Our interview tour arrives today in Iceland. We hear the thoughts from Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson who will sing Ég á líf as song number 8 in the second semi-final in Malmö on 16 May.
Tell us a little bit about your background in music.
I started performing around 11 years old in my home village, Dalvik in the north part of Iceland. At 18 years old I performed in a TV singing competition for high schools and won that competition. At 19 years old I was selected to take part in a TV show looking for the next rock star of Iceland and won that competition as well. From there on I became a fully professional singer, singing in a number of rock shows and musicals like Jesus Christ Superstar as Jesus, Rocky Horror Pictures Show as Riff Raff, The Hair as Berger and last season at the National Theater in Les Miserables as Marius.
As well do I write my own music and last summer I had one of the most played songs on radio written and sung by me called “Þá kem ég heim”; “Then I will come home”.
And with my band Todmobile we do big concerts. Todmobile is one of the biggest Rock/Prog bands of Iceland and was founded in 1989 (the same year I was born) and I became a member of the band in 2010 when another and older Eythor quit the band.
How do you feel to be representing your country in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
I feel honoured for the nation selecting me for that project and for the songwriters for trusting me for their creation. I know the song means a lot to the songwriters and I will do my best to deliver the story of the song.
How did you end up working with Pétur Örn Guðmundsson on Ég á líf?
Petur and Orlygur contacted me when they got the song into the competition in Iceland and I listened to the song. Petur and I had worked a lot together in musicals and rock concerts so we knew each other quite well. I tried singing the song in a studio to see if the song would be something for me. I liked the song and went for it.
Are you a big Eurovision fan yourself?
In Iceland Eurovision is a big thing and I have seen the competition almost every year. But apart from that I do not know a lot about the competition. I am though looking forward to knowing what this is all about.
What is your favourite Icelandic Eurovision entry of the past?
Usually my favorite song doesn’t go through in the Icelandic competition. My favorite entry is ‘Minn hinsti dans’ by Paul Oscar.
What are you most looking forward to about performing in Malmö in May?
I love big stages and productions. Meeting people from all of Europe and working with friends of mine.
You’re the first Icelandic representative to sing in Icelandic since 1997. What made you decide to do that?
We wanted the song to keep the feeling and the lyric seems to mean a lot to many Icelanders. We did not want to ruin that. I like singing in my own language and I hope Europe will like it too.
So, what is the meaning behind Ég á líf’?
It has a double meaning: I have a live and I am alive. People can relate to the lyric in their own way. Some people think of their kids, some people think of their spouse, some to people that influenced them and some to their parents. The line says ‘Ég á líf, vegna þín’ I have a live/I am alive because of you.
Have you heard many of the other entries yet? If so, do you have any personal favourites?
No, I can’t say I have listened to them yet.
If you were to win the contest, what can fans look forward to when they come to Iceland?
Nature, culture and a lot of fun.
Have you spoken to any of the former Icelandic Eurovision representatives? If so to whom? Have they given you any advice?
Yes I have. Fridrik Omar and Matti Matt (from Sjonni´s friends) are both from the same fishing village as me, Dalvik (population 2.000 people). As well do I know Hera Björk and she used to live in the same village. We love singing in Dalvik.
Would you like to send a message to esctoday.com readers?
Stay true to yourself!
Esctoday.com would like to thank Eythor for this interview and wish him the best of luck at the Eurovision Song Contest!