Björk is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, producer, DJ, and actress. Over her career, she has developed an eclectic musical style that draws on a wide range of influences and genres spanning electronic, pop, experimental, classical, trip hop, IDM, and avant-garde styles.
At six years old Björk attended music school in Iceland, where she studied classical piano and flute. A recording of a performance in which she sang Tina Charles 1976 hit “I Love to Love” was broadcast nationally and came to the attention of the Fálkinn record label who offered her a recording contract. Her self-titled début, Björk, was recorded and released in Iceland in December 1977.
During her teens she was involved in various groups including the all-girl punk band Spit and Snot, the jazz-fusion Exodus, Tappi Tíkarrass, Rokka Rokka Drum (with poet Sjón – a lifelong collaborator), Kukl where she developed her vocal style and The Elgar Sisters. In 1987 she came to prominence as the lead singer of the alternative rock band The Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single “Birthday” was a hit on US and UK indie stations and a favourite among music critics.
Björk embarked on a solo career in 1993, coming to prominence as a solo artist with albums such as Debut (1993), Post (1995), and Homogenic (1997), while collaborating with a range of artists and exploring a variety of multimedia projects.
She is the winner of many awards including five BRIT Awards and the Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in recognition of her “deeply personal music and lyrics, her precise arrangements and her unique voice.” In 2015 she was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world and won the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in the film “Dancer in the Dark”.
Björk has an innovative vocal and compositional approach, and she continues to push boundaries in musical experimentation and art direction.
In 2011 Björk released Biophilia, a multi-media project comprising a studio album, an app, a live tour featuring custom-made instruments and educational workshops.
The Biophilia Educational Project aims to promote innovation in schools and inspire children to explore their own creativity while learning about music, nature and science through new technologies. Students learn through hands-on participation, composition and collaboration.
The tattoo on Björk’s left arm is the Vegvísir, a word that literally translates into “sign post.” While often confused for a Viking symbol, it’s actually from the 16th-17th century Icelandic book of magic called Galdrabók. The Vegvísir was used to prevent people from getting lost in harsh weather.
About this Contributor
- Given name
- Family name
- Birth date
- Contributor type
- Minutes created
- Collection 2 #60
Underwater Soundscapes by Primary School composers!
Welcome to Minute of Listening’s Sound of the Year Awards 2021 Collection! The Sound of the Year Awards are a celebration of…
Summer School 2022 Collection
The Sound and Music Summer School is an annual residential course for 14-18 year old creative music-makers and composers. Throughout the week,…
Discover a treasure trove of music education resources created by the experts at Minute of Listening.