It all started with the Spice Girls. Then came the punk music bewitchment. Finally, in her early 20s, Karen Marie Ørsted became a big fan of hip hop. To call these genres diverse would be an appropriate statement, but when you come to understand Ørsted, the combination seems completely ordinary. Fondly known as MØ, the 25-year-old thrives at staying true to herself, and embracing the hardship and trials that accompany youth. Not many of us can admit that we don’t know what we’re doing – yet here’s MØ, grasping this necessary squandering to get to exactly where she’s going. Oh yeah, and she’s a super rad girl.
MØ began writing her own music at the tender age of seven, giving her not only the status of being precocious, but also setting herself apart as someone who has the capacity to stick around for awhile. What started off as a Spice Girls record obsession, has led to her name being tossed around as one of the key artists to watch this year. From the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, to Santigold, to Sonic Youth and her own emotions, MØ has an abundance of creative energy to associate her influences to.
“Music has always been my way of expressing myself, and you know – we all need to let out steam sometimes,” she says. “So it has become kind of a need for me to write music every now and then like sleeping and eating and so on… But I write best when I feel emotional about stuff.”
Her music encapsulates the grunge of punk music, with the heartache of soul – all while nodding to a deeply meticulous electronic base. Not only that, but her hip hop loving days are the quintessential finishing piece to this musical tapestry. She released an EP called Bikini Daze in late 2013, as well contributing her chillingly confident voice to a track with Avicii. Not only that, but she landed some help from sound chameleon Diplo, on a song for her very own full length, No Mythologies to Follow.
“The toughest thing was that we had to finish up the album while being on the road,” she mentions, “On the other hand this was also nice. I like the fact that almost all of the album was created in the rush of the most exciting and challenging time of my life. I think that makes it authentic.”
And an authentic debut album it is. Complete with 20 tracks in its deluxe edition form, No Mythologies to Follow stays true to Ørsted’s youthful gaiety, with her complex, feelings-charged lyrics. With tracks like “Pilgrim,” “Glass,” and “XXX 88” lighting up music blogs for the last six months, it’s reassuring to hear her album in its fantastic entirety. Of course, no emotionally poignant albums are complete without melancholic ballads such as “Never Wanna Know” and “Dust Is Gone.” She is multitalented, with the ability to turn on an angsty demeanour for some songs, and then a soft croon for the slower jams. Either way, you have yourself a pro who has worked hard for everything that she has.
As for her 2014, her future is looking bright. With a big tour, a new album and a multitude of accolades, MØ is a ferocious girl with an attitude just sweet enough to give you the warm fuzzies without breaking her toughness. In her own words, this year is about “gettin’ better, gettin’ new experience, gettin’ wiser.” As determined as we 20-somethings are, this seems like a great mantra to strive towards. Amen to that, MØ.
Catch MØ at Fortune Sound Club on May 31st. BYOA (Bring Your Own Attitude).
By Kristie Sparksman