Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Svala: "I´m not gonna back down because of my fears"

Photo: Einar Egils
Time for our 1st Söngvakeppnin interview! The Icelandic fans are very excited to see her in the competition this year, and I am too cause she is not only a great artist, she is also a lovely person. Here are Svalas answers:
Name: Svala Bjorgvinsdottir
Birthday: February 8
Height: 165 cm
Favorite color: White
Favorite food: Sushi
Where are you right now? In Iceland working on The Voice. I´m one of the four main coaches on the show.
3 things that make you happy: Family. Friends. Music.
What’s your strangest talent? I have super flexible fingers and I can bend each ligaments in every finger separately.
What is the strangest thing you have in your room? My super furry miniture persian cat Lucy.  She looks like a mini furry buddah.
What are you really good at? Sewing clothes
What are you really bad at? Math
Childhood idol: Michael Jackson
Childhood memory: Making my own radio show on my cassette player with my brother Krummi when I was 8 years old.
Celebrity crush: Ryan Gosling
Tell me something no one knows about you: I don´t like to be alone
What would you do if you were invisible? I would like to spend a whole weekend in Diana Ross´s closet and try on all of her clothes.
Favorite movie: Blade Runner
Favorite TV series: The Walking Dead
What is your guilty pleasure? Bad reality tv shows like The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
If you were a boy for a day, what would you do?  Fall in love with a girl.
Name a song that never fails to make you happy: Slave To Love with Bryan Ferry
Can you teach me some interesting words in Icelandic? "Pylsa með öllu" means "hotdog with everything on it" and "hvað segirðu" means "what´s up" and "ég veit það" means "I know" and "nákvæmlega" means "totally" and "ég elska þig" means "I love you".
Photo: Jeaneen Lund
Hello Svala! Welcome to the Eurovision world! How are you?
I´m doing awesome.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?
I´m a songwriter and a singer.  I´m a very visual artist and I work a lot on my own music videos and photoshoots. I´ve been in music for a very long time. Basically since I was a little girl. Released solo albums and started recording when I was only 7 years old in Iceland. I was in the band Steed Lord from 2006 to 2015. I´m most known for making electronic music. My new band is called Blissful and I´m in that band with my husband Einar who is a songwriter, producer and director. He was also in Steed Lord with me.  My music is very personal and my lyrics are as well.  
You are one of the participants of Söngvakeppnin 2017. How did it all begin?
We actually didn´t write Paper for Söngvakeppnin originally. We wrote it for our band Blissful but then decided that it would fit perfectly for Söngvakeppnin and sent it in very last minute and here we are.
Photo: Einar Egils
“Ég veit það/Paper” is the title of your song, and it’s written by you, Einar Egilsson, Lester Mendez, Lily Elise and Stefán Hilmarsson. How was it working with them?
Einar is actually my husband, Lester and Lily are good friends of ours. We have been writing with them a lot and this is one of the songs that came out of those writing sessions. We actually wrote the song in a couple of hours in february of 2016 in Los Angeles where me and my husband have lived for 7 years. Me and Einar write a lot of music together and have done for 10 years. The last three years we´ve been writing a lot with other songwriters and producers, writing for our band and for other artists. We had a lot of fun writing Paper and the vocals on the track are actually the original demo vocal I recorded a couple of hours after writing the song.  We kept the vocals because they had so much feeling in them and intensity. A week later I recorded all the backing vocals. But it wasn´t until many months later when we got into the Söngvakeppnin that we had to record the song in icelandic cause you have to have the song in both icelandic and english for Söngvakeppnin. And I had my friend and amazing artist Stefán Hilmarsson write the icelandic lyric for us. He has competed in Eurovision twice on the behalf of Iceland with the songs Sókrates and Nína years ago.
What’s the story behind the song?
I really wanted to write a song about someone who was going through a very rough and difficult time like we all do sometimes in life.  I wanted people to be able to relate to the song in different ways. And we had this idea to use the word paper as a metaphore for a soul or someones life. Because you can take paper and burn it, cut it, rip it, draw on it, glue it together, make art out of it and much more. And so that´s how the idea began. I wanted my experience with severe anxiety to be a part of the lyric in some way and we found a way to do that. So this song is very personal for me. But it also makes me feel strong when I sing it cause I feel like I´m facing my fears while singing it. Like I´m not gonna back down because of my fears.  
Describe the song with 4 words:
Survivor, love, life and human.

What can we expect to see on stage for the performance?
It´s a secret but I can promise you that it will be unforgettable. My all time favourite thing in this world is to perform live.
Have you heard any of the other songs in the competition? Any favorite?
Yes I´ve heard all 11 songs that are competing in Söngvakeppnin and I think they are all very good.  I especially like the song by Hildur. I think she´s a great artist and very talented.
What do you like about Eurovision?
It´s a great platform for songwriters to show their skills. And I like the fact that you can unite people with music.

What do you dislike about Eurovision?
Sometimes it´s more about the gimmicks on stage then the actual songwriting skill.
Tell me the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word:
Northern lights: Iceland
Cat: My favourite animal
Nails: Acrylic
Stage: Bliss
Dreams: Inspiriation
Photo: Einar Egils
What are your plans for 2017?
Right now I´m taping The Voice in Iceland and Team Svala is in full force and doing amazing in the competition. My team won last year so I´m defending my title this year on the show. We are relasing our second single with our band Blissful called "Find A Way" and our music video. Our first single "Elevate" has gotten over 230 thousand plays on Spotify and we are in talks with a couple of record labels that are interested in Blissful. So that´s very exciting.  I´m competing in Söngvakeppnin in the beginning of march.  Doing some shows in LA with my band Blissful. And lots more.  
Is there anything you want to say to close the interview?
You can follow me on my instagram https://www.instagram.com/svalakali/ and also here is my wikipedia if you need any more info on me  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svala
Thanks to Svala for this incredible interview. I wish her all the best in Söngvakeppnin!

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