- Posted on Mar 2nd 2011 1:00PM by Dan Reilly
Gino De Pinto, AOL
This year, she's heading back to Austin with plenty of buzz and her first American-released album, simply named 'Oh Land.' She recently spoke with Spinner about her music-filled childhood, her love of the Beatles and her big plans for 2011.
Download Oh Land's 'Sun of a Gun' (MP3) off 'Oh Land' Free
What was your childhood like and how did it inspire you to become a musician?
I grew up in the outskirts of Copenhagen in a little town with my parents. We had a little house with a garden and lots of animals and my mom was an opera singer and my dad was a composer and an organist. I grew up with the idea that music is something you play and not put on -- something you actually create. We didn't listen to a lot of music in my home because my parents were always playing music live. I was always making vocal harmonies on everything they did.
Then I thought I was going to be a professional dancer but then I had to stop because I got a back injury when I was 18. That was when I went back to music and realized how much education I had in music without being aware of it. It was so natural, something that was all around me. I started singing -- I had always been singing but not to anybody else, just to myself. Then I started writing songs and recording in my apartment, little samples and things that could make sounds, like Velcro on shoes and pots and pans. That turned into 'Fauna,' an album that was released in 2008 on a Danish indie label called Fake Diamond records.
Is that going to be released here?
No. I think it's on iTunes but it's not going to get ... it was in 2008 so it feels old. I've been working so hard on the new record and then after 'Fauna,' I got signed to Epic Records at SXSW in 2009. Since then, I've been working on my new album.
That's a pretty great first time at SXSW. How are you going to top it this year?
This year I'll top it in the way that I'll play for people. Last time, I played for like six people. I flew all the way from Denmark to play for six people but it happened to be the six right people: the whole Epic staff, including the president at the time. It was so surreal and it was like a fairytale. This time around, I'll actually feel like it's a festival, actual concerts where people will come and hear my music. That will be amazing.
Are there any specific songs or artists you remember hearing that made you want to pursue a career in music?
I didn't know I was going to do music as a career until I was in my 20s, like three years back. I've always known that I've understood music on an emotional level. I've always known it was a very natural language for me and something that I had no fear touching because I felt like relaxed every time I played or sang. I perhaps tried to avoid being a musician because my parents were musicians and I didn't want to be the same as my parents. Everyone was like "Are you going to be a musician like your parents?" and I was like "No way. My parents are geeky." But then I ended up being a musician and it feels even more honest now because I didn't just end up in a place like "Oh, now I have to play music." I felt like I ended up in my right spot. I couldn't avoid it any longer. It's like I ended up getting married to my childhood love [laughs].
Who are your musical heroes?
Growing up, the only rhythmic music I listened to was the Beatles and I loved John Lennon. I was obsessed with their music.
What are your goals for 2011?
I'm going to go on tour in North America with OMD for all of March and I'm going to play hundreds of gigs. I'm also going to play a lot of shows at SXSW and when I release my record, I'll be making this exhibition, a little Oh Land exhibition at the Charles Bank Gallery in New York for a week. The whole room will be decorated in an Oh Land kind of way and I'll be playing a show for every day for a week. Then I'll be doing TV shows and stuff like that.
Who's designing this exhibition?
It's an artist called Eske Kath who's going to do all the artwork but it's very inspired by the album artwork, which I've been a big part of developing.
Do you have any other plans to celebrate the record's release?
Catch Oh Land's SXSW Set on Thursday, March 17 at Billboard Bungalow @ Buffalo Billiards (201 E 6th St.) 1AM.
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