With the second semi-final of Söngvakeppnin just around the corner, I was able to sit down with the Daughters of Reykjavík – an eight member group comprised of Blær, Dísa, Steinunn, Ragga Holm, Sura, Salka, Steiney, and Karítas. Learn more about what the group stands for, what to expect on stage this weekend, and some of their favorite Eurovision songs below!

Hello there and thank you for agreeing to interview with us! Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourselves and the band?

Hey there! So we are Daughters of Reykjavík, an all female identifying 8 piece hip hop group from Iceland. We have been working together for the past 9 years, during which we have toured all over Europe and North America, created a play together, recorded three albums and hosted a talk show on feminism.

We are a self sustainable band meaning we produce all of our content ourselves, a quality made easy by the fact that we have such various talents in the band. Our members vary from being producers, sound engineers, graphic designers, actors, dancers and so on and so forth. It doesn’t hurt that we are also best friends and know no greater joy than to work and perform together!

Oh that’s wonderful! And Of course, you were recently announced as one of the participants for Söngvakeppnin this year. What has life been like for you all since the announcement was made?

Life has been full of support and excitement! We are so happy with how the announcement of our participation has been received and can’t wait to step on to the stage of Söngvakeppnin on March 5th.

I’m sure a number of fans are equally excited to see you perform as well! Speaking of – if you had to explain your music to someone, what phrases, words, or descriptors would you use?

We would probably say that it’s music that demands attention, strives to motivate and inspire. Someone once described our band as Pussycat Dolls meets Pussy Riot which we think is pretty accurate.

That’s a pretty cool comparison and compliment! On the topic of other bands though, if you had the opportunity to collaborate with an artist of your choosing on a new single, what artist would you all pick and why?

Oooo hard question! We are so many in this band and have such different tastes in music that it would be hard to describe one particular artist that we would want to collaborate with. But to mention a few artists many of us like Little Simz, BIA, Tommy Genesis, Björk, Princess Nokia, Arca and Eartheater come to mind.

I would love to see what wild music you might come up with alongside Björk! And as songwriters for your own music, what does the songwriting process usually look like? Did you use a similar process for your Söngvakeppnin song?

Usually our songwriting process begins with Salka, a member of our band and an electronic music producer, creating a draft of a song. Subsequently we often try to go to a cabin together for a few days to bounce lyrics off one another and record a demo. The process for Söngvakeppnin was very similar as we wrote the song together at Salka’s little house in Reykjavík, where we also recorded the song eventually.

What made you decide to submit a song to Söngvakeppnin this year? Did you expect that you would make it to the semi-finals?

We have always been big fans of Söngvakeppnin and Eurovision but up until this year there was always something standing in our way to submit an application. This year we finally had the time to do it and we couldn’t be happier! Being selected for the semi-finals is such a privilege which we don’t want to take for granted, we’re going to give it everything we got!

Can you help our readers understand the inspiration and message behind your song “Tökum af stað/Turn This Around”?

We wanted to write a song that would entail some movement or motivation. Our goal as a band is to empower, particularly women and non binary people, and give energy back. This song is very much written with that in mind as it tries to capture our bands high energy, positivity, friendship and unity. It is open to interpretation to the audience which we hope will allow as many people as possible to connect with it.

And I’m sure that the preparation process has been busy for you all as you rehearse for the semi-finals. Are there any teases or hints you can give as to what the live performance might entail?

Preparing for the semi-finals so far has been absolutely incredible and very very busy. We can tell you that our stage performance will be a highly energetic, very busy and a bit too much. There will be multiple entrances, a spaceship, ambitious visuals and costumes, and vehicles of some sort. Be
prepared!

The members of Daughters of Reykjavík (taken in 2020).
The members of Daughters of Reykjavík (taken in 2020).

A spaceship….now I’m very intruiged….On a similar topic since the EBU only allows 6 performers on stage I’ve got to ask, what would be the plan if you won Söngvakeppnin and get to go to Eurovision? Would someone have to stay behind in Iceland or the green room during ESC week?
We are eight in the band and well known for finding ways to bend the rules in our favor. We will have six performers physically on stage and two performers on massive LED screens on each side of the stage. That way we are all able to perform together!

Oh that is wonderful, everyone gets to be included! And speaking of Eurovision, are you all big fans of the contest? If so, do you have any favorite artists from past contests?

We are all massive Eurovision nerds and have often watched the competition together, made bets and played drinking games. Previous Eurovision songs that we love include Everyway that I can by Sertab Erener, Mata Hari by Efendi and All Out of Luck by Selma Björnsdóttir.

For those who want to connect with you ahead of or after the national final, where can they find you and your music?

They can find us on all social media under the handle @rvkdtr. Our music is on all major streaming platforms under the name Daughters of Reykjavík.

Finally, is there a final message you’d like to share with our readers?

We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for the competition and hope our performance can inspire and empower as many people as possible! Eurovision, look out.

Well Daughters of Reykjavík I want to thank you again for your time and we wish you the best of luck in Söngvakeppnin this weekend!

Thank you so much <3

What do #YOU think Daughters of Reykjavík’s song “Tökum af stað”? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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