muscles. Do you see yourself as a lady or a tomboy? Tomboy. What can we expect from your first album? Honesty, restlessness and hopefully songs people can relate to and be touched by. Are you coming to Paris anytime soon? I sure hope so! I really like Paris.
Interview by Denise Rose Hansen
Interview published on October 6, 2013 of the music world is currently mispronouncing the edgy Copenhagen-based Karen Marie Ørsted’s artist name, Half who cares? MØ is not one to play by the books, and singing along to her provocative tracks is much more fun but than worrying about phonetics anyway. We love her for telling us to stop trying to be pretty – just relax, express yourself and be as happy as you can.
Published on Jan 15, 2016
Le meilleur du fanzine CRUMB, 2010-2015 dans un book digital. Fil rouge de 5 années d'aventures en 300 pages et 70 interviews, riches en pho...