Karin Dreijer: A Swedish Electronic Music Powerhouse


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Karin Dreijer is a popular Swedish Electronic music artist and producer. Karin Dreijer has had a successful and stellar music career and is one of the legends in the field. In this post, we will find out more about Karin Dreijer. Let’s get started.

Karin Dreijer: All You Need To Know

When was Karin Dreijer born?

Karin Dreijer was born on April 7, 1975, in Sweden’s Nacka parish. Together with her brother Olof Dreijer, Karin ran the band The Knife (1999–2014). Previously, Dreijer has played in the bands Virginia and Honey Is Cool. She also sang for Norwegian electronic duo Royksopp’s hit song What Else is there. Since 2008, Dreijer has been active as a solo artist under the name Fever Ray.

Karin Dreijer: Music Career

Honey Is Cool

In Gothenburg in 1994, Karin Dreijer (vocals, guitar) formed the indie pop band Honey is Cool, together with Johan Hagstrom (drums) and Staffan Larsson (bass). Soon Anders Gothberg also joined the group. The band recorded a demo, which led to gigs at the Emmaboda and Hultsfred festivals. The demo also led to a contract with the record company Sunspot Records, on which in 1995 they released the debut EP Focky Focky No Pay. Before this record, the group’s original drummer Hagström had been replaced by Hakan Hellstrom. 

The debut EP received good reviews and the band therefore made the decision to apply to a major record label. The choice fell on MVG Records which two years later, in 1997, released the debut album, Crazy Love. But soon they left that record company and instead started their own record company Rabid Records in 1998. In the same year, Dreijer visited the Bear Quartet in the studio and recorded the duet “Volksblues” for the album Personality Crisis.

The Knife

Honey Is Cool split up in 2000, the same year Dreijer decided to focus on The Knife, which Dreijer formed in 1999 with her brother Olof Dreijer. The Knife released their debut The Knife in 2001 on Rabid Records. The recording of the album began early in the summer of 1999 in a cabin on Tjorn. The duo then continued working on the album in their apartments in Gothenburg and Stockholm. In 2004 The Knife won a Grammy for Best Group but boycotted the ceremony by sending the two artists Fia-Stina Sandlund and Joanna Rytel from the artist group Unf***ed P***y instead.


Dreijer contributed in 2005 with the vocals on Royksopp’s song “What Else Is There?”. She also appeared in the music video. Dreijer also contributed in 2008 with vocals on dEU’s song “Slow” on the album Vantage Point. During dEU’s gig at Debaser Slussen in May 2008, Dreijer made an unusual guest appearance and was on stage with the Belgian band.

In 2009, Dreijer again collaborated with Royksopp, this time on “This Must Be It” from the group’s album Junior.

At this time, the Dreijer siblings ran the record label Rabid Records together.

Fever Ray

In late 2008, the solo project Fever Ray was launched with the single “If I Had a Heart”. This composition was also used as a leitmotif in the TV series Vikings, which premiered in March 2013. In addition, it is played in a number of other TV series such as Breaking Bad. The album Fever Ray was released in 2009 and contained ten tracks.

In 2010, Karin Dreijer under her alias Fever Ray released the singles “Stranger Than Kindness” and “Here Before”, taken from the album Here Before. Dreijer also released a single called “Mercy Street” which is a cover of Peter Gabriel’s song of the same name.

In April 2013, The Knife released Shaking the Habitual, their first independent studio album since 2006, and the album Silent Shout. In 2014, the Knife was awarded the Nordic Music Prize for 2013’s best album. On August 21, 2014, the siblings announced that the duo would disband after the “Shaking Habitual Show Tour” which concluded on November 8, 2014.

In October 2017, Fever Ray released the record Plunge.

Karin Dreijer: Music Style

Karin Dreijer is well known for using shrill and deep tones with equal ease in her vocals. She has also efficiently multi tracked her vocals with the use of pitch shifting technology to a great effect. Aside from being an excellent and innovative musician, Karin Dreijer is also a very dramatic live performer. She maintains an eccentric visual image in all her appearances. She uses masks, face and body paint, intricate costumes, and other theatrical elements in photo shoots, videos, and live performances. Another interesting element of Karin Dreijer’s live shows is her use of the gauze screen between herself and the audience.

Karin Dreijer: Best Quotes

I have been able to find out what I really really want to do myself, trying out ideas that I haven’t been able to do before because you don’t have to compromise when you work by yourself.

When I start to write and record a track, I always think about where it is supposed to take place, what kind of room that is, and what kind of atmosphere it should have. Also how it should be performed, and by what kind of musicians or vocalists. I work in a very theatrically minded sort of way.

Sometimes my lyrics are about things that are, well, not the brightest, but I have been working with this outlook for such a long time that it’s not dark to me anymore. It’s just something that you work through and in the end, it’s a lot of happiness.

I believe that people would be happier sharing things and being much more of a collective rather than working from these neo-liberal ideas of just looking after yourself. I think people need each other.

Nowadays, especially when you think of electronic music, it’s like, the producer is mostly the one who makes the music or the beats and everything. But I am more, since I’m that old, when I started to make music the producer was just sitting in the back shouting and drinking beer.

Music and art is about ideas, I think. Especially music. You have the freedom to work with your ideas and your dreams and your fantasies, which is quite hard to do in many other places.

Is Karin Dreijer genderfluid?

Yes, even though Karin Dreijer was born a woman, she considers herself to be queer and genderfluid and chooses to use the plural pronouns they/them. She was married at some time and carried the last name Andersson as a result of that. After her divorce, Karin Dreijer dropped the Andersson surname. 


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