A Chat With: MØ
The Danish singer-songwriter MØ is currently on a North American tour with Cashmere Cat and I caught up with her before her first show in Montreal. Being a fan of her music myself, we talked about what albums had an impact on her, as well as which ones influenced her in her career. She told me all about working with Diplo and Charli XCX and about her recent EP; When I Was Young.
It's the first day of tour with Cashmere Cat, what are you looking forward to during this run?
I’m just very excited to get into the whole tour bubble life. In the beginning I’m always nervous so I’m pretty nervous today to be honest. But I’m excited for this time next week when we’re in it, like when we’re finally settled into the bus. I love touring though, I love it so much! It’s so fun and very inspiring.
No Mythologies to Follow; I remember when it came it out, I listened to it non-stop and it’s one of my favourite albums, it had such an impact on me. Are there any albums that you just go back to and who have had an impact on you?
There is a couple actually! Portishead had this album called 'Dummy Head', so that one. Also, many of the Sonic Youth albums were like that where I would just know everything and the Spice Girls in the very early days. I think there are more but these are the ones that came to my mind where every song and every little thing mean so much. I actually miss doing that, I don’t do that so much anymore because I’m constantly making music or just listening to one song here and a song there. What I love about albums is that thing about the journey it takes you on and to really go into it.
That was my next question; since you’re always making music do you have time to discover what’s coming out and properly listen?
Not a lot, but I do try to keep up with what’s happening. I think that’s really important. I don’t really find the time to listen from the start to the end. I’ve only done that with a couple of albums last year like SZA, Perfume Genius and Lorde. Those are maybe the only albums I listened to from the start to the end throughout last year…so no! I wish I had more time to listen, it's a good way to get to know the artist which is what I want.
Is there an album that you listened to when you started making music where you thought ‘this is brilliant, I want to do that!’
I remember feeling like that about Lana Del Rey, in a way but I was just so intrigued by the fact that she creates this universe, it was so strong and magical. I don’t know what it was really but I was so inspired, I didn’t listen to it a lot but I remember feeling super inspired by it. But M.I.A and Santigold they were some of my super big heroes at that time. Actually, Major Lazor a little bit back then. They had a song called 'Get Free', it was really good and I felt super inspired by that.
You’ve collaborated with Charli XCX, how is it working with her?
It's so fun and nice, she’s so down to earth and so cool and real and so clever! I find it very easy to relate to her and connect with her. Even just on a more private level rather than musical level and I think that’s worth even more because I feel like she can be my friend for many years from now. She’s so fast when we’re in a session, whereas I’m much more sensitive and laid back in a session. I’m used to working on my own stuff alone so it’s new for me this thing where you’re in session with people but I like that too; especially when I’m with someone like Charli because she’s like a friend.
And you worked with Diplo a lot, how has he influenced your music?
I think he has influenced and inspired my sound and my music and my voice throughout the years. He was the first bigger artist to take me under his wings and who believed in me at the beginning of my career. He’s very inspiring because he moves a lot; with everything he does he constantly changes, moves and progresses and that’s good when you create music or art. Its good to have a tempo, a vibe and energy around it and he does that! He’s also good at pointing out the things that are good and what needs to be better, in a good way like not in a bad way! But yeah, he has taught me a lot and inspired me a lot for sure, he helped me shape myself.
In an interview you said that when you write a song you sometimes get the visuals in your head. Has there been a song that you released but didn’t make a video for but you had it in your head?
The answer is yes but I just need to think about it. For instance, right now I’m working on album and we’re still figuring out which ones are the singles and I have videos for almost all of the songs and that’s not gonna happen you know, so that sucks. Oh actually, the song Slow Love I had a visual for that but we never did a video.
What was the idea?
So, the song is about being in love with someone but you’re playing hard to get but you’re actually super in love, you really want to be with this person. The video I was imagining me sitting and talking-like when you talk to your friends about what happened yesterday but we wouldn’t film the friends, and then something about cold water falling down and a guy with a mask, shit like that. It would take a long time to explain the whole video but that’s kind of the base of it hahah
You also do a lot of choreography in your videos, how was it dancing with Diplo in the Get It Right video?
That was really fun, honestly that was probably the most exciting video shoot I’ve ever been on because it was just so fun! Every take was us trying to memorize these moves. It was just so much fun, like sometimes in videos it becomes like ‘oh look cool, look angry,’ or whatever, but this was us just dancing and none of us are trained dancers so we were like ‘how do we do this?’. It was a pleasure.
You released When I Was Young EP, and before that you have the album and a lot of singles so how was it releasing a body of work again?
Well, that was really nice, it was more or less the plan. For so long I’ve been longing to put out more than just a song or collaboration. I love collaborations and singles and all that stuff is great but I felt like I needed to show the other side of me. I was afraid that if its just singles then it becomes a bit too one dimensional. I’m a very sensitive person and I want to show that side, show the layers a little bit. Its been so long since No Mythologies to Follow so I felt like I needed to put out a little sum up of what had been going on personally in the last 4 years before I could go into the actual album and put that out. It felt like too big of a step all of a sudden to put out a full album, I needed something to be ready for it and that was the EP. I’m really happy I did that.
The song Roots, it has the sound of No Mythologies to Follow
Yeah, I think I did that song just before No Mythologies to Follow was released actually. I did that one February 2014 so it's a while ago!
How do you get inspired to write new songs?
What inspires me is just walking around in my life and experiences, feelings and all these things. I’m pretty classic I guess but I always write about emotions and what I feel and think.
Can you tell me a bit about the song Run Away?
Yeah, that song was again, as so many songs as I do, was me thinking back about when I was a child but also relating that feeling to my life right now. That feeling of feeling misunderstood, you feel like people don’t get you and that one day you’re gonna show them, you’re gonna run away and not look back because you don’t care, you’re your own master and they can fuck off! That’s what it was about, and being thoughtful and being a bit philosophical about your life and thinking about what you actually want.
And the lyric Don't you ever go cheat on your heart, what does that mean to you?
This is something that I’ve experienced throughout my life but also something that I constantly find myself battling with-people who want to change you and make you believe that this is the way to be and this is the thing to do and all these things and I feel like-I mean obviously sometimes you burn your fingers and think ‘fuck I know I shouldn’t of done that cause I knew I didn’t want to do that!’ but you can’t do that too much, you have to be true to your heart.
On the EP, what lyrics are you most proud of?
The lyrics I’m most proud of… I do think actually that it is Run Away because that whole song and the lyrics were so heartfelt, there were no second thoughts. In many of my songs I’ll have the sketch and its all good but I’ll go in and fix some things but with Run Away it was done and it was like ‘okay this is it, this is what I want it to say’. It was pretty pure for me that song.