Tonight in a special broadcast RÚV will reveal the composers and performers who will compete in the 2019 edition of Söngvakeppni. As always it will be a mixture of veterans along with some newcomers, and during the next month we will get to know them and their songs. The format for Söngvakeppni hasn’t changed as we will have two semi finals leading to a grand final on March 2nd, where we’ll learn who is going to be Ari Ólafsson’s successor and fly the Icelandic flag in Tel Aviv come spring.

Although the performance format is unchanged, RÚV did change the submission process this time by allowing only two songs per songwriter. Before there were no limits to how many songs one person could submit and RÚV is hoping that this will have the composers up their game a little, be more selective and send what they consider to be their very best entries as opposed to just giving every single song they have in their possession. A quality over quantity if you like.

As reported before, there was a heated discussion in Iceland after Israel’s victory in Lisbon, whether to confirm participation in Tel Aviv due to the conflicts surrounding the Israeli government. Stars such as Paul Oscar and 2017 Söngvakeppni runner up Daði Freyr were adamant that Iceland should sit this one out as a sign of protest, and many more supported their opinion by signing a petition regarding the matter. However, despite their protest, RÚV officially confirmed Iceland’s participation late last summer.

The 2019 participants

Daníel Oliver – “Samt ekki” (IS) – “Licky Licky” (ENG)

Daníel Oliver is no stranger to Söngvakeppnin. He entered in 2015 with his song “Fyrir Alla” alongside two of his friends. Together they made up the trio CADEM, and were somewhat popular among Eurovision fans prior to the contest. Now Daníel is going solo with another solid dance number, and who knows. This could be his year.

Elli Grill, Skaði & Glymur – “Jeijó, keyrum alla leið” (IS only)

Elli Grill is a rapper known to be a member of the hip-hop group Shades of Reykjavík. He released his first solo album – “Þykk fitan vol. 5” in 2017. His style is a blend of old school rap and trap and he is known for his recognisable voice. Skaði is a fairly new name in the Icelandic music scene as she released her first album in 2018. She is a multimedia artist, musician and performer, and is known for her rather provocative performances. Skaði is transgender and has been very active in the queer community in Reykjavík, both as a musician and a performer with the drag group Dragsúgur. Glymur is the pseudo name of Sigga Soffía, a singer, choreographer and a dancer.

Friðrik Ómar – “Hvað ef ég get ekki elskað?” (IS) – “What if I cant love?” (ENG)

Friðrik is back…and without Regína this time. He’s all in with a gospel-like Motown ballad written by himself along with Sveinbjörn I Baldvinsson. We might not be able to dance like it’s 2008 but we are definitely along for the ride with Friðrik, who is on the Söngvakeppni stage for a respectable fourth time since his debut in 2006.

Hatari – “Hatrið mun sigra” (IS only)

Hatari is not a band that many expected to see enter Söngvakeppnin. The trio is mainly known for their heavy and rough synthapop and critical, yet satirical lyrics, aimed at all kinds of injustice in modern society, as well as for raunchy performances, that might be deemed a bit too dirty for ESC. Söngvakeppni is a whole new different platform for these guys and they are bound to ruffle some feathers, for they honestly don’t give a toss what people think! Maybe “Hatrið mun sigra” is exactly what we need right now?

Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir – “Helgi” (IS) – “Sunday boy” (ENG)

Heiðrún gained her popularity in Iceland all the way back in the 90’s with her band Cigarette, and she also delved into acting, having starred opposite Inga (Iceland 1993) in the movie “Nei er ekkert svar”. For the past 20 years, she has lived and worked in London, but has finally decided to return back home and grace Söngvakeppni with her long overdue presence. Her song “Sunday boy” is a delightful pop number and gives us a taste of what she’s been up to since moving to London.

Hera Björk – “Eitt andartak” (IS) – “Moving On” (ENG)

There is not much to say about Hera, that we already don’t know. She is one of Iceland’s most popular solo artists and is considered a goddess in the Eurovision world too. “Eitt andartak” is a strong ballad written by Örlygur Smári, the very same man as  “Je ne sais quoi” and is a long way from the epic dancepop that made Hera the Eurovision queen she is.

Ívar Daníels – “Þú bætir mig” (IS) – “Make me whole” (ENG)

A country pop worthy of Firelight, and no wonder, as its co-written by none other than Richard Micallef himself, as well as Stefán Þór Steindórsson and Nikos Sofis. Ívar might not be one of the most famous names in Söngvakeppni, but he has nonetheless established himself as a popular singer on various occasions, along with his friend Magnús Hafdal, with their troubadour performances and cozy covers of well known songs. However, Ívar is now sans Magnús and its his time to shine.

Kristina Bærendsen – “Ég á mig sjálf” (IS) – “Mama said” (ENG)

Kristina Bærendsen hails from the Faroe Islands, and this is her second stint in Söngvakeppni, the first one being in 2017, when she did a duet with Páll Rósenkrans with the low key country number “You and I”, which failed to make it out of the semi finals. But thankfully, Kristina is nowhere near of being done with Söngvakeppni and makes her second attempt, and hopefully a more successful one with this Duffy-esque song, written by Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson, the man behind “Heaven” and “Valentines Lost”.

Tara Mobee – “Betri án þín” (IS) – “Fighting for love” (ENG)

Tara Mobee released her debut single in 2017 and has since then released three more singles. We are still waiting for a debut album but she has performed at Icelandic Airwaves, one of the biggest music festivals in Iceland. Although being very young, only 19 years old, she has already made a huge name for herself and now we just have to wait and see if she will get the chance to give Europe a taste of her talents, performing a solid popsong written by Andri Þór Jónsson and Eyþór Úlfar Þórisson.

Þórdís Imsland – “Nú og hér” (IS) – “What are you waiting for?” (ENG)

A former contestant of The Voice: Ísland where she made it all the way to the finale as a member of Team Svala, Þórdís Imsland is ready to make an attempt for Eurovision. The song is written by Svala herself along with Bjarki Ólafsson and Stefán Hilmarsson (Iceland 1988 and 1991) and has that undeniable Svala touch, heavy flow and a bouncy rythm which is practically begging us to enter the dancefloor and just go crazy.

Pop, gospel and country. As you can see, the variety is more than sufficient and its a nice combination of experience versus fresh approach. Are you happy with Söngvakeppni 2019 line up? Who is your favorite here? Who do you want to see making it all the way to Israel?

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Katitam
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Katitam

Hatari is a dark horse. I need them on ESC so hard!!! The other songs, I’m sorry, but the only have 42th potential. Random stuff, sad considering how much talent Iceland have.

Jorge Costa
Guest
Jorge Costa

Iceland you need to choose Hatari, don’t listen to the POP tendencies. It’s amazing, please! If Iceland chooses Hatari and Portugal chooses Conan I found my two favourites.

Joe
Guest
Joe

“What are you waiting for” is one of the only songs out of everything so far this year I’ve thought about again and again. I’m in love!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

This selection is better than last year’s ballad and church club songs compilation, but it’s still not good. Several Icelandic artists refused to participate because of their stance on Israel, so they missed out on a lot of talents. Out of these, I guess they should go with the thing that stands out the most and choose Hatari.

Daniel_2017
Guest
Daniel_2017

HATARI HATARI HATARI HATARI HATARI

Daniel_2017
Guest
Daniel_2017

I don’t dare hope Iceland will pick Hatari… I won’t stand the disappointment if they won’t, which is highly likely… My favorite song in any ESC season since Loreen’s ‘Statements’ and The Hardkiss’ ‘Helpless’; I don’t want to live through those bitter disappointments again. I’ll just enjoy the amazing music

Lou
Guest
Lou

Worse selection than last year in my opinion. None of these stand out but if I had to root for someone it would probably be Hatari or Hera Bjork… A lot of these songs would be a load better with a revamp idk

Gwendal Perrin
Guest

Better selection than last year, was it possible to make it worse? I root for Hatari, even if I prefer their recent “Spillingardans”. Daniel Oliver & Tara Mobee are also solid efforts. Disappointing choice for Hera Björk.

Simon H
Guest
Simon H

Sunday boy for me, the rest meh!

Evan
Guest
Evan

Ívar Daniels’s song is gorgeous, the standout in the field for me.

Tara Mobee is my second favorite, though it’s a tad generic if you ask me.

I only made it about five second into Hatari’s entry. After reading the positive comments, I forced myself to try again. Nope, still hate that vocal…

Where I belong
Guest
Where I belong

Good selection this year. Hera could go for theTop 5 in Tel Aviv.
Hatari sounds interesting but too special to score high.

Miguel
Guest
Miguel

This is not a big improvment form last year is it? I miss old times Iceland…
If i had to choose someone, Hatari are my pick.
Heiðrún Anna and Kristina are also decent.

HBau
Guest
HBau

Very high quality. It’ll be interesting to see how they go live, but for now I’m absolutely loving ‘Sunday Boy’.

HBau
Guest
HBau

…and ‘What Are You Waiting For?’, and ‘Hatrid mun siga’, and about four others lol

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Hatari has to be one of the best examples of that unspeakable genre of music that’s only ever safe to play on certain soundtracks. It is the only track that really stands out, and it has a real shot at winning this. The problem is… how to tastefully stage it.

After Hatari, I would say send either “What are you waiting for?” or “What if I can’t find love?”

But seriously, work with Hatari because there’s something very good there.

oli
Guest
oli

LIVING with Hatari, please send this to Eurovision! it would make the contest much more interesting.

eurotrash
Guest
eurotrash

Hatari have been the highlight of Iceland Airwaves festival for two years now, over plenty of more established international acts. There’s just nothing else like them. They are fantastic live, and Eurovision will be missing out not to have something with an edge like this. Win or lose, at least they’ll get some headlines, and that’s half the game these days.

Xero
Guest
Xero

Another weak selection in my opinion. Iceland has not qualified since 2014 for the final. I think maybe it’s time to take a year or two break from Eurovision because I see none of these qualifying.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Usually, RUV provides the song lyrics, but this time, I couldn’t find them on their website. So if any Icelander can help and maybe translate Hatari’s epic song, that would be so awesome!

Magnada
Guest
Magnada

It’s goes something like that.
(They’r gonna sing in Icelandic)

The carousing was rampant.
The hangover is endless.
Life is pointless.
The emptiness demands everyone.

Hate will prevail.
The joy will ends.
There is an illusion.
Fake illusion.

Everything I saw.
Tears flowing down
Everything I gave.
One time I gave.
I gave you everything.

Comprehensive Deception.
Unilateral punishment.
Lousy ones.
The escape ends.
The emptiness demands everyone.

Hate will prevail.
Europe collapses.
Web of lies
Get out of the ashes.
Unified as one.

Everything I saw.
Tears flowing down
Everything I gave.
One time I gave.
I gave you everything..

Everything I saw.
Tears flowing down
Everything I gave.
One time I gave.
I gave you everything.

Hate will prevail.
Love dies.
Hate will prevail.
The joy will ends.
There is an illusion.
Fake illusion.

Hate will prevail.

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

Well, they promised variety and they delivered. It’s also a better selection than last year’s (but let’s face, it wasn’t that difficult to achieve this). Unfortunately, I can’t say I liked any of the options right away. I’m here hoping that one of the riskier entries manages to convince me with a creative live performance.

Apple
Guest
Apple

Imagine if this year the national selections start choosing some really big risks with different musical styles? We could have Hatari for Iceland, Conan Osiris for Portugal, etc. This could be such a fun contest

Kungfrederik
Guest
Kungfrederik

This will be a dream for me . We all need an alternative, indie, folk, experimental & dark eurovision. MaNNazz, Barbora, Conan, Keiino, Hatari …. Stop with classic eurodance and power ballad.

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

I absolutely love the production of Hatari’s track. Although I doubt they stand a chance. Those synths will forever get stuck in my head though!

Kris P. Kreme
Guest
Kris P. Kreme

It’s like Rammstein and Pet Shop Boys had a lovechild. 😛

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

Don’t understand all the negative comments, this is probably my favourite national final of the season so far. I love the songs by Daníel Óliver, Hatari, Heidrún Anna, Kristina Skoubo, Tara Mobee, and Thórdís Imsland, and would be happy if any of them won. Don’t like the other four at all though.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

I like some Icelandic realness, Greta Salome should have sung “Hear Them Calling” in Icelandic. It’s such a beautiful language. My thoughts in case someone finds them interesting: Kristina Skoubo – Ég á mig sjálf/Mama Said. Average. I don’t like it neither in Icelandic or English, though I think it has more power in English. Just weak and boring. It isn’t competitive and there’s not much more to say Ívar Daníels – Make me whole. Nice country pop tune. It’s enjoyable while driving, but not for the Eurovision stage. As the previous one, “Make Me Whole” is not competitive. Heiðrún… Read more »

IcelandicEuro
Guest
IcelandicEuro

Tara Mobee for the win!!

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Am I weird or smth? Cause I’m genuinly rooting for Hatari.

HallsiKallsi
Guest
HallsiKallsi

Another weak selection from Iceland, their saving grace is Hatari, who could make this years contest very interesting

Alex
Guest
Alex

I smell another non-qualification for Iceland! I hoped their would up their game but this selection is just awful

Juuseven
Guest
Juuseven

Overall, much better selection than last year’s

Dorian
Guest
Dorian

Hera Björk – “Eitt andartak”
Kristina Bærendsen – “Ég á mig sjálf”
Ívar Daníels – “Þú bætir mig”
The 3 songs I liked so far.

Lilja
Guest
Lilja

Hatari gets my vote!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Hands off Friðrik Ómar and Hera Björk. Both of them are sinfully boring, symbolizing where Iceland went wrong at Eurovision. Stop voting for what you think is the most Eurovision-like entry, or you’ll never be interesting again. I am so curious if Iceland will go for the only worthwhile act here. Fingers crossed.

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

I don’t know why the comments seem to be mostly indifferent to the songs; I love a lot of them. Thórdís is probably my favourite, but I also really like Daníel, Hatari, Heidrún Anna, Kristina Skoubo, and Tara Mobee. I just wish less of them wanted to sing in English. Icelandic is such a cool language to listen to.

brennan
Guest
brennan

the BDSM twinks in Hatari are WILD and honestly? i live
I also really like both ‘Helgi’ and English equivalent ‘Sunday Boy’ and would consider listening to Tara Mobee and Kristina Skoubo again

Apple
Guest
Apple

Yaaasss

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

100 % „Hatrið mun sigra“! Hatari are the only redeeming act Iceland has to offer. Daring, unapologetic and thought-provoking. Given how uneventful and sleep-inducing the rest of this selection is, Hatari agreeing to take part should be considered a gift. Otherwise, it would be as bad and hopeless as last year, if not more.
Hands off Friðrik Ómar and Hera Björk! Both are sinfully (!) boring, symbolizing exactly where Iceland went wrong. Stop voting for what you think is most Eurovision-like, or you’ll never do well and stand out again.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Friðrik should have this in the bag, but Ívar will be a tough competitor indeed. My choice is between either of them, with Daníel Óliver and Þórdis Imsland following in 3rd and 4th
Hera disapppoints big time, her ballad is super bland and purposedly out of tune (it seems). The others, bleh, from weaklings to pure garbage (both group acts are horrible!).

Javi
Guest
Javi

Wow it seems they want to revalidate their last place

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Totally

zup
Guest
zup

I just hope they’ll go for the Icelandic version. The English lyrics in pretty much all of the songs are generic as hell anyways, so why not make it 100% more interesting by singing in such a cool language?

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Hatari’s song is very interesting, but I’m not sure how the “professional” juries would respond to it. It gives me Igranka vibes.
Also, Moving On is basically Our Song Part II.

Eurovision Online
Guest
Eurovision Online

I thought it was the real Bjork for a second

Dani
Guest
Dani

THORDI PLEASE !! SVALA WROTE IT

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

“Make Me Whole” is the best by far for me, please let it win… edit: I guess Hatari would be fine too lol

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

My mind is made up: Send Hatari or don’t even bother.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Okay, no need to get excited. Based on the snippets I could find on Youtube, only Hatari intrigues me a little. The two returnees should definitely not win.

Floprina
Guest
Floprina
Skiwalko
Guest
Skiwalko

Lady with voice powerful as a volcano is back and I’m so glad – she deserved a better position in 2010.

Dave
Guest
Dave

Hatari looks really interesting.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

I hope the songs will be out after tonight’s broadcast. Hatari looks interesting. Not excited about the two returnees, unless they have good songs for a change.

blondboybc
Guest
blondboybc

Yessss, Hera Bjork is back! Love her! Let’s hope her ballad is power ballad that will bring it home! You go, girl!