björk was the most magical reddit ama guest ever
The Icelandic superstar talked about fame, privacy, criticism, and how creativity is a creature.
Yesterday Björk joined the hallowed internet halls of Reddit by participating in her first AMA (Ask Me Anything). As you could expect, it was a flood of earnest fan questions, and dreamy, slightly disjointed responses. As well as displaying an obvious love of internet shorthand — the Icelandic superstar has officially made it okay to say lol — she was warm and generous with her insightful responses. Here are our favorite revelations.
People leave her alone in Iceland.
According to Björk, being a celebrity in Iceland isn't such a big deal. She writes, "in Iceland we have not much hierarchy and noone is more important than the next one therefore autographs kinda silly." As she points out, "if u want an autograph make one yourself lol."
Her advice on writer's block.
As she explains, in the most Björk way possible, "creativity always lives somewhere in everyone but its nature is quite pranksterish and slippery and everytime u grab its tail its found a nu corner to thrive in." She suggests you don't force it, rather sniff it out with kindness. Describing creativity as a creature, she says for her it pays to "follow it rather than me wilfully reforming it into a circus animal coloring by numbers." In short, relax.
Each album has its own character.
When asked about the amazing costuming across her albums, the singer compared them to tarot characters and says she feels like a "private investigator throughout the album working it out". To her, each of these characters have "colors , elements , symbolism , moods and an emotional journey they go through." Her job is to discover them.
How she approaches criticism online.
Despite her huge commercial and critical success, she admits that her tendency to make every album so different means there is always someone who wants something else, "when i did debut they wanted the sugarcubes when I did post they wanted debut when I did homogenic they wanted post and so on." She chooses to take is as a compliment, and a sign that people are still passionate and emotionally bound to her work. If people are always longing for something else, you probably really made an impression.
Growing up in Reykavik taught her to be herself.
When asked if she ever felt pressure to conform, she explained that as a teenager in Reykavik with very little going on, she and her friends were forced to "make it up ourselves and release it ourselves." She got used to doing her own thing her own way, and as a result when she was "introduced to restricting claustrophobic routes ive kinda just ignored them."
She doesn't care about material success.
Despite the millions of units she's sold, she isn't scared of selling three albums, she's more interested in staying true to her nature. Going on she remembers, "coming from punk background corporate companies where the enemy."
She also digs RuPaul's Drag Race.
Maybe the most surprising revelation was her deep appreciation for Katya's Snatch Game impression of her. Although she said it would have been nice to see a more current version — she suggested Vulnicura era — she did concede she "nailed the feminist activist tribal volta." After all as she adds, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Check out the whole thing here, and prepare to become a significantly better person.
Text Wendy Syfret
Photography Ari Magg
The Passionate Issue, No. 244, June 2004