Scandinavian punk princess Ida Maria (pronounced eeh-dah) has a message for all you men out there: She likes you so much better when you’re naked, so get ready to drop trou. Hailing from Nesna, Norway (and subsequently managing her own record label of the same name), this 24-year old blue-eyed beauty just finished rocking SXSW and will soon to be shredding up at Coachella to promote her new album Fortress Round My Heart. You may recognize her hit single “Oh My God” from Gossip Girl promos. I sat down with Ida to discuss what a nice guy Perez Hilton is, what it’s like to be diagnosed with synesthesia (a neurological condition that allows her to “hear colors” and “see music”), and the number of guys she would like to see naked (pretty much all of them).
What was your SXSW experience like? Because of all these new rules and stuff, we had some trouble to get in to the country because we didn’t have all the papers ready. So I unfortunately had to cancel two shows. It was pretty stupid. I came the last day, on Saturday, so I had like, 16 interviews in one day, and then no sleep for 3 days. It was just crazy. And then we went on stage at 3 o’clock in the morning. Kanye West came up and stole my spot. I was so ready, and they pushed it, and they pushed it. It was a drag, it was like, three hours late. And I didn’t even get to watch Kanye behind the curtains, so I was very depressed that night.
Did you get to the Perez Hilton party? Yeah, that was the place that I played after Kanye, but I was very tired. Perez was very nice as a person. He’s a bit like me — revenge of the nerds.
Was it fun to meet all the celebrities there? You know what? I’m terrified of celebrities. I met Kate Moss today, and I just blushed and ran to the elevator. I’ve met her boyfriend, though, and he’s nice. I just enjoy to hang out with farmers and fishermen, and people who know how to kill a cod.
You have a song called “I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked” — did you write that about someone specifically? Yea, it’s the single here right now, isn’t it? Well, what can I say about it? It’s just because I have seen a couple of naked men in my life, and I really enjoy it. And I have to add that I like guys with a bit of a belly and hair on their chest, I like guys with no hair on their chest, I like guys with muscles, or with really thin, skinny arms. I like guys with curly hair, blond hair, brown hair. Boys in general — get your clothes off.
Can you talk to me about your synesthesia? It’s like sensory dyslexia. Instead of getting a sound, I get a color of the sound. And it took me a long time in my life to come to terms with it. I think I was 19, so I had a big confusion in my life. It was actually acknowledged as a psychological condition in 1999. My mum’s got exactly the same thing, so she was kind of telling me when I grew up, you know, there’s nothing with you, you’re just a bit overloaded.
You have a very rambunctious stage persona. Are you like that in your everyday life? It’s just very hard to talk about it. I just play the music, and whatever happens, happens. I enjoy it very much and I feel very much from it, because it’s definitely something I love to do. But, I guess when we played in Boston I was very shy, I just wanted to hide behind the amps all the time, and I think the audience noticed. I think the shows we do are very different. Sometimes they are absolutely crazy, and wacky, and people walk like, 10 meters back from the stage, and other times, I don’t know. It’s like life, you know? It’s never the same, it changes all the time.
Are you looking forward to playing at Coachella? That’s huge. Yeah, I heard, everybody just says that it’s big. I’m looking forward to it.
Are you looking forward to seeing anyone in particular when you’re there? Oh, there’s so many good bands playing there. There’s a lot of cool girls. I heard Maya — M.I.A — just confirmed that she’s going to play, and you know, she’s been pregnant. She’s like, my biggest hero. And who else? Lyyke Li, from Sweden, she’s also very good. God bless her, I hope she doesn’t drink too much. I know I’ve got like, really pale skin and stuff, but I’ve got like, 50 sunscreen. I really do. As you can see, I’ve never got any sun on my body, really. I need the sun.
Where do you like to go out in New York, or any other cities? Pianos — it’s in the Lower East Side. I like Patsy’s, the Italian place, because you can see these old mafia guys. And this really good Mexican place in Brooklyn, but I forgot the name. And, if you ever go to Manchester, Big Hands — it’s this tiny, tiny little pub, and it’s really narrow, and they play the best music, and you have the best nights.