You are currently viewing 🇮🇸 Sneak Peek: Söngvakeppnin Semi-Final 2 2024

Söngvakeppnin returns to our screens again on Saturday 24th February, with five more artists hoping to join last week’s qualifiers ANITA and VÆB in the final.

It is important to remember that this year Söngvakeppnin is independent from Eurovision: petitions received from the Association of Composers and Lyricists of Iceland (FTT) and activists of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement protesting the presence of Israel in this year’s competition have led broadcaster RÚV to announce that Iceland’s participation in the contest would be decided after discussions with the winner of Söngvakeppnin. To read The Phoenix ESC‘s statement regarding their coverage of Israel in Eurovision, click here.

All five artists will sing in Icelandic in semi-final two but only two will make it to the final, with RÚV reserving the right to select a wildcard for the final if they wish. Let’s meet the acts hoping to qualify!

Hera Björk – Við förum hærra

Hera Björk Þórhallsdóttir, who performs under the name Hera Björk, is a 51-year-old singer from Reykjavík. She first tried her luck at Eurovision in 2009 when she attempted to represent Denmark with the song ‘Someday‘, although they ultimately sent Brinck with ‘Believe Again‘. However, Eurofans will undoubtedly recognise Hera from Eurovision 2010, where she represented Iceland with the song ‘Je ne sais quoi‘, which placed 13th in the Grand Final.

Hoping to grace the Eurovision stage again, Hera will be opening the show with her song ‘Við förum hærra‘ (‘Scared of Heights’). Could she manage to become Iceland’s representative again? You can listen to her song below:

Heiðrún Anna – Þjakaður af ást

Heiðrún Anna Björnsdóttir, who drops her surname when performing, became well-known in the 90s through the band Cigarette. Their 1995 single ‘I Don’t Believe You‘ had them tipped for wider success. However, they split up soon after, leaving the song to become a one hit wonder in Iceland. Over two decades later, in 2019, Heiðrún embarked on a solo career and competed in Söngvakeppnin 2019 with the song ‘Helgi‘. Unfortunately, she did not progress to the final. In 2022 she released her debut album ‘Melodramatic‘ under the name Heidrunna.

Now Heiðrún is back with the song ‘Þjakaður af ást‘ (‘Tormented by Love’). She has not submitted an English-language version of her song, implying that should she make it to the final she intends to perform in Icelandic. Will she get the chance? You can listen to her song below:

Bashar Murad – Vestrið villt

Bashar Murad is a 31-year-old Palestinian singer-songwriter whose lyrics often deal with a range of hard-hitting topics, including societal norms, the Israeli occupation, and gender equality in the Middle East. He became known to Icelandic audiences due to his collaboration with 2019 Iceland representatives Hatari, who protested the hosting of that year’s Eurovision in Tel Aviv by unfurling Palestinian flags, making them the only act to openly take a stance on the conflict that year. Shortly after this, Bashar and Hatari released the song ‘Klefi / Samed‘ which calls attention to the oppression of Palestinians and calls for their freedom. Bashar has released two EPs: ‘Maskhara‘ in 2021 and ‘Nafas‘ in 2024.

With his autobiographical song ‘Vestrið villt‘ (‘Wild West’), Bashar will be hoping to qualify for the final. Can he go one step further and represent Iceland in Malmö? You can listen to his song below:

Sigga Ózk – Um allan alheiminn

Sigga Ózk (Sigríður Ósk Hrafnkelsdóttir) is a 24-year-old Icelandic singer who has released a handful of singles and previously appeared in Swedish Idol. However, viewers may also recognise her from Söngvakeppnin 2023, where she qualified for the final with her song ‘Dancing Lonely‘.

Sigga is back with the song ‘Um allan alheiminn‘ (‘Into the Atmosphere’) which has EDM and eurodance elements and is all about the power of positive thinking and good energy. Can she be successful again? You can listen to her song below:

MAIAA – Fljúga burt

María Agnesardóttir, best known as MAIAA, is an emerging artist who released her debut single ‘Sober‘ last year. However, she has been singing from a young age and has also appeared in Iceland’s Got Talent on two occasions, once with her grandfather in 2015 and as a soloist in 2016, where judge Agusta Eva pressed the golden buzzer.

MAIAA will be closing the show with her song ‘Fljúga burt‘ (‘Break Away’). MAIAA has confirmed she will perform the song in English should she reach the finals, which was the language it was written in by Icelandic producer and songwriter Baldvin Hlynsson. You can listen to the song below:

So now we’ve met the five artists taking part in Semi Final 1 of Söngvakeppnin, which two artists will qualify for the final and who will be heading home? Could we see a wildcard entry emergency from this semi? You can watch the semi on the RÚV website from 20:45 CET.

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