Creating a delicious blend of electro-pop, Danish pop seductress MØ is hotly tipped for 2013. Mixing pristinely produced synth-sparkles with multi-layered melodies, there’s good reason why. Wonderland caught up with Karen Marie Ørsted (aka MØ) to talk influences, dream gigs and her thoughts on a certain Grimes comparison…
How would you describe your sound?
I would say it’s an organic yet dynamic mix of electro, indie-pop, soul and street vibes.
For those of us that don’t have the privilege of speaking Danish, where does the name MØ come from?
My grandfather was an artist, and he used to sign his paintings MØ. His real name was Mogens Ørsted and since my name is Karen Marie Ørsted, I figured I should sign my music with the same initials.
Who were your early influences?
Before I got a ghetto blaster, I listened to my parent’s records – namely Sam Cooke, Billie Holliday and The Beatles. The first record I ever owned was the Spice Girls’ first album and they inspired me to be a musician. Then I became a punk. Sonic Youth became, and still are, the undefeated heroes of the soundtrack of my life.
What music are you listening to now?
I don’t listen to much music – at least not when I’m on my own. I get too distracted since I have such a soft spot for it – I want to focus on my own music these days. But to name a few of my favorite acts, it would be Sonic Youth, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Nico, MS MR, Major Lazer, Bonobo, Portishead, Billie Holliday, Nirvana, The Doors and so on..
You’ve been touted as the ‘new’ Grimes. What do you make of this majestic title?
I’m very honored. I love her music and attitude but I don’t think our sound is very alike. I do think we have some things in common in a way – at least I hope so ‘cause she’s way cool…
What can we expect from one of your live sets?
I think you can expect a lot of energy and intensity. A little madness and some good tunes and sounds for your ear if everything works out as it should.
What would be your dream gig?
A gig on a big stage close to the ocean AND the mountains at the same time. A red sky, summertime and some great vibes…
You’re creating music at a time of great commercial success for Scandinavian musicians. What do they put in the water over there?
They feed us ancient melancholic drops from the north, which float from the mountains and into our taps. Not sure there’s anything special about it, but I’m glad people are liking Scandinavia right now.
Let’s talk about the composition process: how do you go about writing your music?
I write almost all my songs on my great grand-mothers old piano. Then I record all the vocals, choirs and so on and send it to Ronni Vindahl of No Wav who’s my main producer. He then arranges and produces the vocals and we finish it together.
Do you have plans for an album?
Yes – I’m busy working on it right at this moment.
Where would you like to see yourself by the end of 2013?
Touring the world. Sold out concerts. NME front cover. The greatest album ever…. Pretty standard dream scenario.
MØ’s single Pilgrim is out in the UK now on Chess Club Records on 25th February. She plays at Electrowerkz, London on the 28th February.
Words: Angus Griffin