Karen Marie Aagaard Ørsted first made an impact on the music scene under the moniker MØ in 2013, when she lent her vocals to Swedish producer Avicii's song "Dear Boy," from his hit album True. Born in Odense, Ørsted began pursuing music after she received a Spice Girls CD when she was ten years old. As she matured, her influences matured too, with the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sonic Youth, and the Smashing Pumpkins inspiring her electro indie pop sound. She soon took to writing her own music, and in 2012 she was invited to appear at the CMJ music showcase in New York, where she garnered positive reviews.
Ørsted had released the single "Pilgrim," which showcased her beat-driven music alongside glitchy electronics, sparse guitar melodies, and sultry vocals. Her popularity rose later in 2013 after her vocals appeared on Avicii's track, and again on the back of second single "XXX 88," which featured Diplo and garnered comparisons to contemporaries AlunaGeorge and Grimes. Her eagerly anticipated debut full-length, No Mythologies to Follow, appeared in 2014, led by a pair of Danish Top 40 singles, "Don't Wanna Dance" and "Walk This Way."
In 2015, Ørsted scored her first smash hit with Major Lazer and DJ Snake. The multi-platinum "Lean On" topped the charts globally, becoming one of the most streamed songs of all time. By the end of the year, she'd readied more music for release. First came the "Kamikaze" single, which charted in Denmark, Australia, and the U.K. Next was "Final Song," which premiered in May 2016. Months later, she teamed up with Major Lazer once again on "Cold Water," which featured Ørsted and Justin Bieber on vocals. The track became her highest-charting single in the U.S. to date and topped the U.K. singles chart.
When I Was Young, along with the singles "Don't Leave" with Snakehips, "3AM (Pull Up)" with Charli XCX, and "9 (After Coachella)" with SOPHIE and Cashmere Cat. She returned the following year with the intimate single "Nostalgia." The track was featured on her sophomore LP, Forever Neverland, which arrived on Columbia in October 2018. The record featured guest performances from Charli XCX ("If It's Over"), What So Not ("Mercy"), and Diplo ("Sun in Our Eyes").