Glastonbury 2019: ‘If we’re going to hell, we might as well be fabulous’

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The star was an early highlight of this year’s Glastonbury festival

“It’s a long time since I’ve played at noon,” Danish pop star MØ told the BBC ahead of her Friday lunchtime set on Glastonbury’s Other Stage.

“It’s exciting to play in the daylight. I’m going to try my best to get them partying at noon.”

The 30-year-old certainly kept her promise, with her light-night party anthems translating surprisingly well to heat of the midday sun.

The standout tracks included her breakout hit Blur, Red Wine and her worldwide hit Lean On (2.5bn YouTube views and counting).

At one point, during Nostalgia, she even dived over the security fences and started singing from inside the moshpit, providing an early highlight of the festival’s first day.

Before taking to the stage, she sat down to discuss her latest album, Forever Neverland, which was four years in the making, and what she learned from the Spice Girls.

Forever Neverland took a long time to make. Is there a sense of relief now that you’re out playing it live?

Such a relief. When things take so long, you almost believe they’re never going to finish. So, now the album’s actually out and I’m playing it live, it feels surreal that it’s actually over. The tough second album is actually done, now I can focus on the third!

Blur was the track that unlocked the album. What was it about that song?

I’d been fumbling around, just writing a lot of songs in different sessions, and I couldn’t wrap my head around what was the core of this album. Sometimes I think you float around like, ‘blah, blah, sing a song, blah, blah’. But Blur made me realise, you just have to write songs about something that matters to you. How hard can it be?

Is that disconnect something that can happen easily when you do a lot of writing sessions? It becomes a ‘project’ rather than something personal.

That is exactly what happened. After Lean On, I was struck by the success, so I was like, ‘just go with the flow,’ which is good sometimes. But I learned that for me, it’s important that I feel connected with my inner core of inspiration. That it’s not disposable.

There’s a great line on Way Down, ‘If I’m going to lose my mind, I’mma do it with style’.

I like that too! Way Down is about the anxiety of where the world is going, the political situation, and where people’s minds are headed. So it was just kind of reflecting on that. If we’re all going to hell, we might as well just be fabulous!

Another lyric that stood out is Nostalgia – where you talk about being eight, and stealing your mother’s phone to text boys. Is that a true story?

It is! I stole my mum’s phone, and our school had this little book of people’s phone numbers, so I would text the guys I knew and say, ‘hi’. But I wouldn’t tell them who I was!

Was that a successful tactic?

No. Oh no. It didn’t work at all.

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The star promises fans won’t have to wait so long for her next album

It’s worth mentioning that you weren’t silent the whole time you were making Forever Neverland. In fact, one of the singles you put out, Final Song, has just reached 1bn streams.

Yeah, worldwide, across all the streaming services. It’s a big number. I can’t believe it.

That song didn’t go Top 10 over here – but I still hear it on the radio two years later. Is there a sense that chart positions don’t matter as much as they used to?

I love that. It’s nice that songs can have a long life – because when I listen to music, I listen to things from all different periods of time.

Speaking of the old stuff, I believe you fulfilled a childhood wish and went to see the Spice Girls a couple of weeks ago?

I did! It was like redemption because when I was a kid they played in Denmark, and I really wanted to go but all the tickets were sold out. And I was so, so sad. But seeing it now, with all my girlfriends, I was so happy. I really cried all the way through – and I didn’t think I’d do that. I was like, ‘C’mon Karen, you’re 30 years old, you’re not going to cry,’ but we were all in tears.

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MØ says Mel C was her first hero

There was a real sense of celebration at those shows.

The girls were so fun and sweet, exactly what I’d dreamt they’d be like. They feel carefree, just doing their thing. It’s so amazing to watch people letting go, because that makes you believe you don’t have to behave a certain way. You can just be yourself. That’s Girl Power.

Can you do a backflip like Mel C?

Not the backflip, but I can do a high kick for sure. And I think the Spice Girls is how my interest in the high kick started.

Next year is Glastonbury’s 50th anniversary. If you were Emily Eavis for the day, who would you book to headline?

I’d have Billie Eilish, Adele and.. oh my God, could we get Beyonce? Three female headliners. Wouldn’t that be fitting for the times?

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