Moving between post-punk, indie pop, and electro, MØ is without doubt Denmark’s most interesting rising star. Tonight she will head over to Stockholm to support Major Lazer, and we had the pleasure of talking to her prior to the gig.
Moving between post-punk, indie pop, and electro, MØ’s music are somewhat hard to describe. Something that Karen Marie Ørsted, which is MØ’s real name, agrees on.
– Recently, a cool guy told me my music is “post-rock” and I really dig that name! But if I were to describe it myself, I would say it is electro indie pop with roots in hip-hop and soul. My music is quite organic and hard to categorize, with all of the genres mixed up.
MØ is often compared with other electro-pop vocalists, such as Grimes, Lykke Li, and Twin Shadow, but when asked who her role model is, she mentions Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.
– I know that my music has nothing to do with the sound of Sonic Youth, but they have always been my main source of inspiration. They don’t worry about making the perfect album, they are always trying new things and aren’t nervous. They don’t follow guidelines or trends. They stay cool just by being themselves. I think that’s important – that you don’t need to fit in. It’s kind of a cliché, but I think it’s important to be yourself, otherwise you will eventually fall out of character. Do what you do and stand by it, otherwise it will be a failure.
After listening to Spice Girls
for the first time, I knew
I wanted to be a musician
When asked of her other influences within music, she doesn’t point to a specific band or genre, but rather to an outlook on life.
– Not to sound cheesy, but what influences and inspires me the most are feelings in general. People around me, society, youth, restlessness, contrasts, and confusion. My way of making music also owes a great deal to my background as an art student; it is a way of thinking that I couldn’t be without.
Karen took her first steps towards music at an early age, writing songs as young as seven as a direct result of buying her first record, Spice Girls’ debut album Spice.
– After listening to Spice Girls’ Spice for the first time, I knew I wanted to be a musician. The day after that I started a girl band at my school, and it went on from there!
Last year, Karen met and began working together with Ronni Vindahl, producer and founding member of Boom Clap Bachelors. In October last year their second song Pilgrim was released online, and it wasn’t long until both media and major record labels were reaching out for the young artist.
In August this year, MØ released the single XXX 88, a collaboration with renowned producer Diplo, and in October she unveiled her four-song debut EP Bikini Daze. At the moment, MØ is working together with Ronni Vindahl on her upcoming debut album, set to be released in February next year.
When asked about their creative process, Karen says that it usually starts with her creating various components, which Ronni then glues together.
– 80% of the times, it starts with me making a song on the piano. Then I record all the vocals and send them to my main producer Ronni Vindahl, who starts working on the production. We also talk about the track all the time. So it’s kind of; I work alone and then he works alone and then we talk about it and then we finish it.
– At the moment we’re working on my debut album, and it’s going well I think! It’s very important that Ronni and I are completely satisfied with it. When you’re this into something, it can be quite hard to have an overview of it. We’re so close to the end.
– We are touring Europe with Major Lazer, and then we have a bunch of headline shows too. And then the big debut album release is coming up in the beginning of next year, which I’m very excited about!
Tonight, on November 19, MØ will support Major Lazer at Münchenbryggeriet in Stockholm.