FeaturesRotterdam 2021

🇮🇸 Daði Freyr: “I am using this opportunity to do things that I have wanted to do for a long time” [INTERVIEW]

With the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 fast approaching, ESCXTRA is sitting down with artists from this year to hear all about their songs, journey, and all things Eurovision! Bente had the opportunity to chat with Daði Freyr from Iceland, who is performing “10 Years” in Rotterdam this year with his band Gagnamagnið. In the interview, they discussed his comeback, his upcoming music video, his favourite songs from this year and much more!

You can watch the full interview below:

His relationship with music

Daði shares in the interview that he has grown up with music around him. His parents met in a marching band and he has played several instruments including piano, guitar, and bass! Despite these talents, he had other aspirations as well: up until he was around 14, he wanted to become an illustrator for comics, particularly the Donald Duck magazine. However, he decided when he was 15 that he wanted to be a full-time musician if possible.

He has many musical inspirations as well, including Stevie Wonder, Daft Punk, The Gorillaz, and Hot Chip. This last one even made a remix of his 2020 Eurovision song “Think About Things”! One of the band members had posted about the song, and Daði quickly contacted them, and history was made. For him, this was an absolute dream come true.

All about “10 Years”

Daði og Gagnamagnið’s Eurovision song “10 Years” has been written and produced by Daði himself:

I started writing it as soon as I knew we were gonna be representing Iceland in September. And then I started by making a few demos of songs that I thought might work for this. Some of them were almost songs, but some of them were just a baseline or drumbeat. Then on attempt number 12, I got to what ended up being “10 Years.”

Daði Freyr on the creation of “10 Years”

While “Think About Things” was about Daði’s daughter, “10 Years” is about his wife and Gagnamagnið member Árný Fjóla. He explained that, quite simply, this was what was on his mind when he was writing. When he wrote “Think About Things”, his daughter had just been born. Now, he and his wife are celebrating their 10 year anniversary as a couple, hence the title!

An internal selection instead

Despite Iceland’s broadcaster RÚV usually hosting a national final, Daði og Gagnamagnið were invited back in September to represent their country in Eurovision again. He expressed interest early on in returning to the contest, but he did not want to return to the national final again, both because he felt like in 2020 was already the last time he would do it, and because he did not want to win based on people feeling bad for him. Thankfully, he was asked to return internally! However, this didn’t mean that any song would be accepted, RÚV still had the power to reject the entry if they did not like it enough, but “10 Years” was an immediate success! When asked if he would have maybe written a song in Icelandic, Daði said that

I knew that I was going to bring an English song so more people would understand what I was saying. I think that’s a big part of, at least, Eurovision to me. It makes sense for at least my songs, there are some of my favourite Eurovision songs that I don’t understand.

Daði Freyr on his decision to send an English song

One of these favourites is Ukraine’s “SHUM”, which Daði names as one of his most loved songs from this year! Other songs that he really loves include Australia’s “Technicolour”, Switzerland’s “Tout L’Univers” and Lithuania’s “Discoteque”.

Daði’s song from Eurovision 2020 “Think About Things” became a viral success, including a spot on the UK’s top 40 and a hit song on social media app TikTok. However, Daði did not feel pressured to recreate this success with “10 Years”. He acknowledges that it was an extremely rare thing that happened, and he was super lucky that it happened, but he feels totally okay with this song not being as successful as “Think About Things”.

“10 Years” music video, outfits, video games, and…beer!

The music video for “10 Years” is coming out on Monday 29th of March, and according to Daði it is going to be great! It was directed by Guðný Rós Þórhallsdóttir, the same director as the “Think About Things” music video.

There’s gonna be Gagnamagnið, there’s gonna be the dance from our performance, and there’s new customs. There’s special effect customs that me and Árný made, that are also going to be in the video. And lots of weird effects. It’s a lot bigger than we did last year. It’s an idea that I had for a very long time, this video, and never had the guts to make it a reality. I am super happy with how it turned out.

Daði Freyr on the “10 Years” music video

The instruments and outfits from last year are getting bigger as well: Daði shared that they are bringing new things to Rotterdam and are working hard on creating new instruments. The outfits have already been designed, though!

If you love Daði og Gagnamagnið, you can prepare for even more fun things though! The band has been working hard on the creation of not one, but two video games: one of them is a Mario style game, coming in the beginning of May, where you can play as one of the members, and go through a sidescroller adventure game with a storyline (and some music as well!). The other game is more music-based, and it will help you in learning your favourite Gagnamagnið songs, which you can expect sometime soon in April.

Besides video games, you can now also get your very own Daði og Gagnamagnið beer! That’s right, Daði got in touch with his favourite local brewery in Iceland, Borg Brugghús, and basically asked them if they could make a beer together. And they said yes! It’s a thing that he has also wanted to do for a long time, and now that he is able to do so, he is making sure to enjoy the opportunities. So if you’ve ever wanted a Eurovision beer, keep an eye out on the brewery.

Watch the full interview now to learn even more about Daði, Gagnamagnið, and all things “10 Years”! ESCXTRA wants to thank Daði Freyr for taking the time to (virtually) sit and have a chat with us, and we wish him all the best in Eurovision! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to see our reactions to the news in the upcoming months.

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