Iceland has laid its cards on the table for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with the unveiling of twelve entrants to Söngvakeppnin. The official press release from national broadcaster RÚV in announcing the contenders emphasises the move for diversity that was fundamental to the initial call for entrants, promising everything “from ballads to rock”.
Over half of the artists (and notably, over half of the composers and lyricists) have not competed in Söngvakeppnin before, which can take some doing considering Iceland’s population of 330,000 people! Among the newcomers is sixteen year old Elín Sif Halldórsdóttir. There are some international representatives, but all in collaboration with Icelanders. The national final which will comprise two semifinals and one final to be held on 31 Jan, 7 Feb and 14 Feb respectively.
Artists, writers, composers and songtitles have been announced. The full listing is as follows:
1. Aldrei of seint (Never too late)
Song: María Björk Sverrisdóttir, Marcus Frenell and Sarah Reeve
Lyrics: María Björk Sverrisdóttir and Regína Ósk Óskarsdóttir
Artist: Regína Ósk
Regína Ósk was one half of Euroband that competed in Serbia in 2008 with the song ‘This is my life‘. Regína came fifth in Söngvakeppnin in 2012 with ‘Hjartað brennur’ and has also stood on three Eurovision stages as a backing vocalist. María Björk has composed several entries in Söngvakeppnin in prior years.
2. Augnablik (One moment) [Literally, ‘blink of an eye‘]
Song and lyrics: Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson
Artist: Stefanía Svavarsdóttir
Stefanía competed in Söngvakeppnin 2013, singing a duet with Jógvan Hansen, with the song ‘Til þín’ by the same composer. Sveinn Rúnar composed the Icelandic ESC entries ‘Heaven’ in 2004 and ‘Valentine Lost’ in 2007.
3. Brotið gler (Broken glass)
Song and lyrics: Axel Árnason and Bjarni Lárus Hall
Artisti: Bjarni Lárus Hall
Bjarni Lárus is the vocalist of rock group Jeff Who, and this is the first time he competes in Söngvakeppnin.
4. Fjaðrir (Feathers)
Song and lyrics: Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir and Guðfinnur Sveinsson
Artist: SUNDAY (consisting of: Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir, Guðfinnur Sveinsson, Vignir Rafn Hilmarsson and Helga Kristín Ingólfsdóttir)
Hildur Kristín is a member of the band Rökkurró and this is her first time in Söngvakeppnin. Guðfinnur Sveinsson is a member of For A Minor Reflection, a post-rock group who have supported Sigur Rós internationally.
5. Fyrir alla (For everyone)
Song: Daníel Óliver Sveinsson and Jimmy Åkerfors
Lyrics: Daníel Óliver Sveinsson and Einar Ágúst Víðisson
Artist: CADEM (Consisting of: Daníel Óliver with Emelie Schytz and Caroline Waldemarsson)
Daníel Óliver lives is Sweden and is signed to Viktoria Ekeberg. Einar Ágúst performed the song ‘Tell me’ with Telma in ESC 2000.
6. Í kvöld (Tonight)
Song and lyric: Elín Sif Halldórsdóttir
Artist: Elín Sif Halldórsdóttir
Elín Sif is the youngest composer and artist this year. She has been writing songs for a young age and some of her songs have been featured in other song contests.
7. Í síðasta skipti (For the last time)
Song: Pálmi Ragnar Ásgeirsson, Ásgeir Orri Ásgeirsson and Sæþór Kristjánsson
Lyrics: Pálmi Ragnar Ásgeirsson, Ásgeir Orri Ásgeirsson, Sæþór Kristjánsson and Friðrik Dór Jónsson
Artist: Friðrik Dór
A song composed by the Stop Wait Go team that wrote the song ‘Dönsum burtu blús‘ for last year’s Söngvakeppnin. Singer Friðrik Dór has released two solo albums, and this is his first time in Söngvakeppnin.
8. Lítil skref (Small steps)
Song and lyrics: Ásgeir Orri Ásgeirsson, Pálmi Ragnar Ásgeirsson and Sæþór Kristjánsson
Artist: María Ólafsdóttir
This is the second Stop Wait Go song in this years Söngvakeppnin. María Ólafsdóttir has participated in some musicals, and performed songs written by Stop Wait Go.
9. Milljón augnablik (Million moments)
Song: Karl Olgeir Olgeirsson
Lyrics: Karl Olgeir Olgeirsson and Haukur Heiðar Hauksson
Artist: Haukur Heiðar Hauksson
Karl Olgeirsson composed the song ‘Lífið kviknar á ný’ which was the runner up in Söngvakeppnin 2014. The singer Haukur Heiðar fronts the rockgroup Dikta which has made several succesful albums.
10. Myrkrið hljótt (Silent darkness)
Song: Arnar Ástráðsson
Lyrics: Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir
Artist: Erna Hrönn Ólafsdóttir
Arnar and Erna Hrönn have both competed in Söngvakeppnin in the past and this is their second collaboration.
11. Piltur og stúlka (Boy and girl)
Song and lyrics: Björn Þór Sigbjörnsson, Tómas Hermannsson and Björn Jörundur Friðbjörnsson
Artists: Björn and friends (consisting of: Björn Jörundur Friðbjörnsson, Unnur Birna Björnsdóttir, Hafrún Kolbeinsdóttir and Pétur Örn Guðmundsson.
Singer and songwriter Björn Jörundur is a veteran in Icelandic rock music and has been a member of rock group Nýdönsk since 1987. This is the first time he competes in Söngvakeppnin.
12. Þú leitar líka að mér (You‘re also looking me up)
Song: Ásta Björg Björgvinsdóttir
Lyrics: Bergrún Íris Sævarsdóttir
Artist: HINEMOA (consisting of: Ásta Björg Björgvinsdóttir, Rakel Pálsdóttir, Sindri Magnússon, Kristófer Nökkvi Sigurðarson, Gísli Páll Karlsson and Regína Lilja Magnúsdóttir)
These two composers wrote last year’s ‘Eftir eitt lag’ which was performed by Greta Mjöll.
escXtra will be in Reykjavík in February to bring you full coverage of Söngvakeppnin, as Iceland bids for its first Eurovision win on its 28th attempt.