“Why is Bjork so weird?” asked a friend of mine after I told her I was travelling all the way to Jakarta to see her, recently. I didn’t really know how to answer that except to say that she’s not weird, just eccentric, like most artists. But I don’t think most people know or recognise true artists anymore. I think they are especially confused by the term ‘artiste’ which in my mind, means crap all, a word to desrcibe a wannabe celeb with very little talent and huge amounts of mainstream backing. Artist is not a dirty word. I reiterate – NOT a dirty word. It describes someone who is sensitive to the world around them and who reacts, often quite extremely, to it. Someone who endeavours to express the ‘bigger picture’ through everything that they do be it music, sculpture, filmmaking and someone who probably is more in tune with the earth as sand or water or air – mother nature.
I love Bjork, first because she is a freaking good musician – she writes great songs and has an amazing understanding of music and how it works. It is like maths really. Bjork also has the ability to make her music seem primordial, basic in instinct, ancient and intuitive. When I listen to Joga or Bachelorette (where I’m practically bowled over by massive tidal waves) or Unravel especially, or anything on the Homogenics album, I can practically feel the ice and fire of her Icelandic homeland in those electro tribal beats or Debut, where there are more insects crawling around in the darkness than a William Burrough’s novel. I love that. It’s so alive and reaches you on more than an aural level. It’s more like a whole bodily outdoor experience.
Secondly, because Bjork is a rebel. She’s a freedom fighter. A soldier of peace and love. She is not alternative for the sake of being alternative. She is genuinely clever, perceptive, passionate and powerful. It may seem weird to many, but being a rebel is fucking cool, especially if you have the integrity to prove it.