Oh Land: Nordic Star

The Danish Electro Chanteuse On Her Forthcoming Major Label Debut

Mixing such wide-ranging influences as Björk and Britney Spears with Gregorian chants and Native American music, Nanna Oland Fabricius is a study in musical collage. The Danish songstress records under the moniker Oh Land, a twist on her middle name, and has already won over the likes of Pharrell Williams and Rihanna—not to mention Missoni M, for whom she’s a brand ambassador. It was only after a spine fracture dashed her hopes of being a prima ballerina that Fabricius pursued an electro pop career, releasing her debut album Fauna in 2008. The Crown Prince of Denmark quickly emerged as her champion, and a performance at South by Southwest in 2009 prompted Epic Records to sign her. Oh Land's eponymous sophomore album (which includes today's track, "Wolf & I") is produced by Depeche Mode collaborator Dave McCracken and set for release in April. Photographed by Marcelo Gomes, the Nordic beauty spoke to NOWNESS about rapping and daydreaming.

Your mother is an opera singer and your father a theater organist. How did they shape your musical sensibility?

I create music much more than I listen to it. That’s how I was raised with my mum and dad. They were at home making music, rehearsing songs––it wasn’t something you put on as a CD or an LP, and [we definitely didn’t listen to it on the radio]. So in that way I haven’t grown up with popular music. That sets me free in some sense. Pop music is new to me. 

You were invited to Pharrell’s studio for a recording session. What was that like?

He has that ability to step into another person’s universe, and not be afraid of anything. I felt like we were two little kids. At one point we were rapping at each other. I’ve never really rapped, but I was rapping! 

There is a whimsical element to your lyrics. Would you say you're whimsical?  

I’m definitely a daydreamer. I’ve always had a slight problem with reality. It can have a negative side sometimes, like when you’re 25 and you still believe there are trolls under the bed.

You relocated to New York to record your new album. How has the city affected your creative process?

New York has had a very direct influence on me. I often find that I get inspired and feel relaxed when I’m in the middle of big chaos—the eye of the storm.


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Conversations (2)

  • O!O
    I love her voice and her playful creativity. To piggy back on what Casssiopeia said"it's just what we need in music right now". Love it!
    • Posted By O!O
    • February 17, 2011 at 12:45PM
    • Share Comment:
  • cassiopeia
    Thanks for this post! I really love Oh Land's music/style...it's just what we need in music right now :) Her EP that I got from itunes is very refreshing and makes me excited for a full-length effort...soon i hope!
    • Posted By cassiopeia
    • February 07, 2011 at 3:06AM
    • Share Comment:

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