Icelandic musician, actor, artist and innovator Björk has spent the last 25 years imparting her forward-looking and often bold creative ideas through her music.
After rising to recognition with her band The Sugarcubes in the 1980s, Björk set off on a solo career in the early 90s, producing albums like the playful dance record Debut, the musically varied Post, the electronic standout Homogenic and the refined, ethereal Vespertine.
In the new millenium, she put out the all-vocal record Medúlla and Volta, a political album with a transcontinental sound. These reflected Björk's heightened role as a political and environmental activist, advocating for the rights of Icelanders.
Outside music, Björk has become a cultural fixture for her eye-catching fashion (who can forget the swan dress?) and her harrowing performance in Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark, for which she won best actress at the Cannes Film Festival.
Her new project is called Biophilia. It's an ambitious album designed to be released through iPad apps and operate as a teaching tool about nature and musicology.
Last month, Jian sat down with Björk in our New York City studio to discuss her career, her activism, her motivations behind Biophilia, and what she thinks of her role as an innovator. Below, we present that conversation alongside music from Biophilia and her back catalogue in two parts.