Kill J makes a powerful and at the same time gentle experimental pop with clever and impassioned lines. After her song “Strange Fruits of the Sea”, she released her new single “Dead Weight Soldier” which gives us another glimpse of her highly-awaited album “Superposition”.
The new song “Dead Weight Soldier” is accompanied by a very strong, unapologetic and extraordinary video clip, which screams for attention and truly gets it.
We definitely wanted to discover more about Kill J – this fascinating persona – and her thoughts and ideas.
On one of those first cold, dark and rainy November days, a week before the release of “Dead weight Soldier”, Kill J and I wanted to go for a walk. We changed our minds while raindrops started splashing around us and a gust of wind brought our jackets to flutter. We entered a cafe in Vesterbro, Copenhagen, and while we were enjoying the first sips of our warm coffees we started our conversation…
Good because Danish: You just finished your new album “Superposition”. How do you feel about that it will be out in the world soon?
Kill J: A part of me is like “cool that is always what I wanted to do”. It is a dream coming true doing an album. The other part of me is about to piss in my pants. I took a year and a half off to do it and there is the part of me that is really proud of what I have done, and the other part of me is the insecure musician who is like am I still relevant, does the world want to hear my music? So I am all of these feelings combined in one depending on what day you ask me.
You just released the song “Dead Weight Soldier” the lyrics say: “heavy heavy weight on my shoulders”. What weight did he put on your shoulders?
An A&R is a person hired by a record label that does among other things artist development. Meaning he or she has to make sure that your songs are able to succeed and sell, an age-old struggle between artist and A&R. We ended up not working together and I ended up not having an A&R. My A&R said that he would make sure specific songs wouldn’t be pitched for radio or be released as singles if he didn’t get his way. He forgot who was the artist and it escalated and became all about his ego – and not about the music. I got to a point where I got so frustrated that I had to go home and kill him in a song. I just needed to say a lot of things out loud so it was not stuck in my head. We are actually still friends, …I hope!
I got a new A&R in the UK. We did not really have that much collaboration but I played “Dead Weight Soldier” for him and he got really scared. But at the same time, he said he really likes that song because it is raw and real.
The whole album is inspired by particle physics.
Most of it is, there are three keywords that I keep on circling around: religion, science, and love.
One is science, and in particular, particle physics. It is like a new religion for me. It has the answer to what we are doing here. I ended up going to CERN in Geneva with the Niels Bohr Institute (Check out everything about the laboratory CERN here). We went down into the belly of the beast, into ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment, pretty cool read more here) and we saw all of the different cool experiments. The research that they are doing became my Mekka. I am an amateur, so I do not really know very much and this is also one of the reasons it took me so long to write these songs. I had to sit down and read about particle physics to understand what I was talking about. The world of particle physics has such an unlocked poetic potential that I needed to explore.
That is a beautiful way to view physics. You mention that only science can save us, in what way?
Because there is so much stupidity in the world right now. I think we can all agree that it is mind-blowing when we read the news every day thinking can we get more stupid. Then you open up the newspaper the next day and yes, we can get more stupid. At the end of the day, only knowledge and information are the only cure to our stupidity. I am hoping for the next enlightenment period of our time where we end up using information technology and science in a way that will help us to survive and not destroy each other.
The song “Strange Fruits of the Sea” tackles very relevant topic migrants crossing borders, the Mediterranean Sea, survival. What or whom are you protesting against with your song?
It is a protest song but I am basically just stating the facts. A protest song does not need to incorporate lyrics that are like “this is what’s wrong with the world”. You can just state the facts and let people look and think “oh, that is right“. I wrote it a year ago and it is still relevant. A year ago there were still a lot of people dying in the Mediterranean Sea and there is still even more children incarcerated. Trying to cross borders is becoming more and more dangerous.
How do people react to the song?
I had a few death threats. You always piss off somebody. But I am not saying anything that is not factual. You cannot see anything more extreme than what we already watch on the news. I guess that is part of the deal if you put yourself out there people are so polarized that they find it ok to send you death threats on Instagram or Facebook.
You were performing in a Niqab at Copenhagen Pride and brought the LGBTQ+ and religion together but at the same major religious groups view homosexuality as a sin.
This was a week after the Danish government decided to implement a law against wearing Niqabs. I almost did not do it. I am not gay and I am not religious I am not Muslim. I did not want to hurt people’s feelings in a cultural appropriation kind of way. But at the same time, I felt very strongly that no government should tell anyone, men or women, or anywhere in between what they can or cannot wear. I needed to do it.
How did the audience react?
At the concert, everyone loved it and wanted to come up and kiss me. Once I put the Niqab on I was freed. I know that sounds weird but I felt such a freedom wearing it. I went into the crowd kissing girls. It was such a beautiful experience with so much love in the air. People understood what I was trying to say. Once I had it on I was like let’s just go all in. There were a bunch of police officers. I went to the officers and kissed and hugged them and there were just like please don’t otherwise, I have to arrest you. The prime minister was backstage and I wanted to go up and kiss and hug him. I was held back by six bodyguards. It was fun.
Did you have other memorable performances?
There is one concert that is stuck in my head because something happened that I did not expect. Once, we played in Madrid. It was the perfect night and venue for my music. People were getting it on and everybody was so horny. The atmosphere was just great. During the performance, I looked over to my drummer and he told me with his eyes to look over to the right. Up against the wall, there is this couple having sex in the middle of the crowd. It was an amazing feeling when you can inspire two people to have sex.
What was the most memorable experience with your audience?
I remember this one time in the states at South by Southwest. A woman kept on tweeting me during the day and I told her to come to one of my shows. After the concert, she came up to me and told me the most moving story I ever experienced. She was born into a kind of cult-like environment. She probably realized in her teenage years that she wanted to break away. It was the hardest thing she ever had to do. She had to leave her family and friends and everything she knew. She explained to me that my song called Bullet helped her through the hardest time of her life. She said: “you wrote that song for me that is my song”. Every time I play it now I think about her. It is not my song anymore it is hers.