I thought for a little while about what woman I wanted to feature to celebrate International Women’s Day and then it hit me…Björk! As a teenager watching MTV as music grew out of the 80’s and alternative music was taking over, she was a fast favorite of mine thanks to her keen visual style, unique delivery, and un-traditional song structures. Watching this Iclandic import on television seemed extraordinary even when so much new music was breaking through. Björk was unlike anything I’d heard then and much to her credit, she doesn’t sound like anyone else now. She’s evolved and grown over the ensuing decades but her ability to innovate, ignore trends, and stay true to herself puts Björk into a league of her own.
Beyond writing and producing her own award winning music, Björk she has also been nominated for an Academy Award and two Golden Globes for her work as an actress in Dancer in the Dark. When the tsunami hit Southeast Asia in 2004 she helped raise close to 250,000 pounds in charity through sales of a remix album she put together for the cause. While her political stances have often found her at odds with people her beliefs are always rooted in independence and liberation from control. She’s founded environmental groups in her native Iceland to promote nature and grassroots industries and using natural resources to get the country out of debt.
Whether you enjoy her music or not, there’s no denying that Björk is one of a kind. She’s a shining example that you can tread your own way and be successful without bending to the will of an industry that fights change. So, on this International Women’s Day I give a nod to a woman who has shown me that David Bowie wasn’t the only chameleon in the music industry.
Header photo by Kumajii