STD presents: MØ
Ten years ago, Karen Marie Ørsted was one half of a Danish feminist-punk duo whose repertoire included a song called Pussy in Your Face. In 2016, however, Mø is, by some measurements, the biggest pop star in the world. Lean On, her collaboration with Major Lazer and DJ Snake, was named last year as Spotify’s most-streamed track of all time and has picked up 1.6bn YouTube plays. Her collaboration with Justin Bieber, Cold Water, ended Drake’s 16-week stay at No 1 earlier 2016.
MØ’s debut studio album, No Mythologies to Follow, was released on 7 March 2014. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a Metascore of an 77 out of 100 indicating “generally favorable” reviews. Music blog Pretty Much Amazing called the album “complex and euphoric”.
In November 2014, she won four awards at the Danish Music Awards: Danish Album of the Year, Danish Solo Artist of the Year, Danish Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Danish Music Video of the Year.
MØ co-wrote and provided vocals for another Major Lazer song, “Lean On” with DJ Snake, which was released in March 2015. The single topped the charts in MØ’s native Denmark, Australia, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand, while reaching the top five in several countries, including France, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. It gained over 2 billion views on Youtube as of April 2017, making it the ninth most viewed video of the site.
On 22 July 2016, Major Lazer released the single “Cold Water” which features Canadian singer Justin Bieber and MØ, marking the fourth time she has worked with Major Lazer. In the United States, “Cold Water” debuted at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. In the United Kingdom, “Cold Water” debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart.
On stage, Mø is a tornado. Her dancing is uninhibited and wild, as if she were in the audience rather than centre-stage. She is fiercely present, never vacant or going through the motions. She almost always ends up crowdsurfing or in the pit. “Once I go on stage I can just f**k up. And I love that. I love to be free and don’t think about if I look good or sing perfectly. It’s just ‘blaaaaagh!’ It’s so nice. Just watching that punk show – that was where I have it from. Just screaming and shouting and rolling on the floor. It’s the most f**king great thing to do. To just let go.”