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Interview: MØ and Elliphant on working together, European pop music, and revolution.

Interview: MØ and Elliphant on working together, European pop music, and revolution.

What happens when you take two Scandinavian popstars and put them in a room together? That’s exactly what we did when we interviewed MØ and Elliphant together - and discovered that their friendship goes a lot deeper than just their collaboration on ‘One More’.

The two performers were both in Australia to appear at Splendour In The Grass, however they decided to tour together for both of their side-shows. Their friendship is adorable, it’s evident that they are genuine friends - Taylor Swift’s squad would be jealous.

Though both MØ [real name Karen Marie Ørsted] and Elliphant [real name Ellinor Olovsdotter] have completely distinct sounds - when combined in Joel Little produced track ‘One More’, it melds perfectly. Let us pray for more work from the two of them together in the future - and by the sounds of it, it’s something they’re incredibly open to.

Coup De Main caught up with MØ and Elliphant to talk about future collaborations, revolution, and European pop music…

I’m still very inspired by my very frustrated teenage years - trying to find myself as a woman, partying, the restlessness that I have inside. All that, it’s my inspiration and it becomes my philosophy.

CDM: Karen, you came to New Zealand for Rhythm & Vines last year, and Elliphant, I don’t think you’ve ever been to New Zealand before. So, when you are you both going to hit NZ together?
MØ [KAREN ØRSTED]: Hopefully soon. I think I kinda heard some stuff. I think it’s happening, like, planning, but I don’t think there is a proper date set yet. But it’s gonna happen. It’s gonna happen this year.
ELLIPHANT [ELLINOR OLOVSDOTTER]: It would be so nice to do a full on Australia and New Zealand tour together. That would be amazing.
MØ: Yeah, 15 dates or something like that - all over the place.

CDM: All across the country! Rad. So, as an incentive for this to actually happen, Elliphant, we’ve adopted you an elephant from the Auckland Zoo back in New Zealand.

CDM: And Karen we’ve got you a special Moomin-themed gift.
MØ: Oh, no way! Seriously, I appreciate that, seriously.

CDM: We know you love Moomins, so we got you these wooden postcards.
MØ: Oh fuck, I got everything with Moomins. I love the Moomins.
ELLIPHANT: What’s that?
MØ: Seriously, I’m actually, like, really fucking happy for this! I love the Moomins so much.
ELLIPHANT: It’s so beautiful! So nice!


CDM: You two collaborated on ‘One More’ which came out last year. How did that collaboration between you both come about?
MØ: It was a song Elliphant did with Joel Little, and then she sent it to me through Facebook and I got super excited when I heard it because it was just brilliant - I just loved it instantly.
ELLIPHANT: We’ve been waiting for a while to find a... we were expecting something to pop soon. I was just waiting for our song to come. It was just there 100% - I knew the second it was born, it was me and Karen gonna do it together. So, it was really great. Yeah, and it’s still burning, that’s the cool thing. We’re still here, flying around, having all this cool stuff.
MØ: We do interviews together!
ELLIPHANT: Yeah, because we did that song! It’s almost more than just a song, it’s some kind of statement. I don’t think many people that do collaborations with each other get to do stuff like this - people understand that this is friendship and it means something more than just a song.
MØ: It’s not a like a blah, blah, blah, put you guys together...
ELLIPHANT: It’s not an industry thing. This was full heart.

CDM: Do you think you’ll collaborate again in the future?
ELLIPHANT: For sure!
MØ: Ya ya ya!
ELLIPHANT: For sure.

CDM: That would be amazing!
ELLIPHANT: We might even do some fucking cool project, like an EP.
MØ: It could be anything.
ELLIPHANT: Like four, five songs together, so we can tour that here.
MØ: An EP would be such an amazing thing to do, seriously. I love EPs.



CDM: You’re both from Europe, and in a time where so much of the best pop music is coming out of Sweden and Denmark - obviously you two, Tove Lo, Robyn, etc. - why do you think that pop music in these countries is so great?
MØ: Sometimes it sounds a little cynical and it’s not meant like that, but maybe it’s because Scandinavia-- it’s rich countries, we have a lot of spare time to please ourself and do ‘me me me’ stuff. But I mean, maybe that’s a bit dark, I dunno.
ELLIPHANT: Music always blooms from places… music is actually something that if you look at the whole soul that was created on the fields of the Africans coming to America as slaves-- like, music has always been the most-- even if you have a miserable life, you still have music. My answer to this is always that Sweden is a country where we haven’t had any wars, we haven’t been involved in wars or destructions, we haven’t had any big economy crashes, we haven’t had any big drama in our country. Music is always blooming in all cultures but particularly music that is coming from Sweden is very similar to the fashion that comes from Sweden, like H&M, or IKEA. It’s something for everybody, it’s an easy buy. It’s gonna go into your head. We don’t make, "Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees," we make [sings], "Super Trouper lights are gonna," you know? And I think that comes from a background of producing some stable economy. We also had a king in Sweden - I don’t know much about Denmark, but in Sweden we had this king that we bought from France because our Queen was so old that no-one wanted to marry her! We bought this king, a French eccentric guy that wasn’t cool enough to be a king in France, but he could be king of Sweden, so he just, like, built opera houses in this farmer society. He put a seed into the culture. I think all that. It’s not just one thing, it’s so many different things.
MØ: It’s a combination of a thousand things.
ELLIPHANT: That is the reason for that.

CDM: Karen, on your song ‘New Year’s Eve’ you sing that, “I’m a gross teenager, trapped in a grown-up shape.” Do you think that grown-ups actually know how to be adults? Or do you think that it’s a naïve idea of being an adult that we’re conditioned to believe in?
MØ: Yeah, I mean, it’s more the idea of when you say “an adult” - I have to grow up, I have to be an adult. I think a lot of adults, they’re children, and they totally like [incoherent yelling] frustrated and as children. It’s not like that, but it’s more the idea of being an adult that sometimes - I mean, my Grandma looks at me and is like, "Oh, you’re an adult now, when are you gonna have children?” That’s what I mean. And I totally and utterly feel like a gross teenager, but in a “grown-up” shape.


CDM: Drake coined the phrase “YOLO” and M.I.A. has “live fast, die young,” and I feel like your equivalent is ‘One More’. How important is this philosophy to you?
MØ: Philosophy?!
ELLIPHANT: I think it’s very important to not, like, you can’t put things in stone, you know? For me, I wanna stand up for changeability. Right now I feel like it’s very inspiring to talk about-- I’m still very inspired by my very frustrated teenage years - trying to find myself as a woman, partying, the restlessness that I have inside. All that, it’s my inspiration and it becomes my philosophy.
MØ: An inspiration, really.
ELLIPHANT: And the form, the attitude of the project. That’s still what I’m inspired by. I can see myself in another time maybe inspired by something more political, more straight. I’m not gonna put myself in a place where I always have to sing songs about getting shit-faced and being out with my girls! Right now, I feel like I’m still processing that and I also feel like it’s a very important place for a woman to talk right now, because we are the first women in the history of the human race who are the first free-born women. It’s a big thing. I talk about this a lot; that’s ‘One More’ for me. Woman in history had to write a fucking Bible or had to paint the most magnificent paintings or something, at least, to become free, to show your art. But I’m just born, I didn’t even go to school, I’m not even that pretty, I can’t even really sing, but I do it anyway. That’s the revolution of this, that’s the revolution of our projects, I think. Now I talked so much that I forgot the question!

CDM: That’s all right - I think you answered it! So Elliphant, you went on Charli XCX’s Girl Power Tour in North America last year, and Karen you’ve collaborated not just with Elli but with Iggy Azalea and other female musicians. In a time where taking down other female musicians seems to be used to get ahead, how important do you find it to support other females in the industry?
MØ: Obviously it’s a big pop-culture thing to do that, then you get more hits because you had a heavy discussion and like, ooohhh, it’s good promotion and stuff.
ELLIPHANT: I think it’s so scary.
MØ: Yeah, it sucks so hard.
ELLIPHANT: I think it’s so scary.
MØ: You should support each other.
ELLIPHANT: You try to, like, whip it off your shoulder but all that Internet hate is getting to you. Sometimes I accidentally start some discussion - I didn’t even mean to, I put out some picture of Putin taking a shit and suddenly whole Russia is making World War III on my Instagram! Usually nowadays I’m actually just taking the picture away. If it’s gonna make that much hate I don’t want to have that in my world.
MØ: As little as possible, yeah. It’s not about that.
ELLIPHANT: I’m like, okay, if this is how you’re gonna react on this. I’m not gonna be, like, yeah, my picture! This particular time I didn’t take it away, but, I could have. I might as well done it ‘cuz that’s how little I care about it. I would never get into anything.
MØ: No, fuck that.
ELLIPHANT: Sometimes I hear people talk about some stuff, there’s different things that’s going on in the world, and I just feel like my instant reaction is to be like, actually, I have something to say about this, and then next one I’m not even gonna talk. When it comes to other girls, obviously we’ve gotta support each other.
MØ: Yeah, there’s no reason to put more negative energy out there. Not to sound like a total hippy, but why should we? It’s a waste of time, seriously.
ELLIPHANT: And these people that are in these conflicts, they are just constantly sitting on their phones, and they live in a closed universe, because it’s only them and the phone. That’s actually you interacting with thousands of people and it’s a very scary place to be. It’s very easy to end up there because it goes fast but a big tip to everybody out there - don’t do it! Don’t get into it! Let it run off.
MØ: Just let it go.

CDM: Since we have you both here, we thought it would be fun if you interviewed each other. So Karen, you can ask Elli one question that you’ve always wanted to know about her.
MØ: Ah yeah! But we just had an interview where we should do that! Ah fuck, I’m so bad at this.
ELLIPHANT: I can start! What is your favourite flower? I really wanna know that actually.
MØ: Really? That’s nice. I mean, I think it’s the palm tree, but that’s not a flower.
ELLIPHANT: If you were a flower, what flower… a tree or a flower. Would you be a palm tree then?
MØ: Actually, no, I don’t think that fits my personality too much. It’s more like a vision, an idea of something you want. I think I would be maybe the ones that are in the spring, the little yellow one in the forests?
ELLIPHANT: I don’t know! You are a little small yellow flower in the forest in Springtime! Okay.
MØ: I’m really sorry to be so uncreative, but which one would you be?
ELLIPHANT: I think I will be a little Beli - it’s this really poetic little flower, it’s like a little clock.
MØ: Oh that one, yeah, yeah! Many songs have been written about that.
ELLIPHANT: Maybe... a Tussilago. I would love to be a Tussilago. It’s like this naked bush with small hairy-- you have them on Easter. I always talk about myself as a dandelion ‘cuz I’m a silly flower. Growing up from the cracks. Have you seen, when they do a concrete floor on the street and there’s cracks and there is just dandelions growing up from the cracks? And then they go grey and spread over the whole city.
MØ: You’re a mix of the three of them.
ELLIPHANT: In Swedish we say 'Maskrosbarn' for kids that grow up in the city, in a little bit loose environment, we call them "dandelion children".
MØ: That’s actually kind of sweet.

’s album ‘No Mythologies To Follow’ is out now - click HERE to purchase it via iTunes.

ELLIPHANT’s single ‘Love Me Badder' is out now - click HERE to purchase it via iTunes.

Watch the ‘One More’ music video below…

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