Image credit: RÚV – Baldur Kristjánsson
It was only last week that we saw both Diljá and Bragi advance to the final of Icelandic national final Söngvakeppnin. Let’s take a closer look at the five artists hoping to join them next week!
As with the last semi final, all of tonight’s artists will perform their songs in Icelandic but will have the choice to perform in English in the final if they wish. RÚV can also decide to send a wildcard to the final after tonight.
Is your winner in tonight’s semi? Let’s find out!
Úlfar – ‘Betri maður’
Úlfar (Úlfar Viktor Björnsson) has been singing since he was a small child. He currently works as a professional makeup artist for the Reykjavík City Theatre. Úlfar is also a self-proclaimed Eurofan, his favourite Eurovision entry being ‘Invincible’ by Carola and therefore it would mean the world to him to represent Iceland in the contest.
In an interview with ESC Bubble, Úlfar shared that he loves to sing “emotional ballads” and his song ‘Betri maður’ (‘Impossible’) definitely falls into that category. In this same interview, Úlfar explained that the lyrics are about:
…how drastic of an impact it can have when one cannot express their emotions towards their loved one. Because you were so emotionally damaged, you were unable to give back and love someone that really cared for you. It’s about that moment when you wake up and realize that you’ve lost the only think that really mattered to you. You realize that you took a person that loved you the most for granted and ended up not only hurting that person but also yourself.Úlfar, ESC Bubble
Úlfar has said that he loves the English version of his song and would like to perform this in the final. However, you can listen to the Icelandic version he will perform tonight below:
Kristín Sesselja – ‘Óbyggðir’
Kristín Sesselja is a singer-songwriter who has been playing guitar and piano since the age of 10 and writing songs since she was 12. Inspired by Taylor Swift, she initially wrote songs about ex-boyfriends that didn’t yet exist and the boys she had crushes on. Fast forward several years and these songs evolved into slick pop numbers, such as her 2020 single ‘Secret’, which has over 200,000 streams on Spotify at the time of writing.
Kristin’s Söngvakeppnin entry, ‘Óbyggðir’ (‘Terrified’) deals with the theme of a breakup and being scared about what will happen next. It was written alongside Tiril Beisland who Eurofans may recognise from this year’s MGP, where she competed with her song ‘Break It’. Like Úlfar, Kristin has said she would love to perform her song in English should she progress to the final. In the meantime, listen to the Icelandic version below:
Langi Seli og Skuggarnir – OK
Langi Seli og Skuggarnir are an Icelandic rock band consisting of Langi Seli (vocals and guitar), Jón Skuggi (double bass and vocals) and Erik Quick (drums and vocals). They are known for producing rockabilly and surf-influenced music and will likely be easily recognised by Icelandic viewers as their 1989 single ‘Breiðholtsbúgí’ was a hit over there.
Their entry ‘OK’ stays true to the rockabilly roots that people know and love them for. In an interview with ESC Bubble, they said they were excited to use Söngvakeppnin as a platform to reach viewers who might not normally hear their music. Although remaining tight-lipped about what would happen should they reach the final, the band have also said they have “always sung in Icelandic and we think that it’s a good thing, we haven’t felt the need to change language.” They are also the only act to have not submitted an English version of their song. Could we see a Eurovision entry in Icelandic for two years in a row? You can listen to ‘OK’ below:
Silja Rós & Kjalar – ‘Ég styð þína braut’
Silja Rós is an actress, singer-songwriter and scriptwriter who divides her time between both Reykjavík and Copenhagen. She is perhaps best-known for competing in The Voice Iceland in 2017. She will be duetting with Kjalar (Kjalar Martinsson), who recently competed in Icelandic Idol, where he was a runner-up. Having performed Salvador Sobral‘s ‘Amar Pelos Dois’ as his audition song, he’s clearly a Eurofan!
‘Ég styð þína braut’ (‘Together We Grow’) was originally written and submitted to Söngvakeppnin by Silja and songwriter Rasmus Olsen as a solo record. However, Silja felt the song would work better as a duet and asked Kjalar to sing with her. Although the pair have never performed together, they have studied music together at the Icelandic music school FÍH/MÍT. Should they make it to the final, they would perform their song in English, the language it was originally written in. You can listen to the Icelandic version below:
Sigga Ózk – ‘Gleyma þér og dansa’
Sigga Ózk (Sigríður Ósk Hrafnkelsdóttir) is a 23-year-old Icelandic singer who, like Söngvakeppnin finalist Bragi, has also appeared in Swedish Idol. Since then, she has been working as a musician, her latest single being ‘Sjáðu mig’.
‘Gleyma þér og dansa’ (‘Dancing Lonely’) is an eighties-inspired number whose lyrics deal with going out and dancing to forget about the person that broke your heart. Will Sigga get to perform her song at the Söngvakeppnin final, and perhaps even on the stage at Liverpool? You can listen to her song below:
So now we’ve met the five artists taking part in Semi Final 2 of Söngvakeppnin, which two artists will qualify for the final and who will be heading home? You can watch the semi on the RÚV website from 19:45 GMT/20:45 CET.