After 18 months away since he was ‘GRINDING MONEY’, Iceland’s Söngvakeppnin star Daniel Oliver returns with brand new music. Now he is taking us back to the ’80s with his latest bop ‘Feels Like Home’ and talks to ESCXTRA about the song, Fire Saga and an Icelanders perspective on the cancellation of Eurovision 2020.
Daniel Oliver releases ‘Feels Like Home’
After almost two years away, Daniel Oliver is back with a personal tribute to his partner. With a pulsing ’80s New Wave beat, there is heart beneath the synths in ‘Feels Like Home’, as he reminds us what is important in these difficult times we are facing. In Von Arbin’s production you can feel the authenticity of the era of music Daniel grew up with. Together with Scandipop founder and Editor Karl Batterbee the trio have added a new entry to our Summer playlists! This is the first single from the as yet untitled album due later this year.
Daniel gives us some XtraTalk
The world has changed a lot since we last spoke to you 18 months ago. What was the creative process like for you as an artist during 2020?
Ohh wow! Where to start? In the beginning I went straight into survivor mode. I own a restaurant on the south coast of Iceland with my mom and my sister, so I had to take care of that first. Make sure we’d survive. In April, I went to Stockholm and met up with my team and started working on the album. I did so during three different trips and now I got one more trip left to finish the album completely. It was quite easy to get creative ’cause during Covid 19 downtime I really had the time to look inward and wander in my mind to different places and find inspiration.
What inspired your comeback and taking us to the ’80s with this New Wave sound in ‘Feels Like Home’?
Well. ‘Feels Like Home’ is actually a tribute to my partner. I have always loved the ’80s. I had a period in my life where I was obsessed with Prince and Duran Duran and I suppose I have to give some credit to The Weeknd for bringing that decade back into mainstream pop. That opened the doors to be honest.
What always feels like home to you?
Well the little town I live in for a bigger part of the year, 400 inhabitants and everybody knows everybody. My grandpa was a sheriff here and my nieces and cousins all live here and it’s a wonderful family, so that’s definitely home to me. I also feel the best in my apartment in Stockholm with my love. That’s where I really can relax and enjoy myself.
Húsavík is the opposite end of the country to your home town of Vik. But as an Icelander, how did it feel to see Iceland become the talk of Hollywood and be Oscar nominated thanks to Netflix’ Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga?
Oh wow! That movie was so fun! There were a lot of things they got right about small town Icelanders, like the guy screaming “Play JA JA DING DONG” I honestly know the type! it was hilarious!
How was the Eurovision 2020 cancellation news received in Iceland? Especially knowing that ‘Think About Things’ was a big favourite to achieve Iceland’s first victory in the contest. Can Daði Freyr win it this year with ‘10 Years’?
I’ll tell you one thing and one thing only. We would have won! … That’s all! 😉
What else can we expect from you in 2021? Would you consider a return to Söngvakeppnin in the future?
Like all artists, I hope my album will be well received by the listeners. It’s personal, but still fun, easy going and with a positive spin through all the lyrics. I honestly hope people will put it on their “feel good” playlist and listen to it before they kick off their weekend. It’s that kind of an album. I also hope I can put on a show, a release concert. Whether it will be streamed without audience or a full house, that’s definitely something I wanna do. As for Söngvakeppnin, I would love to compete one more time, but only one more time. 3 is a good number, but I’d have to write a killer tune first.
We wish Daniel well with the upcoming album and look forward to seeing him return to Söngvakeppnin in the future and fulfil his dream of representing Iceland at the contest!
Daniel Oliver at Söngvakeppnin
Bacik in 2015, Daniel participated in Söngvakeppnin as part of the trio CADEM. Which also featured singers, Caroline and Emelie who are both from Sweden. Their entry ‘Fyrir alla’/’Fly’ managed to reach the Final in Icelandic before it was decided that English would be the preferred language. During the final CADEM opened the show and placed sixth in that year’s competition.
After taking time away to focus on his own solo work such as ‘Vertu hjá mér’ and ‘Drunk’, Daniel returned to Söngvakeppnin in 2019 as a solo artist with the Electronica entry ‘Samt Ekki’. Which also had an English version titled ‘Licky Licky’. This time he finished in fifth place in the first Semi-Final of Söngvakeppnin 2019.
Are you feeling at home with Daniel Oliver’s new music? Let us know! Stay up to date by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! As well as subscribing to our YouTube channel. Where you can watch our reactions to the news in the upcoming months. You can also follow our Spotify for more music from your favourite acts!