We at wiwibloggs dare to dream a dream, and that is exactly why we’re looking ahead to next year’s Eurovision and picturing our favourite musicians on the big stage. Today we head north to Iceland, where Eurofans are dying to rebound from 2015’s crash exit. Who can take them back to the final? We have a few ideas…
Iceland at Eurovision 2016: A wishlist
#10: Retro Stefson – Retro, but so now, these brothers could heat up the stage with their indie pop. They were our dream contestants last year and they only improve with time. Born to an Icelandic father and an Angolan mother, Unnsteinn Manuel and Logi Pedro are already international and fluent in four languages — Icelandic, English, an Angolan dialect and Portuguese. They could probably crack out some decent German too, since the band lived and worked in Berlin for over a year. Despite being just 25, Unnsteinn is also a well-respected producer.
#9: Emiliana Torrini – I admit this one is really far fetched. Especially since Miss Torrini has said that she could never go to Eurovision, because she doesn’t think she’s good enough to represent her country in such a big contest. But dreams never hurt anyone and her down to earth nature makes her even more appealing. She’s been going on strong for 20 years now (older than she looks people) and first came on the scene in 1994 as a shy, hippie-like 18-year-old. She took Iceland by storm and every girl wanted to be like Emiliana, yours truly included, because she was so approacheble and still is, and everybody wanted to work with her, because everything she touched turned to gold. She went on to live and work in London for several years, and was the composer behind Kylie Minogue’s hit song “Slow”. So she has no trouble reaching the stars. If Emiliana would concider entering Eurovision, you might expect something like her best known song, “Jungle Drum”.
#8: Ylja – If there’s anyone who represents coziness and comfort, it’s the band Ylja. Formed by BFF’s and guitar strummers Gígja and Bjartey, the duo quickly became one of Iceland’s most popular bands. Their music mainly focuses on dream-filled melodies, where they allow the instruments and their voices to attack the audience. The girls are immensely talented and would probably hypnotise Europe with their appealing folk sound, and do it with a big smile.
#7: Bang Gang – The one-man project of Barði Jóhannsson would definitely bring quirkiness to the Eurovision stage. Plus Barði is no stranger to the contest. He was the composer behind the steroid filled techno number, “Ho ho ho, we say hey hey hey,” which was a runner up to Euroband in the Icelandic national finals in 2008. But rest assured, his work is mainly focused on melodic electropop with ambient sounds, and the macho pump techno was merely a side project. Barði is probably one of Iceland’s most eccentric musicians, but he sure knows how to compose a song. He’s worked steadily on Bang Gang since 1996, and has also worked in other bands, such as Lady and the Bird and Singapore Sling. Special in his own way, he would definitely grab attention.
#6: AmaBaDama – Yes, yes, yes…here they are again. But I’m determined to show you just how good they are. Granted, reggae isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and Icelandic reggae with a dash of Shaggy like rap might be difficult to swallow, but the energy these guys have is out of this world. Plus, they are so immensely positive, outgoing and joyful. That has to count for something, right? All of the band’s members are multi-taskers, like so many other musicians in Iceland, and have various side projects, along with their day jobs, which includes fashion design, production and a radio/tv hosting. And the girls are also members of Iceland’s only all-female rap band. If AmaBaDama should ever reach the big stage, they would have enormous fun along the way, and bring colour, joy and just the right amount of careless happy-go-lucky attitude. They would spread love, y’all! I urge you to give them one more chance.
#5: Júníus Meyvant – OK, so we want to tone it down a little? Then Júníus Meyvant, or Unnar Gísli Sigmundsson to be exact, is your go-to-guy. He plays mesmerising soft pop, and his voice has that certain je ne sais quoi we all like. Relatively new to the scene, he’s been doing his thing for several years now. You wont find explosions, pyro effects or half naked dancers on stage with him. He’s more likely to bring his guitar and maybe a supporting band, and just sing from the bottom of his heart. Júníus is the poster child of “Less is more” and would definitely melt you with his simplicity and fine compositions. Remember Tom Dice? I’ll leave it at that.
#4: Kaleo – Y’all in for some southern blues rock? Look no further than Kaleo. The first time I heard this band I assumed they hailed from the great state of Louisiana. But low and behold! They are as Icelandic as fermented shark, midnight sun and northern lights at summer time. They are from the small town of Mosfellsbær, just outside Reykjavík, and the same town where María Ólafs grew up — they even went to school with her. Talented townsfolk indeed. Currently on tour around the US, the boys are expected home this Christmas when they will work on their second album. The former sold in truckloads in Iceland. Is there room for a genre like this one on the big stage? Minus the volcano of course…people seem to have it in for Icelandic volcanoes for some reason…..
#3: Steed Lord – Should this band ever represent Iceland, the coolness on stage would blow you away. Their front woman Svala Björgvins is a wonder woman. Besides being a singer, she is a producer, songwriter and a fashion icon, with her own clothing line. That’s multitasking y’all! And she would also be carrying a family torch, since her father Björgvin, or Bo Halldors, is one of Iceland’s most beloved singers and represented the country 20 years ago in Dublin. Steed Lord lives in LA, but they hold on tight to their roots and do not shy away from their heritage. They would definitely melt the hearts of Europe with their soft techno infused pop, and we might expect something like their song “Curtain Calls”, where Svala’s appealing child-like voice shines like the diamond she is.
#2: Dimma – As PKN so clearly pointed out, everything and anything goes when it comes to Eurovision. So why not try hardcore Icelandic metal? Dimma is one of Iceland’s most respected metal bands and their singer, Stefán Jakobsson or Stebbi Jak, as he’s known, is one of the most talented singers this country has to offer. His vocal range is beyond everything, and he has worked steadily alongside Eythor Ingi, Eirikur Hauksson and Matti Matt on various projects. Dimma doesn’t play thrash metal. Oh no. Their music consists of hypnotizing melodies, strong lyrics and of course, Stebbi’s amazing vocals. The band would bring attitude to the stage, but the guys are also really nice and polite, and do not delve into the hardcore metalhead lifestyle, being family men and all. But I think that given the chance, they would make Iceland proud and. of course, ruffle some feathers. But in a good way.
#1: Árstíðir – There’s nothing better than a decent classical number in Eurovision, and Árstíðir (Seasons) would be the ideal candidate, should Iceland decide to try that someday. The guys are all highly educated musicians, and one of them, Hallgrímur Jónas Jensson, who plays the cello, has already dipped his toe in the Eurovision pool, when he and his instrument accompanied Yohanna on stage in Moscow. Their music mainly consists of classical numbers with traditional roots, and they’re all equally skilled singers too, as the following video shows. When the guys suddenly burst out singing “Heyr Himna Smiður”, an Icelandic medieval hymn, on an underground train station in Germany, people be like WHOA. The did it just because they felt like it. This band would be MY ultimate choice for a potential representative for Iceland, but what are your thoughts?