I remember producer Ronni Vindahl posting a video on facebook about 24 months ago, and being a fan of 99% of his work, I figured I’d give this track three minutes of my time. The tune was Pilgrim, by an otherwise unknown talent going by the name Mø. I put it on repeat, posted it on the site and then more or less forgot about it. Fast forward a week or two and Pilgrim is on around half a million plays and Mø is the word on everyone’s lips. Karen Marie Ørsted, Mø, skyrocketed into a record contract, back to back global sell out tours, the Crown Prince Couple’s prize and an almost cult following of fans who just, like, love her, you know? One of her outstanding characteristics is her ability to just be herself – and it’s a charming, hyperactive, curious and lovely self.

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We caught up with Karen and her band in Boston and hung out while she was cutting tanktops from her own merchandise. We had a short time to chat about her favourite American snack food and living up to her growing image as a rolemodel. We also did a little boxing.

Intro: Dick
Interview: Samer
Photos: Fryd Frydendahl and Kate Kennedy

 

Your new music video with Elliphant was released recently, and it seemed like you guys had a kick ass time. Did a more hip hop style remind you when you turned your old band Mor into Bror?

Ya ya, that’s right. It was so cool to collaborate with Elliphant because we don’t even know each other that well but I feel like she’s some kind of soul mate to me. We just flow. We want the same thing. When I look at her, there is something so familiar about her, I can’t explain what it is. I feel connected. I am so happy with this new collaboration.

 

How about ‘We All Came to Kill’?

I am so busy these days, so I don’t get to talk so much to Adam the producer of the trip-hop band. He’s been such a close friend to me and helped me so much. When everything took off with MØ, I got so busy.

 

You are so strong and confident, how do you portray that image without crossing over into being a mean girl?

What helps me relax is to know that I am not supposed to try to be anyone but myself. It gives me confidence that I don’t have to play a role. That I can truly be myself in everything that I do. That’s what people expect now, but that is something that I have always done. I don’t feel like I have to play a certain character. I think I’m lucky. You see certain artists that have this image that has been created around them, and they are striving to hold onto that image. I can’t do that, I would fall.

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So you braid your own hair?

I do! I do a lot of my social media too. You can see when it’s my team, and when it’s more personal, it’s me.

 

Do you have a favourite American snack food?

This is kind of boring, but I love Coconut Water.

 

I just saw you chug a box of that!

It’s kind of my ritual in America, I drink it everyday. When you tour, your body get so exhausted.

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Photo:Fryd Frydendahl

What do you miss about home when you’re on tour?

I miss my boyfriend. And my friends and family. But I really like being on tour because at some point, even though it is stressful, there are points where it’s less stressful than being at home. At home there are so many things you need to do and feel like you should do and it’s like ‘ARRGGH’. On tour, it’s just being focused on the tour, and being with the band. It’s quite simple actually. You go into a ‘Mø-mode’, which is nice and you don’t worry about bills and all stuff like that.

 

Is there an American city that compares to Copenhagen?

Mmmm, well, nah. I don’t really know actually. Every city these days is trying to be like New York, like Berlin or Stockholm. I don’t think Copenhagen reminds me of New York though. Maybe Seattle. Portland maybe?

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Photo:Fryd Frydendahl

Has touring become addictive now?

Yea, at some point it is. Since we’ve been touring so much for so long, it feels kind of like being at home when being on the road. But I feel like at some point soon I need to be focused on making new music. Be home and be in the studio everyday, and focus on that. The reason I’m so lucky to go to all these places is because of the music, so you need to maintain that balance. I’ve been touring for two years. Constantly doing something, it is kind of tearing me a bit. So I need to really focus on that writing back home. Not that I don’t love touring, its just you know…You need to think of what’s good for yourself.

 

What is the last thing that made you say ‘Wow’?

When I heard the new stuff from Danish band Ice Age. I was like fuck me man this is so good. Like ‘Shit!’ I used to be a big fan of punk and Elias, the frontman, just brings it. (Mø starts grunting and screaming like a punk singer) I get like ‘WOAAAH!’. I can’t describe it. It’s just about letting go and not caring.

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Are American audiences more willing to let it go?

They are so open-minded. When they are at your concert, they want to let it go, they want to have a good time, be happy. And they want to cheer you on! I like the vibe at American concerts.

 

Sandwich question time.

Shit.

 

What sandwich best describes you?

It would definitely be something with mustard in it. I don’t think it would be vegetarian, but it would be on multigrain.

 

Rugbrød?

Ya, maybe whole grain. And carrots. Leverpostej is nice too. It smells bad and it’s liver, but it tastes so good!

 

What is the weirdest gift a fan has given to you?

I got a pair of men’s boxers, like underwear but it wasn’t that weird. I haven’t gotten that weird stuff. Not yet (laughs).

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What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

The best advice I have gotten was from my mom. She said something along the lines of if you’re always yourself, you well never be afraid to fall out of character. If you’re yourself, that can’t happen. You’re just yourself. You can’t be fake. You can’t fuck up your character because there is nothing to fuck up. You always think you can do a better job of course. I am so happy to do these things. It has been my dream since I was 7 years old so I got nothing to complain about. I feel good.

READ ‘MØ – Come Dance With Me’ in PRINT in Bitchslap Issue 22