How MØ Found Her People: The Singer Reflects On Close Collaborators Like Diplo, Charli XCX & More

How MØ Found Her People: The Singer Reflects On Close Collaborators Like Diplo, Charli XCX & More

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The journey to MØ’s second studio album, Forever Neverland, has been an extended one and winding one.

After the Danish singer rocketed to worldwide fame with the Major Lazer and DJ Snake team-up “Lean On” in 2015, she struggled to discover a musical route as she juggled touring obligations, numerous invites to collaborate, and her personal worries about how a lot she ought to chase hits and traits. Three years later, she has a tough time believing she made it to the end line with the LP, which has no scarcity of huge hooks however nonetheless embraces her artsier, extra rebellious instincts.

“It’s very surreal,” she tells Streets Talkin just a few days after the album’s Oct. 19 launch. “It’s one thing that has been my entire world for therefore lengthy, and now that it’s out, it’s a brand new time, a brand new chapter. It’s actually unusual.”

Fortunately, MØ — born Karen Marie Aagaard Ørsted Andersen — didn’t need to go it alone. Whatever route she goes in her recording profession, just a few friends are by no means far behind. Look carefully at her discography and credit, and also you’ll see singer-songwriter Charli XCX, producers Diplo and Benny Blanco, and extra recognizable names displaying up again and again. Sometimes she and her longtime inventive companions crank out a number of collaborations within the span of some months, resembling their very own pop-music collective. 

“When I make my very own music, I are typically very private within the stuff that I do,” she says. “Therefore, I like once I know the individuals I’m that includes, as a result of it’s simpler to open up when it’s somebody you recognize by coronary heart. I assume I do preserve coming again to a few of the individuals I’ve labored with earlier than.”

Below, MØ tells Streets Talkin in her phrases how she discovered a few of her closest collaborators, how their working relationship has developed through the years and why making a group of feminine pop friends is vital.

Diplo
Notable MØ collaborations: “Sun in Our Eyes,” “Get It Right,” “Cold Water,” “Kamikaze,” “Lean On,” “XXX 88”

Back within the day, it was him sending me tracks, and I’d work on them alone — which is the way in which of working that I really actually love. But these days it’s been extra assembly up in studios wherever we’re on the planet. Diplo travels on a regular basis, and I’ve been touring so much too. What I like about working with Diplo is that it feels very free and fluid — we are able to work on a track other than one another or within the studio, and it’s at all times, “Let’s brainstorm, listed below are new concepts.” I like that form of workflow, the place it’s consistently shifting. 

He’s not afraid to go in a single route after which one other, however it at all times has the identical core. With “Sun in Our Eyes,” we’ve achieved so many songs which can be rooted within the tropical EDM world, so I assumed it might be enjoyable to attempt a track that doesn’t have a drop, and I’m glad we did.

Charli XCX
Notable MØ collaborations: “If It’s Over,” “Porsche,” “3AM (Pull Up),” “Drum”

I met Charli for the primary time in 2014, however I had identified about her for a very long time — we got here up within the business across the similar time, doing extra indie-pop music round 2012. I’ve at all times been a fan of her, and once I met her, she jogged my memory a lot of my good friend in Copenhagen in a approach. She was simply so informal and funky. When I write along with her, she’s so quick — she simply spits out concepts, and it’s at all times nice, form of like Diplo. Charli’s not afraid to take probabilities or lose. She’s at all times attempting new issues and collaborating with individuals everywhere in the globe — massive artists, small artists. I feel that’s a great, trendy approach of working and considering.

When we work collectively on her mixtapes, she’ll ship me a textual content and ship me the track. It’s very uncommon that we’re in the identical metropolis on the similar time, to be sincere. I’ll report my vocals on the street wherever I’m. I’ve my little recording studio with me, so I simply sit down and work on it when she sends me the observe. I like being within the studio with my associates, after all, however I additionally like the freedom of engaged on it the identical night and sending it again, simply preserving the great vitality going and never overthinking it.

Benny Blanco
Notable MØ collaborations: “Cold Water,” “Nights With You,” “9 (After Coachella)”

He's one of many largest geniuses in music these days. He has an unimaginable means to chop to the bones with every thing he does. He’s additionally very candy and humorous within the studio. He’s a pleasure to be round, and he’s at all times the one who has [perspective] on issues. Sometimes you’re in a session with all these individuals and also you’re writing a track and it’s onerous to see it from the surface, like, “This is what we should always do, that is what the track wants.” He’s so good with that: “We want a bit of guitar right here, we should always minimize this shorter.” He’s the proper conductor who guides the observe, and I feel that’s a fantastic means to have today.

There’s at all times all these inspiring individuals coming out and in of the door [of his house in L.A.]. It may be very a lot because it appears within the movies — you’re feeling very at residence and comfy. But I keep in mind recording my track “Nights With You” there, and I did really feel nervous doing my vocals due to the legendary standing of his home and this entire group. I used to be honored, like, “I’m doing it in Benny’s home!” For “Cold Water,” although, I really recorded these vocals in a tiny little cabin in the course of nowhere out in Iceland — so that was fairly bizarre.

Stint
Notable MØ collaborations: “Blur,” “Way Down,” “Nostalgia”

He's the chief producer on this album, and he's been my inventive associate. I had a session with him once I was in L.A. two years in the past, and I contacted him on the finish of 2017 like, “Would you be my government producer?” I heard this track on the radio by British singer Jacob Banks and was like, “Fuck, this sounds superb!” And once I came upon it was Stint [who produced it], I used to be like, “Wait, I do know this man! I went to a session with him!” I hit him up, and he was , and from then on issues acquired higher and higher.

I feel it’s thrilling, working with new individuals. There’s one thing refreshing about not figuring out what’s going to occur. It’s like an open sky of potentialities. When I’m in a session with somebody I don’t know, I like hanging out for a second and speaking and seeing if we are able to discover some similarities in no matter dialog we’re having. The smartest thing is once you simply go for it — simply do one thing that feels good and makes you be happy within the second.

Empress Of
Notable MØ collaborations:
“Red Wine”

I’ve identified Lorely [Rodriguez, who records as Empress Of] since 2013 as a result of, form of like with Charli, we got here up across the similar time. I met her at SXSW in 2013 as a result of we have been enjoying numerous the identical home events and venues round SXSW, and that’s after we grew to become associates. We’ve been following one another since then, and she or he really did work a bit of bit on a track from my EP final 12 months referred to as “Roots,” however we by no means completed that one, so I went with a special model. It was at all times my dream to work along with her — and plus she’s so fucking cool. I like her music and her distinctive fashion. I like her voice and the way her songs at all times have an undertone of one thing political.

It’s so vital making these connections and having this sense of unity. We really feel a bit of bit like classmates — I felt that with Charli and Empress Of however might actually say the identical factor about Elliphant and a few of these different ladies from that point who discovered their very own approach. There’s a lot discuss feminine artists doing their very own factor however being tremendous supportive, coming collectively and doing tasks collectively. I like that entire wave. I’d like to do [a mixtape together]. I feel it’s going to occur.