Musicians, journalists, fans, talk show hosts; basically everyone and their cat has an opinion on issues that are contributing to the downfall of the music industry. Whether it’s David Byrne in the Guardian or Sinead O’Connor’s open letters; household names such as X-Factor and Spotify are under attack, as are issues such as the over sexualisation of young artists. These are valid, important arguments, worthy of discussion, but if you are only tuned into this you are missing a huge part of the bigger picture.

Quietly brewing in the undercurrent are several young, talented singer-songwriters of exceptional skill and promise. In Ireland all eyes are on Wicklow native Hozier, the catalyst of a recent A&R frenzy. From New Zealand, sixteen year old Lorde has been causing a stir with ‘Royals‘ and vocals mature beyond her years. Hailing from Denmark, is making waves internationally with the release of her debut EP ‘Bikini Daze’. The EP features the upbeat, synthesiser-heavy, collaboration XXX 88 with Diplo. In contrast to this, are the soulful, haunting vocals heard on Never Wanna Know and Freedom ( #1)

We were delighted to catch up with MØ, at this exciting time in her career. We met her on a chilly, blustery autumn day in the Central Hotel, before her gig with AlunaGeorge, and had a chat about some of the aforementioned issues, about her new EP and working with Diplo.

MØ at The Academy by Owen Humphreys (1 of 15)

Karen Marie Ørsted, otherwise known as MØ  (pronounced ‘Muhh’) has been writing songs in her parents house since she was seven and was at this young age inspired by the Spice Girls. “I worked on my parents piano in the living room and when I became a teenager I was in bands in school. Even when I was small I was in bands with my girls. When I was a teenager, I was in punk bands and had other side projects.

“When MØ started it was very different from what it is now. Back then I was actually rapping and swearing all the time. I had these poor R&B hooks and then it crashed. It developed and I tried to sing more and be honest. I just wanted to think about what I really wanted to say and my manager hooked me up with Ronni Vindahl and that was last year in May when it really kicked off.”

From the beginning MØ has opted to write in English. When asked if she ever feels it is difficult to convey a message in a language that is not her mother tongue or if content becomes lost in translation she says it simply feels most ‘natural‘ for her. “I couldn’t speak the language but I was a big fan so I just started writing in English. It’s what I’ve always done. My brother corrects the lyrics. He’s a very clever man. He sometimes says ‘Karen, you can’t say that, what the fuck does that mean?’I hope it’s understandable for people [laughs].”

Before a pairing with producer Ronni Vindahl, MØ worked with some other producers but without much success. “Yeah, they sent me beats and I would try and work with that. I would do everything from there but, with Ronni, we were collaborating. I would send him accapellas and we would work around it. We were together in it and that was new for me. He’s so talented and I trust him and his decisions. I hadn’t tried that before. It was a new way of working.” 

MØ records all her vocals in her parents house, two hours outside of Copenhagen. She built a “little vocal box” in which she feels most comfortable to record. Once the vocals are completed she sends them to Ronni and the pair begin the collaborative process. MØ’s music began to gain attention, naturally, in Denmark first. She says they’re further ahead in terms of her releases and are waiting for her next step. The Danes need not fear, “We’re almost done with the album. It’ll be out soon,” she says smiling.

As previously mentioned MØ is one of several singer songwriters to rapidly gain attention after the release of a music video. Does she find the new-found attention stressful? “I mean of course there is pressure, it’s the music industry. But at the same time it’s like ‘What did you expect, girl?’ On the other hand, it’s not like I’m super famous or anything. Of course I’m hoping we’ll get there, I mean that’s my dream. There’s hype and there’s definitely something going on there but it’s important to be true. Lets see what happens.

MØ at The Academy by Owen Humphreys (15 of 15)

On avoiding a show like X-Factor, she says it’s not for her but that people are entering shows like that knowingly. “I don’t think it’s [the music industry] dying at all, there’s not much money it [for new artists]. I know this sounds like a cliche but fuck the money.

The EP ‘Bikini Daze’ was streamed exclusively on Pitchfork before it was released internationally on October 18th. “I love Pitchfork, obviously. They’re cool and have such nice taste. I was very happy that they wanted to do that.”. These types of deals are negotiated by her label, Sony. “I wish I had something bad to say [about them] but I just don’t. They’ve just told me to be myself. I mean there are things like, they’ve told me not to swear on radio but apart from that they’ve just encouraged me to be myself.”

When asked if the label played a role in her collaboration with Diplo or other artists she said they actually had not, surprisingly the Diplo pairing was a result of an interview and Twitter. “I did an interview for DIY and said I would love to work with him and then some fans on twitter said ‘Hey Diplo please make this happen’. He said he was a fan and then it just happened. We met up to work in Amsterdam.”

To compliment her sound, MØ has released several visually striking videos and had a say in their inception. “With the videos, I’m always in intense dialogue with the director. I’ve no idea how to make a nice looking, professional video but when it comes to these videos, the white trash ones, that’s what I have opinions on.

“It’s always very important that the video gives you the same feeling as the song. I always have some idea of what I want it to symbolise. I would hate it otherwise. It has to make sense. My friend cuts it up. She’s a sweetheart and I can ask her to include certain things.” 

We’re just about out of time and the next journalist has arrived into the cosy confines of the Library Bar. Before we knock off the recorder MØ speaks of her favourite gigs and festivals over the last year. “That’s a hard question. There have been a lot of very good shows. We played a festival in Slovakia. We’d never been there before and it was a huge tent that was full. It was so amazing to go to a country you’ve never been to and get that response. Longitude was also amazing.” On supporting Aluna George, the reason she’s in Dublin to begin with, she said: “It’s been very good so far. They’re sweet, good people. I really like them“.

MØ is refreshingly honest and open about her work and with her opinions. Despite only being on general release a few days, the four track EP, ‘Bikini Daze’ has put MØ on the map as one of the most promising acts and it is safe to say it is not just the Danes who are eagerly anticipating her album release.