A few minutes ago, the Söngvakeppnin 2020 songs were released to Spotify! Currently however they are only available in Australia and New Zealand. As could be expected the list consists of a good mix of new and familiar names.
As expected, Daði Freyr is back! A lot of Eurovision and Söngvakeppnin fans have been hoping for a ever since 2017. Back then he finished second with “Hvað með það?/Is This Love?”, beaten only by Svala.
Elísabet participated in the 2016 edition of Söngvakeppnin, when she performed Greta Salóme’s song “Á ný“. She made it to the final, bul was, like all the rest, beaten by Greta Salóme herself, with “Hear Them Calling”.
Matti Matt is the only singer in this year’s line-up who’s been to Eurovision before. He represented Iceland in 2011, as a member of Sjónni’s friends. They finished 20th in the final with their song “Coming Home”. He also took part in Söngvakeppnin 2011 with “Eldgos“, and in 2010 with “Out of Sight“.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the line-up is rock/metal band DIMMA. DIMMA was founded back in 2004 by brothers Ingólfur and Sifurður Geirdal. They are still members of the band, as guitarist and bass player respectively. The other two members, on vocals and drums, joined the band in 2011.
Finding Hildur Vala on the list is also a bit of a surprise. She became a household name in Iceland back in 2005 when she participated in and won Icelandic Idol. After winning Idol she released two albums, and then she kinda “disappeared”. She returned with a new album in 2017, and now she’s decided to grab the opportunity to take part in Söngvakeppnin.
Kid Isak is the stage name of 20 year old r’n’b singer Aaron Ísak. He released his first single in August 2019. The single was a new version of the song “Ég er eins og ég er” (“I Am Who I Am” from La Cage aux Folles). Pálmi Ragnar Asgeirsson from StopWaitGo wanted to record a new version of the song to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hinsegin daga/Pride in Iceland. When asked to describe himself, Kid Isak says: “I’m a twenty year old, gay, happy guy who’s an r’n’b singer“. It made total sense to both Pálmi and Kid Isak that he should record the song.
We will come back with more information on the remaining artists later on. They are Brynja Mary, Iva, Ísold&Helga and Nína.
The language rule
The rules for Söngvakeppnin state that all songs have to be performed in Icelandic in the semi-finals. In the final they will be performed in the language the singers intend to perform it in Eurovision, should they win the Icelandic ticket to Rotterdam. This year four of the semi-finalists intend to keep their song in Icelandic should they win. These four are Matti Matt, DIMMA, Hildur Vala and Kid Isak. The remaining six songs will most likely be performed in English.
The artists who will compete in the first semi-final, which takes place in Háskólabíó on February 8th are
- Kid Isak – Ævintýri
- Brynja Mary – Augun þín
- DIMMA – Almyrkvi
- Elísabet – Elta þig
- Ísold og Helga – Klukkan tifar
Semi two takes place a week later, on 15 February.
- Daði og Gagnamagnið – Gagnamagnið
- Hildur Vala – Fellibylur
- Iva – Oculis Videre
- Matti Matt – Dreyma
- Nína – Ekkó
Two songs from each semi will proceed to the big final in Laugardalshöll on February 29th. RÚV also has the option of adding a wildcard to the final line-up, meaning the final will consist of four or five songs.
Listen to the songs here
What do you think of the Söngvakeppnin 2020 line-up? Are you happy to see the returning artists have another go, or are you more excited about the newcomers? Who do you think should be flying the Icelandic flag in Rotterdam in May?