Daði og Gagnamagnið will represent Iceland at Eurovision 2021 with their song “10 Years”.
The group was originally due to sing “Think About Things” at Eurovision 2020. However, the contest was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, just like several other countries, Iceland rested its usual national final for one year and internally selected Daði and the gang instead.
And now we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Daði og Gagnamagnið. Let’s do this!
Iceland at Eurovision 2021: Facts about Daði og Gagnamagnið
1. Gagnamagnið are a unit
They may be called Daði og Gagnamagnið, but according to Daði, it’s important that people know that this is not a case of a frontman and his backup band. They’re all in this together. Every single member of Gagnamagnið gets their share of screen time. They are Árný Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir, Stefán Hannesson, Jóhann Sigurður Jóhannsson, Sigrún Birna Pétursdóttir, Hulda Kristín Kolbrúnardóttir and, finally, Daði Freyr Pétursson.
Gagnamagnið, is translated as “The Data”. However, it literally means “the amount of data”. It’s the Icelandic term for “data plan”. Additionally, the group are notable for their signature green sweaters. Each member has a pixel art portrait of themselves printed on their respective tops.
2. They were supposed to be a one-time thing
It’s hard to imagine a world without them, but Gagnamagnið almost never saw the light of day. Daði Freyr burst onto the Eurovision scene in 2017, when he and his pals competed in Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin with “Is This Love?”. But in an interview with our William, Daði reveals that he wasn’t originally meant to compete as a performer. “I wasn’t going to sing the first song in 2017”, the Berlin-based star says. “I was going to get somebody else to sing it. But in the end, that didn’t work out.” And so, Daði and his close friend Jói began brainstorming ideas about what they could do. Thus, Gagnamagnið was born.
And though “10 Years” will likely be the group’s last song together, Gagnamagnið’s legacy will continue beyond 2021. “I don’t think it’s the last thing we’ll do together”, the Eurovision fan favourite revealed. “I think we’re gonna try to at least experience Eurovision with no Covid — so we want to make a Daði og Gagnamagnið party somewhere where Eurovision is being held. With Eurovision cover songs and general good times.”
3. Daði towers above everyone else
Daði is extremely tall, measuring a whopping 208 cm or 6 ft 9 in height. It is safe to say that he will look down on his fellow Eurovision contestants as a result, including his wife and bandmate Árný. She is around 160 cm or 5 ft 2. But don’t worry. Even though Daði is above most of us heightwise, he is extremely earthbound and humble. Former Eurovision contestants and silver medal queens Yohanna and Selma can vouch for this… even though they’re a “tad” shorter than Daði.
4. Daði has a winning record
In Iceland, there is a music competition called Músíktilraunir. It has been going for some 40 years. It offers a chance to young, unknown bands and singers to introduce themselves and their work to the public. In the past, the contest has been won by bands such as Of Monsters and Men and Botnleðja (who later semi-spawned into Pollapönk). Back in 2012, when Daði was only 20 years old, he entered the competition along with his friends Kristján and Gunnlaugur (not members of Gagnamagnið). Together, under the name RetRoBot, they won Músíktilraunir. Additionally, Daði was voted Electronic Musician of the Year. RetRoBot went on to release one album together before disbanding.
5. Söngvakeppnin is in the blood
Daði and Sigrún are siblings. And, unsurprisingly, they come from a family that is very invested in music. Their dad, Pétur is also a professional musician. Back in 1993, when Daði was just a toddler and didn’t have a clue about what Söngvakeppnin or Eurovision was, his father was a member of Katla María Hausmann’s line-up in Söngvakeppnin 1993. Katla María tried her luck to represent Iceland in Millstreet 1993 with “Samba”, a salsa influenced joyride. Pétur played the bongo drums. Unfortunately, Iceland was not ready for some good old fashioned Latino pop and “Samba” came ninth out of ten acts that night.
6. Daði and Árný have been together for a long time
Daði and Árný are a couple. The pair first met when they were 16 years old. But they were just very good friends to begin with. However, love was in the air. A year after they first met, they travelled to the Roskilde Festival 2010. There, something just clicked and they’ve been together ever since. Daði jokingly refered to the year 2020 as their “10 year French kiss anniversary” as they first locked lips in the open fields of Roskilde. They’re now married and are parents to a beautiful little girl with another baby on the way. “10 Years” is a love letter to their long and fruitful relationship
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7. They were relieved not to win Söngvakeppnin 2017
Daði og Gagnamagnið became an overnight sensation when they charmed the Icelandic nation with “Is This Love” in Söngvakeppnin 2017. Prior to that, nobody gave a second look to the quirky synth-pop performed by Daði himself. But because of some slam dunk staging, an undeniable charm and an entertaining performance, Gagnamagnið rose to sudden stardom. The band did not see that coming at all. “We weren’t prepared for this and certainly didn’t expect it”, Daði says. “It was fun and it warmed our hearts, but at that time, we weren’t ready for Eurovision. Coming second was a dream come true on its own, for we never thought we’d even get that far”.
8. They went viral in 2020
Eurovision 2020 quickly established itself as the “contest of weird dance moves”. THE ROOP started the trend with their entertaining “On Fire” dance, while Russia’s Little Big did their thing with “Uno” in early March. But few have gained as much international attention as “Think About Things”. It swept across Europe. The song featured in various TV shows, including the British shows The Last Leg, Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing On Ice. The buzz even reached Hollywood. Russel Crowe tweeted his support while Jennifer Garner bopped to the song while doing laundry.
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9. They had the breakout international hit of Eurovision 2020
The cancellation of Eurovision meant that most of the competing songs missed out on the exposure which typically comes from participating in the contest. And while several enjoyed regional success, “Think About Things” was the only one to become a breakout hit internationally. Fueled by its online virality, the song reached number three in both Ireland and Belgium. It also cracked the charts in Sweden and the UK, with the latter recently awarding the track a silver certification for shifting over 200,000 units.
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10. They have a mobile game
Ahead of Eurovision 2021, Daði Freyr and Gagnamagnið launched the Think About Aliens video game for Android and iOS mobile devices. It’s is a 2D Metroidvania-style platformer game, inspired by the old school Super Nintendo titles from which Daði draws much of his aesthetic inspiration. But this isn’t Daði first foray into the gaming world. After Gagnamagnið’s success in Söngvakeppnin 2017, Daði released a computer game called Neon Planets ft. Daði Freyr in collaboration with the games company Rosamosa ehf. The game revolved around a musical exploration where the player visits all kinds of funky neon planets in the solar system. The goal was to collect melodies to perfect songs, as well as trying to avoid those pesky fail notes. The music was written and composed by Daði.
Do you think things about “10 Years”? Can it match the success of “10 Years”? Let us know in the comments.