EurovisionVienna 2015

Will Söngvakeppnin erupt with Baddi’s “pretty dark” electro rock? [Interview]

He’s well known to Icelanders as lead singer of rock indie band Jeff Who?, but in 2015, Bjari Lárus Hall (that’s Baddi to his friends and countrymen) strides out solo with participation in Söngvakeppnin and an album in the pipeline too.
Two weeks ahead of the first Söngvakeppnin semifinal, escXtra caught up with Baddi. He’s taking part in the Icelandic selection with the song ‘Brotið gler’ (‘Broken glass’) which he co-wrote with prolific and renowned Icelandic rock producer, Axel “Flex” Árnason.
X: “RÚV have been saying how they have been keen to make Söngvakeppnin more diverse. With your background and that of Axel, you’ve got a lot of diversity from indie to rock to metal etc. What style of song are we going to see on stage?”
Baddi: “Our song is kind of electro rock. It’s an old song; me and Axel started working on it around 2009 amongst other songs. In 2014 we decided to finish at least one of the songs since we liked the music direction of the project.”
X: “Could you tell us about the message behind the lyrics?”
Baddi: “Well there’s no particular message behind the lyrics, we much rather wanted to paint a picture in the listeners head and have him fill in the blanks. It’s pretty dark (both in Icelandic and English) and it starts with a difficult relationship between two lovers but the rest is up to the listener.”
X: “Having not been involved in Söngvakeppnin before, what made you decide to do it in 2015?”
Baddi: “Once ‘Broken glass’ was finished we had no idea what to do with it, but then I saw an ad about Eurovision so we decided to write Icelandic lyrics to it (it was written in English) and send it in. We just had a song ready and no project to back it up so we just decided to try for Eurovision and see how it goes!..”
X: “So you’ve worked with Axel before, but how did this collaboration come about?”
Baddi: “I’m in a band called Jeff Who? and Axel produced our second album and did a fantastic job with it, so we just decided to explore that collaboration further. When we began the collaboration we didn’t have anything else in mind except making good music.”

X: “If there is one song you could give the experience of listening to to everyone in the world, what would it be, and why?”
Baddi: “The Coca Cola song ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing‘; a great song and a great message.
X: “Have you taken an interest in watching Eurovision in the past? Are there any entries (Icelandic or international) that you quite like?”
Baddi: “Yes I always watch Eurovision, at least with one eye… It’s not very often that I really like songs from the contest and put them on my playlist, but The Netherlands’ last two entries have ended up on my playlist, especially “Birds” by Anouk… that’s an extremely well written song! So I guess I like The Netherlands.”

X: “Some very important questions to finish off… What’s your favourite day of the year?”
Baddi: “18th of September; it’s both mine and my daughter’s birthday.”
X: “And what’s your favourite flavour for skyr?”
Baddi: “Blueberry”
In addition to this Söngvakeppnin entry, Baddi is undertaking a solo album in 2015, produced in collaboration with Sigur Rós‘ drummer, Orri Páll Dýrason. A crowdfunding project is helping to bring it to fruition, which supporters have financed in return for a copy of the album, perhaps even a live show!
escXtra would like to thank Baddi for taking the time to talk to us, and hope to have the opportunity to catch up with him during the live shows of Söngvakeppnin, which take place on 31 Jan, 7 Feb and 14 Feb.

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