MØ has quietly established herself as one of the most dependable stars in mainstream music over the last five years.
Ever since the breakout success of “Lean On,” her 2015 collaboration with Major Lazer and DJ Snake, the Danish singer-songwriter has collaborated with some of the biggest hit-makers and risk-takers in dance music, from Diplo and Charli XCX to Justin Bieber and Foster the People.
“I just kind of love the vibe of putting out stuff, experimenting out in open the modern way and just working with a lot of people,” she explained of her strategy around releasing music when it’s right. “I’ve liked that for a long time, but I also like the opposite way where you really go into yourself and you dig deep, but I feel like you can do both at the same time. I also don’t want to just shut the door. I like to keep things going. I get very restless.”
Following MØ’s electric performance at Sony’s “Lost in Music” pop-up space in New York City, AOL’s Gibson Johns caught up with the “Final Song” singer to get the story behind some of the biggest hits of her career — so far.
Check out what MØ had to say below:
“Lean On” by Major Lazer DJ Snake feat. MØ (2015)
It was just in the beginning of my career, I was touring and I had just gotten this beat from Diplo. I was sitting in my hotel room and it was that thing where I was thinking of my old friends and being nostalgic and thinking about how at a certain time of life, if you have something really strong with somebody, you can feel like it will last forever, but then all of a sudden — without you even noticing — you start drifting apart. I remember sitting there in my hotel room listening to this record and feeling that.
“Cold Water” by Major Lazer feat. Justin Bieber MØ (2016)
I think it was Ed Sheehan who wrote that original song, then I got the demo and I was asked to come write the bridge, the part I sang. I was inspired by that whole feeling of wanting to go far for someone you love. It was during Coachella, and we were vibing out in Palm Springs. It was the best.
“Get It Right” by Diplo feat. MØ (2017)
I was in L.A. with the Swedish singer Elliphant, and we had gone out and gotten super super drunk. Like, crazy all-nighter. [Laughs] Then two days after that, I had a session with Diplo and Skrillex and I was still super sick. It was the worst hangover ever. I remember sitting in that car going to Malibu and just thinking, “Karen, you gotta get this right.” I kid you not. I just kept repeating that, and I think I came up with that line in my car. I went in, Diplo played me a beat and as always it was f–king cool. I was so happy afterwards.
“Nights With You” by MØ (2017)
That was meant as a love song tribute to my best friend. We’ve been friends since we were three years old, so that’s like a friendship love song.
“3am (Pull Up)” by Charli XCX feat. MØ (2017)
As always, when I work with Charli, it’s very casual: We’ll be texting, she’ll send me a song or I’ll send her a song. So she sent me that one and I was like, “This is so fun.” I think I wrote my part in an hour or something in my hotel room, recorded it and then sent it back to her like, “Here you go!”
“Blur” by MØ feat. Foster the People (2018)
That one’s a bit more serious. Not serious, but it was about me having a writer’s block. That had never happened to me before. When people had talked about writer’s block, I was always like, “Okay, that’ll never happen to me,” but then it totally happened and it was so frustrating, especially because I was in L.A. where so much music is produced and so much stuff was going on. Everyone’s so creative, and all of a sudden I found myself with no ideas. I couldn’t formulate what I wanted to say, but then it was so great writing “Blur,” because that’s really how I felt. I had been suppressing that, so once I got it out it felt so good.
“Final Song” by MØ (2016)
The success of it means a lot to me. Not to sound all cheesy, but it always means a lot to me to see a song get that kind of reaction, because it means that it reached someone. I know how much a song can mean. For that one it was very special for me, because it was my first hit as a solo artist. I love that song, because a lot of people think it’s a love song — it is a love song — but my own interpretation of that song is singing to yourself a little bit and reconnecting and finding that inner-strength. It’s a little inner pep talk of like, “Come on, we are in this together and we are loving ourselves and we are going to do this.”
For more on Sony’s “Lost in Music” pop-up, including the immersive experience of creating a song to your heartbeat, click here.