Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig Interviews Karen O About Selfies, Hiatuses + More
GQ recently hosted a meeting of the minds when the magazine invited Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig to interview the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O. The pair discussed everything from selfies and Twitter to D’Angelo’s surprise release of ‘Black Messiah’ and whether or not the ‘Crush Songs’ singer would ever consider taking an elongated hiatus from her career.
When it came to reaching for her phone and snapping a picture of herself, Karen O said she has mixed feelings. “I’m all for celebrating your self-expression, and if you want to do that by selfies, then I’m all for it," she said. "What makes me a little uncomfortable has to do with its ties to a need to be famous.”
Koenig noted that when he texted Karen O to congratulate her on her Grammy and Oscar nominations for ‘The Moon Song’ -- which she wrote for the 2013 film, ‘Her’ (Koenig would go on to perform the song with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman during that year's Academy Awards) -- the singer wasn’t even aware she was nominated.
“There was zero expectation that ‘Moon Song’ would be nominated, so when I found out, I was blindsided,” she explained. “This is continuing that theme of not expecting anything and then being totally surprised.”
Karen O admitted that her low expectations come from her experiences early on in her career. “When you’re a young artist, you want to conquer the world and make your mark,” she said. “At the same time, I got used to this idea that there are no guarantees.”
Koenig went on to ask the singer if she could imagine taking an extended break from her music.
“Part of me is curious about what would happen if there wasn't the obligation to release music into the public for a long time,” she said. “I've had that pressure — once you start that conversation with an audience, one of the hardest things is to walk away.”
In a way, Karen O is experiencing that kind of break right now – at least with her band. Last month, the singer said the Yeah Yeah Yeahs were on indefinite hiatus. In the meantime, we can enjoy her debut solo album, ‘Crush Songs,’ which landed last year.