Scrapbook: MØ Flips Through Her Old Photo Albums
From grunge to crust punk to hip-hop to coyly cool Scandi-pop, MØ digs through her old photo albums for the ultimate #TBT charting her music and style evolution.
One of our favorite Noisey columns is Scrapbook, where an artist charts their music and style evolution, because who doesn’t love looking at embarrassing, cute, hitherto unseen pictures of artists from when they were kids right through to now? It’s the ultimate, extended #TBT: a nostalgic skip down memory lane. In any case Denmark’s MØ (say “mooo”) first piqued our ears thanks to “Glass,” the perfect meeting point between Gwen, Lana, Grimes, and Karen O. Meanwhile her newly released debut album, No Mythologies to Follow, is packed with her own bouncy, yet coyly cool brand of Scandi-pop, from the Diplo-featuring “XXX 88” to the twinkling shimmy of “Don’t Wanna Dance with Nobody” (above). As we discovered when we talked to her late last year, MØ’s musical past holds some surprises. Like, you’d never guess listening to No Mythologies… that she used to be into grunge, and then she morphed into a crust punk kid, who then developed a hard-on for hip-hop. This makes the 25-year-old the perfect candidate for Scrapbook, and boy, she dug deep in the attic and came up with gold.
MØ: When I was seven-years-old I discovered the Spice Girls. I fell in love immediately, and I decided I wanted to be a musician myself. This became my goal and my biggest passion to strive for. And so I dressed up as a pop star at Halloween 1996.
MØ and her family in New Zealand.
Another thing I’ve always had love for is nature. Especially the mountains. The reason for this, I guess is because my parents always used to take me and my brother hiking in the north of Norway when we were kids. I love the wild and the silence. Gives you room to think. This is my mother and me [top left]. My parents would use all of their money for us to go new and exciting places, instead of a new television or a big car. Back then we sometimes complained about why we would never go to a palm beach and do nothing for a week like all our friends, but we loved the excitement of these active vacations, and looking back, I am SO happy for all those experiences!
None of my parents are musicians, so back in the 90s when I stated my biggest wish for my future career, I had a problem because I didn’t know who to go to. To my luck we inherited a piano (which obviously no one in the family could play at that time), and one of my fathers best friends is a great musician, so when he would come to visit, we would sit down by the piano, and he would teach me a thing or two.
Me and a friend doing Backstreet Boys playback. I did a 1000 playback performances back in those days—especially the Spice Girls, but I couldn’t find any picture of that unfortunately.
I learned to play the piano and the guitar in these years—striving to be a better musician. This is me and my younger cousin, about to perform a small musical in my parents living room.
And so I entered the teens. I stopped listening to pop music, colored my hair purple, joined the local anti-fascist environment and started to play in grunge bands. This is at one of my first concerts ever.
Sixteen-years-old and drunk at my first Roskilde Festival. My biggest dream at this point was to someday play on one of the stages of Roskilde festival.
The following three pictures are from the time in my old electro punk girl band MOR.
We did homemade tattoos with ink and needle saying “MOR” on each other one drunk night at the academy of fine arts in Odense—which we both attended the same year. we had a lot of fun in these days.
This is a picture from a concert we did on our German tour in the legendary squat called Köpi in Berlin.
Our band lasted in five years, from ’07-’12. This picture is from one of our last concerts, taken by our great photographer friend Fryd Frydendahl in New York City. We were there on an internship working for J.D. Samson meanwhile touring the city as much as possible.
Homemade pictures from the early days of MØ. Back then I was “crap-rapping” and swearing all the time. Heavy attitude, alter-egos, political statements, and trash. It was fun.
The following are all shots from touring with MØ, from 2012 till now.
The dream came true! Me playing at Roskilde Festival 2013.
Coffee always saves your sorry ass the day after a show, followed by a night out. Early planes taken you new places day after day is hard but wonderful, and this is what I look like touring in the wintertime.
Stage diving at Eurosonic festival in Gröningen 2014!
Look at the PURE JOY on MØ's face!
The craziest moment in my life so far, and it’s only a month ago (OMG!!! I still can’t believe it!). I received a very prestigious reward from the Danish national radio, and they had no other than Melanie C from the Spice Girls to hand it over to me! I was dying inside in the best possible way. It was like nothing made sense and everything made sense at the same time. The people behind the “P3 Guld” award show had Sporty Spice flown over to Denmark to deliver this award to me, and it was SO HUGE!!! The seven-year-old Karen would have cried non-stop and died of a heart attack. But my last thoughts would have been filled with pride. LOL. I mean it though.
Kim Gordon is my biggest style icon. She is the ultimate woman: bad ass, talented, cool as fuck, sexy, androgynous. She stands for so many cool things, and Sonic Youth and she definitely helped me get through the tough teens. Best role model ever. Love her darkness, quirkiness, coolness, awsomeness, her voice and her style in clothes and music. She is just faaaaaaaaaaaaaaab. I sound like a total fan girl—stumbling upon my own words and repeating myself—anyway, that’s what I am.
MØ Tour Dates
May 20 - Washington DC - U Street Music Hall
May 21 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
May 22 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands Gallery
May 23 - New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
May 24 - Allston, MA - Brighton Music Hall
May 26 - Toronto, ON - Wrong Bar
May 28 - Chicago, IL - Schuba's Tavern
May 30 - Seattle, WA - The Crocodile
May 31 - Vancouver, BC - Fortune Sound Club
June 1 - Portland, Oregon - Mississippi Studios
June 3 - San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop
June 4 - Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
Kim is Noisey’s Style Editor and she’s on Twitter - @theKTB