Going On A Trip To Neverland: We Interview Singer-Songwriter MØ
A Peter Pan state of mind, hella kittens and hanging with Rihanna.
Three years ago, a vibrant ball of pop energy took over our radio stations and Spotify playlists when MØ dropped her smash hit ‘Lean On’ together with Major Lazer and DJ Snake. From her punk-influenced teenage years to the track pants-loving pop icon we know her as today, she endlessly experimented with her looks and style, be it musically or fashion-wise. Now she’s releasing her new solo project “Forever Neverland” on October 19. It’s on a Friday so mark that day in your calendar and gather all your besties for a cozy autumn listening party. We caught up with the spiky-haired artist in Berlin.
So, you’re presenting your new album “Forever Neverland” which is dropping in a couple of days. And you hinted that the theme is going into the direction of living in a bubble and imaginary love. Why do you feel it was important to talk about these topics?
You know, it’s called “Forever Neverland” and Neverland is, of course, referring to the old tale of Peter Pan and this place where you don’t grow up and everything stays the same. And what Neverland means is escapism, so the title is more or less “Forever Escapism”. I came up with it in 2016, at that time in my life it was very much just traveling all the time and writing the album. It was the year I did the feature with Major Lazer and Justin Bieber on “Cold Water” and it felt like I was living in a bubble a bit. It was an amazing bubble, I loved the bubble but it was still this bubble. I saw how my thoughts were shaping up, all about being conflicted about my life and where I’m going but also loving everything that’s happening and realizing that you can’t just turn your back on reality because then you lose your mind. It was in the thought process of all these things that the album title presented itself.
And in your song, that goes by the same name as the album you talk about calling your mom and leaving West Hollywood. So, what does your life look like in LA and how is it different from your life in Denmark?
Well, in Los Angeles I’m always super busy being in sessions with songwriters and producers all the time. And in this town, it’s always sunny, the sky is blue and there are so many things going on, it really is the city of dreams in a way. It’s so exciting and charming but then sometimes I’m also scared to lose my identity there because it just feels like it’s this own little universe, this own little bubble. And I think being in Denmark, just sitting in my basement and writing songs, it’s a very different way of creative working. And obviously Scandinavia is super different than Los Angeles, I was really scared of becoming a part of the machine, the pop-making machine, just doing whatever is hot right now. I want my music to be different and its own thing, of course, inspired by current sounds, like a modern pop sound. But I also didn’t want it to sound like everything else.
How has LA and traveling the world influenced your fashion style?
Fashion has always been something that interested me a lot. And it’s very natural, I guess. Wherever I am at that moment or whatever I see on social media I’m taking in references so my style is very organic. I always loved when there is some kind of punk or rock twists like black clothes, something comfortable and a little bit sexy, that mixture of things is a good balance.
Back to the music. Who would be your dream collaboration, dead or alive?
This is a hard question, there are so many, dead or alive, that I would just really love to collaborate with but if I’m just gonna say one then I’m just gonna go with SZA. I think she’s such an incredible songwriter and I love her melodies, her flow, her lyrics, her whole persona. She’s just amazing. She’s definitely on top of the list.
Great choice! You’ve been famous for a while now. Has there still been a celebrity that left you feeling star-struck?
Oh yeah! I met Rihanna two years ago and I was just completely star-struck. She was just so cool and fabulous. And it’s Rihanna, she’s a fucking legend. And the thing is when I get star-struck I just don’t say anything, I’m in shock. She was fucking incredible. She said ‘Hi’ and I shook her hand and she was like ‘Girl, you’re sick’ and then she was hanging out with me and my touring family and she was talking to my back-liner, making her laugh and I was completely silent.
There are these house tours of celebrities on YouTube and they always have some crazy things in their house like slides in the middle of the room, secret passageways or a Skittle machine. What would be a crazy thing that you would put in your house that would blow people’s minds?
This is not super crazy but it would be amazing to have a really big sauna. Maybe having a trippy artwork would be cool but I don’t know, I don’t have any brilliant ideas unfortunately. As a kid, I would’ve loved it if there would’ve been kittens everywhere whenever you come home. And also, if they have a swimming pool, my mum had this friend that had this big swimming pool, it was the most exotic thing in the whole universe. And then also a room with a lot of pillows that children can play in. It was so fun to be a kid.
That sounds fun! You’ve been in the music business for a really long time now. What would be a piece of advice that you’d give your younger self during moments when you felt like giving up?
I think I would just tell her to keep going and that she should relax, like seriously, just relax and have fun. Be yourself and don’t stress out about other people are thinking. But I know that’s really tough advice to give to someone in their teen years. Even as a kid because you’re figuring all that shit out yourself and you have to go through all those experiences in order to become yourself and to come to a place where you can be like ‘Okay, I can just chill now’.
And last but not least: What sneaker would you be?
I would probably be a black sneaker with a little bit of color here and there. And then a combined running shoe and fashion shoe. I think that would be my vibe.
Thanks so much for talking to us, MØ!