@mionyl on Insta-success and inspiring female musicians

@mionyl Bengans

Sheer creative talent and an outstanding musical knowledge has helped Mio (that’s @mionyl to you and I) amass more than 41k Instagram followers, making her one of the most popular faces amongst the online record collecting community. Check out our chat below to find out where her vinyl obsession began, and the inspiration behind her Insta-success…

We are so in awe of your record collection! How long have you been into vinyl?

Thank you so much! That’s very kind of you.

I think I got my very first own vinyl record somewhere between 1999-2001 – a copy of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Just Say Ozzy”, signed by one of the band members, at a record store in Malmö that I for the life of me can’t remember the name of. But I didn’t start collecting until maybe 2008, the catalyst being a copy of Iron & Wine’s “Our Numbered Days” that I found on sale at the store I now work at.

Tell us more about your Instagram account; what inspired you to set it up?

A combination of loneliness, restlessness and a need for a creative outlet, somewhere I could combine all the things I feel passionate about. I didn’t have an Instagram account before this one but started managing my workplace’s account maybe a month before I started my own and found so many accounts sharing their love for vinyl and music in so many creative and fun ways, I just had to join in.

Which of your posts was the most fun to create?

That’s a tough one. I have so many for different reasons. I had a lot of fun recreating Moby’s “Play”. It was technically challenging too which I always enjoy, and by that I mean that I don’t have a photo studio or the equipment to take the shots properly so I have to improvise a lot. Fake it till you make it, kind of thing. Worked out fine in the end.

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First I’d like to say: Taking this picture all by myself was a pain in the ass, a lot of fun but still… Hair/clothes/limbs flying everywhere, stomach looking like a roll of ham, records on the wall that needed to be visible (which are by the way VERY safely hanged on two long nails NOT touching the wall), not doing a weird thing with my face while also displaying the cover + struggling with the self timer. But enough of that crap, let's get into last months @vinylmeplease record, Moby's legendary album "Play". • "Play" became the hit record no one expected. Moby was considered by many, including himself, to be a has-been after his 1996 flop "Animal Rights". It took almost a whole year after its release before "Play" got the recognition it deserved & started getting some airtime. Sales started to go up, mainly because the label & Moby licensed songs to big films, commercials etc. in an attempt to get the album heard, something that obviously worked since this is the biggest-selling electronica album of all-time. My strongest memories connected to this album has nothing to do with commercials though, it has to do with the music videos that came with it. The Jonas Åkerlund directed "Porcelain" (that was only aired in Europe for some reason?) & the quite harrowing David LaChapelle directed "Natural Blues" to be specific, both worth a rewatch or simply a watch if you've missed them. I watched them again before writing this post I have to say that they have aged very well considering that they're both close to 20 years old, still intensely captivating. • So what's the difference between this reissue & the 2016 one that's still available? Well, except for the obvious difference which is that this comes on transparent colored vinyl, it's also been meticulously & beautifully re-recorded & remastered. It also has some other nice details that the 2016 reissue is missing; embossed cover, additional artwork to name a few. All in all, this can definitely be called the "definitive reissue". 😍 • So people, do you like "Play"? If so, what's your favorite track? 🍯 • #moby #vinylmeplease

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I’ve also been working on and off on a Star Wars post that I hope will be done this year. It’s been challenging too since I have no idea what the hell I’m doing. I’m creating a costume out of clay, hot glue & fabric & it sure looks like a mess at the moment but I actually think it will turn out alright, fingers crossed.

First time I tried painting something other than just myself in one solid color will always be kind of a landmark for me. It was Jon Hopkins’ latest release “Singularity” and I was quite surprised myself how good it turned out. I hadn’t been painting for maybe 10 years, on paper that is, I’ve never painted on myself before, so yeah… I’ll probably redo it at a later time because there are some things that bother me but it’s quite good for someone who at the time knew nothing about body paint.

So what I can take from this is that I like making posts where I have no idea what I’m doing…

What’s the music scene like in Gothenburg?

When it comes to record stores, indie labels and live shows, I’d say it’s absolutely thriving thanks to a couple of passionate music enthusiasts. There’s a surprising amount of record stores (some very new) for such a small town.

What’s the best thing about working at Bengans?

My colleagues and the customers. It’s incredibly fulfilling to be surrounded by some truly wonderful people that you can have rewarding conversations with about music every day.

If you went to live on a desert island, which 3 records would you take?

I’m going to be that person now and name four because I find it impossible to just pick three.

Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde

This is one of the most wonderful pieces of music ever created in my opinion. I never get tired of hearing it and I’m never NOT in the mood for it. It’s sounds so inviting, warm, comforting, and has so much heart and soul to it. And there really isn’t another Dylan album quite like it.

Leonard Cohen – Songs Of Leonard Cohen

This man has taught me so many things about life and the delicacy of it. To really look at the details, to know that they are more important than they may seem at first glance.

The way Cohen’s music speaks to me is impossible to put into words. I carry his lyrics and way of crafting a song with me everyday. The way he combines music with heart wrenching and incredibly relatable poetry, he really is incomparable. And even though I’ve absolutely abused this album it still makes me tear up, especially “The Stranger Song”.

Elliott Smith – Either/Or

One of the first musicians that I really came to be obsessed with a a kid, that I found and chose myself. And by that I mean that I was heavily into various mind-numbing bands when I was younger but this was definitely a result of repetitive media exposure and it being the main thing being played on the radio. This album was my introduction to him and it’s my favourite of his still to this day. If I were to chose only one album to listen to for the rest of my life it’d probably be this one.

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

This was an album that truly changed my life. Sounds awfully cliché but it’s true. It was released at a time when I tried to sort some things out from my past, and hearing this, at this exact time, while going through this harrowing, lonely process, was completely life changing. And I have to say, even if the lyrics didn’t speak to me the way they do, it would still be on this list simply because it’s a stunning record.

Who are your favourite female musicians at the moment?

Fever Ray

Karin Dreijer has been a big role model and inspiration for me since I was a kid. She’s not afraid to combine politics, creativity, sexuality, sensuality and at the same time add some humour to it. As women we are often expected to be one thing, to be put in a box. You can be smart or funny or sexy or creative or cute, at the most you can be two but usually not more. But Dreijer is everything.

St. Vincent

I admire anyone who’s not afraid to be sexual but refuses to be sexualised, much like Dreijer, and that’s one of the many things I admire about Annie Clark. Also, she has a strong vision with the things she creates, a concept if you will, which I love.

SOPHIE

My current big musical (and to be honest just general) obsession. Her music was described as “disorienting latex pop” in Pitchfork and I think that’s pretty spot on. Not afraid of adding “typical” feminine elements but with a knife sharp edge to it, and always keeping everything fluid. Her music feels at times like it’s drenched in iridescent candy and rainbow lacquer, then it suddenly takes this rapid, dark turn and turns into just pure mayhem. I love it. I love a good contrast.

Follow Mio on Instagram here.

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