Unraveling the Creative Journey of sonic girl: From Magazine Founder to Futuristic Persona

We interviewed Maria Damgaard Jensen, the person behind sonic girl, a Danish pop icon, rebellious anti-superstar and a bright hyperpop star that draws listeners into her futuristic soundscape.

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Maria Damgaard Jensen aka sonic girl

28/08/2023; 5 min read Loud!

sonic girl emerges as a radiant presence on the Danish music scene, embodying a blend of cherished nostalgia and defiant nonconformity. She encapsulates a dual tapestry: a captivating character and an entire universe that seamlessly weaves the spirit of Y2K pop culture (“Y2K pop culture” refers to the popular trends and styles from 2000 to 2009.) with a symphony of synthetic, digitally-altered soundscapes.  It is the story of being born into an internet era where life is digitally constructed, and fame is always just around the corner – even if reality is far less glamorous.

Photo by: Cecilie Rolvung

The Genesis of Expressiveness 

Yearning for a way to express my emotions and break free from the confines of societal norms, I embarked on a new path to explore my creativity and expressiveness. I eventually felt lost and constrained within the rigid confines of political science studies which was my major. For me, the tipping point came when I felt compelled to explore my creativity more personally and unrestrictedly. I was looking for a way to escape the strict norms of academia and create my own world and rules.

I created the magazine “Crystal Denim Defense” in response to the constraints I felt in my creative environment. I mainly used it as a blank canvas to experiment with photography, writing, and poetry. The Crystal Denim Defense was used as the platform to physically and visually express my emotions and feelings without preconceived notions of the end result. It evolved into an artistic endeavor in which I could explore my identity and creative voice. The magazine had the potential to go beyond its original purpose as a personal creative outlet. It can become a platform for others to share their stories and perspectives. This realization inspired me to invite my friend Ida Maria Andersen, ‘ Radar Pipa,’ as a collaborator. 

Photo by: Cecilie Rolvung

The concept of the  Crystal Denim Defense revolved around feminism, sexuality, and breaking societal norms. I addressed these issues through artistic expression, intending to challenge societal conventions and standards. The project evolved into a powerful artistic statement, claiming that creativity and self-expression did not require formal education or predefined boundaries.

One of the magazine’s outstanding accomplishments was its willingness to confront societal norms head-on. It bravely tackled taboo subjects, igniting critical debates about identity, mental health, sexuality, and the intricate dance between technology and human emotions. Its unapologetic exploration struck a deep chord with its readers, offering them solace through the authentic and raw emotions expressed through art and storytelling.

Even though Crystal Denim Defense was an experimental and limited project, with only a hundred copies printed, it significantly impacted my creative journey. It aided in the discovery of my artistic alias, sonic girl, who later became my artist persona. She emerged as a protective shield, a persona through which I could explore my emotions, flaws, and dreams. The magazine acted as a powerful catalyst for my creative journey, leading me to embrace the identity of sonic girl. 

The Adventures of sonic girl

Adopting a distinct persona could help me overcome inhibitions and fully explore my artistic expression, I thought. So I sought a creative outlet- sonic girl. sonic girl has its origins in the magazine’s early days. She emerged as my alter ego—a fearless, confident, and rebellious character capable of embodying my most private emotions and thoughts. 

My journey into the sonic girl universe took an exciting turn through the realm of Dungeons and Dragons. This roleplaying game was instrumental in her development. It allowed me to imagine various scenarios and worlds and flesh out sonic girl’s features and characteristics. With each campaign, the character developed a more defined persona with distinct traits, strengths, and weaknesses.

Bringing sonic girl to life, on the other hand, presented its own set of challenges. I was tasked with seamlessly integrating this character into the magazine’s context while providing her with a futuristic, cyber-romantic world to inhabit. My goal was to create a world in which sonic girl could freely explore her identity while navigating the complexities of a technologically advanced society. The cyber-romantic world I imagined for sonic girl became an artistic representation of my future vision—one in which emotions and technology coexisted peacefully. It manifested as a world that celebrated both the luminous and obscure aspects of the digital age, serving as an evocative backdrop for her adventures and self-discovery journey.

The alias first became a part of my self-expression and public persona when I began making music. sonic girl grew even more into a real character with its own universe while playing D&D. So when I released my first music single, she quickly became a cultural phenomenon of the twenty-first century. The early 2000s pop culture landscape heavily influenced sonic girl’s aesthetics. 

The neon-drenched cyberpunk visuals, the rise of electronic music, and the birth of internet culture all influenced her character’s appearance. sonic girl’s style evolved into a fusion of punk rock influences and futuristic cyber elements, embodying a rebellion against conformity while embracing the limitless possibilities of a technologically driven world.

sonic girl emerged as a critical player during this transformational period. With her open and welcoming demeanor.  The magazine’s overarching theme of embracing futuristic technology allowed us to imagine our own cyber-romantic realms, resulting in a rich tapestry of artistic styles. sonic girl quickly became a symbol of self-expression and defiance of societal norms. Readers identified her as a source of empowerment and authenticity. sonic girl’s journey mirrored my own path of self-discovery, inspiring others to embrace their identities and unleash their potential.

“ As a platform, I use her for my own creative voice and adventure. “

Maria Damgaard Jensen

Into the Soundscape

Today, sonic girl lives through musical expression. I use storytelling and creative world-building with songwriting, visual identity, and PR (some of the same methods I used while working with magazines). The universe is glittery and hyper-cute, but beneath the surface, it simmers an uncontrollable power that constantly threatens to shatter the illusion. Visually and linguistically, there are consistent references to pop culture phenomena such as ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘Sex And The City’ and elements from the cult roleplaying game ‘Dungeons and Dragons.’

Throughout its metamorphosis, the Crystal Denim Defense steadfastly committed to empowerment through artistic collaboration. It transcended its origins as a personal endeavor into fearlessly tackling topics often relegated to the shadows. The narrative, propelled by the transformative essence of sonic girl, stands as a testament to the potency of creativity in dismantling barriers and empowering individuals. 

It serves as a potent reminder of the potential harbored within each of us—to embrace our creative instincts, express ourselves unreservedly, and forge connections through the universal language of art. sonic girl’s enduring legacy is an unforgettable reminder that art can reshape lives, challenge conventions, and craft a realm where diverse voices reign supreme and self-expression knows no bounds.

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sonic girl will perform at the digital design conference Design Matters 23, which will take place in Copenhagen and online on Sep 27-28, 2023. Get your ticket here! Don’t forget to connect with sonic girl on Instagram or subscribe to her on YouTube.

Cover photo by Cecilie Rolvung

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