Photography by Sarah Buthmann
Imagine a man whose skinny little limbs and aggressive Danish drawl on stage makes teen girls lose their voices and teen boys lose control of their firstpumping arms and bobbing heads. Imagine a man whose claims to fame are songs about girls wet enough to go swimming in and songs about not giving a fuck that are literally called 'Fuck'. This man is the one and only Emil Stabil—a Danish rapper whose catchy beats, weirdly charismatic stage presence and no-fucks-given persona has won the hearts of young fans across the country. Yep, Emil Stabil tries to maintain a rap-appropriate hardcore image and is reasonably successful at it—but even the hardest of dudes in the rap game must have a soft spot. We tried to discover Emil Stabil's last week by going straight for the bull's eye: we decided to interview him about his mother. Here's how the conversation went down.
NOISEY: Hey, Emil. I thought I'd interview you about your mom.
Emil Stabil: That’s nice. I really hate those questions like, “Is it a bird?”—I will choke the next fucking journalist who asks me that. I love my mom. Have you been stalking her?
I have not. Can I stalk her on the Internet? Does she have a social media presence?
I never ‘accepted’ her on Facebook, actually. You’re not going to write this, are you?
Don’t worry, I won’t fuck up your relationship with your mom. Are you and your mom close?
Yeah, yeah, always have been. I’m a Momma’s Boy.
How often do you go back to Aarhus to visit her?
A lot. Well, I talk to my mom every day, or at least I try to.
How do those little check-ins go, usually? Do you fill her in on what you’re doing?
Well, she’s telling me as well. I’m interested in what my mom does, of course. I mean, she’s my momma.
What does your mom do?
She’s a social worker.
When you first started rapping, what was her reaction? Did she try to motivate you to rap more?
No, not at all. My mom didn’t really get that I was rapping until it got big or when people were tellin’ her I was rapping. So I didn’t tell her.
Is your mom into music?
No, I think she likes Pink Floyd and shit like that. Some hippie shit.
Do you like hippie shit sometimes though?
Of course. I grew up with that shit. It’s a psychological thing, you know. It’s been proven that the music you listen to as a kid gives you a special feeling of security.
What did your folks listen to?
My dad listened to Kim Larsen, John Mogensen, stuff like that—he was heavily into the classic Danish stuff. I actually think my mom's into that, too. I think we danced to that when I was a kid. 100%.
I grew up in a happy home. Look, I’m a good boy. Emil Stabil is a good boy. You can quote me on that! There’s your title: Emil Stabil is a good boy.
After your rap career took off, did she start taking more of an interest in the kind of music that you make?
Nah, I don’t think so. My sister and I always had the same taste in music, though, so she was kind of forced to listen to it. We’ve always lived in small apartments. She couldn’t help but hear the music we listened to.
When you were growing up, did she support you being musical?
No, not at all. Like, I don’t play guitar or shit like that: you’re not cool if you do shit like that where I grew up. I got kicked out of music classes when I was younger. I first learned what a note is two years ago. I didn’t know before.
I mean, I know and grew up with people who play in bands. They’re better at music than I am—the theoretical music. Fuck that, let’s cross that out. If you write that, I’ll find you and strangle you with a cable somewhere.
Whoa, dude… you’re like…
I’m just teasing.
'Kay. Has she ever commented on your song lyrics?
I know what song you’re referring to. It’s “Swimmingpool”. I don’t know, I don’t think it’s that bad but no, she hasn’t. My mom is a feminist, though. My mom’s like a big hippie. This is something you should know.
So do you and your mom talk about feminism?
I grew up with a sister, you know. I’ve been raised a certain way.
Okay, so what are specific values your mom taught you when you were growing up?
My mom taught me to be sympathetic. My mom taught me to show solidarity with people who are weaker. My mom taught me to be humble, build myself and not be in a place where I’m sad to be.
Good things. Okay, cool. How old is your mom?
Fuck, that’s awkward, I don’t know. I think she’s like 56 or something like that.
Does your mom ever get worried about you?
Yeah, she used to. I think she’s getting used to me, though: Imma make it, I’m not getting disrupted. I’m too smart for that. I think at one point she was just like, “Okay, I can’t control my kids.” I think that’s just her way of raising kids. She lets us do shitty stuff. We talk about it together, you know.
(Break in conversation while Emil Stabil has a bit of a meltdown)
Emil Stabil: But, but, you - I don’t want - my mom’s gonna read this, I know she’s gonna read this!
We’re only saying good things, though.
No, it’s not all good things! ‘Cause there are things my mom doesn’t know. I mean, maybe she’s been told them later on, but still: there are things my mom doesn’t know. Nevermind, we’re cool. This is cool. Because all of my interviews are shit.
Exactly. Here you can get a deeper interview.
Yeah, I love it. Love it. I am a good boy, after all.
How old are you though?
I don’t know, actually.
Yeah right, you totally know how old you are. How old are you?
No, no, no. I’m not from this Earth, so I dunno. That’s a longer story. I cannot tell you right now.because I need to go to an after party.
Okay, I’ll accept the mystery. What do you think would make your mom the most proud of you?
Wow. That’s a deep question. Fuck. Like right now, or what I should’ve done?
Hmm. Both. Let’s start with what you should’ve done.
Be happy. Of course, I’m happy now. I’m a platinum-selling artist, so what should I be worried about? I got money. You know, I never had money, but now I’ve got money.
Other than making money, what would make your mom proud of you?
Nothing. I’m not one of those kids who has been pressured by his parents. I don’t know if I would’ve listened anyway, actually.
Yeah. Also, when we’re growing up we don’t listen to our moms for a really long time.
I think that’s a girl thing, actually. Every boy I know is like, “My momma is always right.” And every girl I know is like, “Fuck my mom. But I love my dad.” It’s always the opposite. The same goes for boys because boys are always like, “I don’t wanna be like my dad when I grow old.”
I wonder why it ends up splitting into that gendered difference, though.
It’s just a cultural thing, I guess. Your mother acts a certain way because she is taught like that and your father acts a certain way because he is taught like that.
Alright. Any last words about how lovely your mom is?
Fuck your mom.
Excellent. Thanks, Emil.