the real Björk

Who the real Björk is, remains a mystery, even to me. Today I’m this, tomorrow I’m that. People say sometimes that, except for my voice, I haven’t got a true musical identity. Well, that’s true. But that’s never bothered me. Artists who are and then just take on a certain style, are people without identity. And they know it, or they wouldn’t be so preoccupied with defining the music that alledgedly suits them ; something I’ve never done myself. With me, everything comes natural. I can’t help it. I can’t be dishonest with myself. It was already like that when I was sixteen, playing in Top 40-coverbands. I never managed to sound like someone else. And I still can’t. I’m the worst actress in the world. And as copycat I am completely unconvincing. I can’t lie.

Yet, many people think you’re building up some kind of image : that of the happy child-woman.

Listen, I grew up in a very small town. When I was eight, I was already on Icelandic TV. In itself nothing special, because every Icelander is on TV at least once in his life. People didn’t just see me on TV, but also in the street. So I could hardly act different on TV than how I really was ; people would notice immediately. What I mean is that it’s always seemed completely pointless to me, to create an image that differs from my real self. That’s not in me. Not even now that I live in London. I’ll give you another example. Via MTV, lots of Icelandic children get to know the phenomenon of ’asking an autograph’. But to them that’s something completely absurd, because they meet the Icelandic celebrities in person once a week anyway !

Is the Icelandic community that small ?

Okay, I’m exaggerating. But where I grew up, there lived 18,000 people. There was a main street and one big square. You only had to cross the street naked once and the people would remember for the rest of their lives.

Oor, September 1997