February 08 2013

Oh Land, Copenhagen Calling!

New York-Le Bain

Photo by Chris Laputt

This Friday February 8, Le Bain and Wood Wood bring Copenhagen on top of New York with Oh Land, aka Nanna Øland Fabricius, one of the most talented and exciting electro-pop artist of 2013. We sat down with Nanna for a Standard Q&A about her moving to New York and opening for Katy Perry. Velkommen!

You grew up in Copenhagen and had a very stimulating and creative childhood. Copenhagen seems like a perfect place to grow up - at least in the late 90's and the early 2000's. It It has a perfect laid back, liberal, cultural and edgy feel. Do you agree?

The way I was raised was definitely very liberal. As kids we had lots of freedom and were mostly unattended. I was in this gang of nine girls and we just spent all our time racing around on our bicycles, building houses out of branches and stuff like that. I didn't really realize that I lived in a capital city.

What do you miss the most from Copenhagen?

When you move away from a place it's easy to romanticize it. Living in New York, I sometimes get these Danish obsessions... I will do little events and cook lots of Danish food and watch Danish movies. I like making my American friends taste weird Danish food!

You moved to Brooklyn in 2010. Is the life in Brooklyn comparable to Copenhagen in any way?

I'm very comfortable in Brooklyn. I felt a sense of a home immediately when I moved here, but to me it's more important what I do than where I am. I go to a studio everyday for lots of hours. I could do that anywhere. But anywhere being New York just makes it a little more fun! I dont think New York reminds me of Copenhagen really. In Denmark we have a physical freedom, with healthcare, education which is amazing... In America you have more of a mental freedom which is good for creativity.

If your music was a movie, would you pick a Danish one?

My favourite Danish movie is Vinterberg's "Festen" its a classic. If my music was a movie I would pick Hausu. Its twisted, a little homemade, humouristic and really dark underneath.

Your music seems to have the perfect balance of pop sensibility and very personal, original universe. Do you feel closer to Katy Perry or Björk?

(laughing) Björk. But I admire Katy Perry cause I have toured with her and seen all the work she puts in. I dont see myself at all like her though. I dont try to make huge radio hits. I naturally go darker.

You said “I want my music to feel like 2050 meets something really classic, like meeting a stranger that feels as familiar as an old friend”, which sounds like a good definition of modern pop music. What are your earliest memories of pop culture?

Mr boombastic I guess... Finding out that I didnt know any of the music my friends knew and feelt really left out. I could rant off all Bethoovens Sonatas, but nobody my age seemed to care. I became a huge Michael jackson fan when I was 12.

You worked on your first album Fauna with Danish tastemaker/producer/DJ, Kasper Bjorke - who is a regular DJ at Le Bain and probably one of the sweetest and most talented producer we know. Would you share with us one of the greatest memory you had working with him at that time?

Kasper has been one of the most important people in my career, because he really encouraged me to produce and write myself. He believed in me from the beginning which was crucial to me. I produced the majority of Fauna myself but did one song "Alive/awake" with Kasper and he was my A&R. We still work together and he is also one of my closest friends. But often when we try to work we just end up drinking lots of tea and grossing each other out with foul language which we find really fun! We have a secret plan to write the saddest Christmas song in the world. That's the next plan...

This Friday February 8 at Le Bain, Wood Wood presents Oh Land (live), Rub N Tug and Alex from Tokyo. Doors 11pm. The Standard, High Line.