Today we were able to interview the Icelandic and Swedish duo Suncity and Sanna ahead of the Söngvakeppnin semi-final tomorrow. Together we chatted about how the two met and decided to collaborate for Söngvakeppnin, discovered how the song was written, and found out a few of their favorite Eurovision songs!
Hello there and thank you both for interviewing with us today! Why don’t you give our readers a quick introduction as to who you both are?
Hi ESCUnited! I’m Sanna Martinez I’m a Swedish Artist and songwriter. I come from a musical background, my family are in the music industry and I’ve been singing almost my whole life and participated in many different competitions. Later I found it so interesting to create music so I started to write songs, which then led to me applying for songwriting schools which I graduated from, Dreamhill Music Academy and Musikmakarna in Sweden. Today I’m writing songs for other artists as well as for myself. I really love performing, dancing and sing out my heart with a meaningful message.
And I’m Suncity, an Icelandic Artist, activist and TV-personality. I have many different jobs, except from the music I recently launched a tv series in Iceland, I’ve written two books and gonna start on my third after Söngvakeppnin and I’m helping teenagers talking about sexual harassment, I really like to do a lot of things at the same time, as long as I’m passionated about it. I wanna do more music and perform more in the future.
Thank you for helping our readers learn more about you both! And you were of course revealed as participants in this year’s Söngvakeppnin competition in February – what has life been like since your participation was announced?
It’s been a lot of rehearsals, meeting the team almost everyday to practice different things like: with a vocal coach, choreographer, cameras, trying outfits, interviews, so very hectic in a good way. Also so much support already from friends and acquaintances and also from other people reaching out to us, we are so happy about that! It’s been great!
Now if someone asked you both to explain or describe your music to them, what words, phrases or descriptions might you use?
We both love something that comes with a message, either something we experienced and wanna share, or something that we can really stand for. We both also do pop music, it’s usually uptempo and something you can dance to.
Is there anything our readers would be surprised to know about you both? Like maybe a fun fact that they couldn’t find on the internet or on social media?
Sanna can’t actually speak Icelandic but still she’s gonna sing in Icelandic in the semifinal. -This has beena bit hard for me cause some sounds are very hard to pronounce but it’s also a fun challenge!
Suncity can actually speak Swedish since she lived in Sweden for a few months. -When we’re hanging out we usually speak English but sometimes we switch
to Swedish, and sometimes Suncity is teaching Sanna a little bit of Icelandic.
I’m curious to know a bit more about your decision to participate this year together. How did you two first meet, and what made you decide to enter a song together for Söngvakeppnin?
We actually recorded the song remotely since Sanna lives in Sweden and Suncity in Iceland. We got to know each other through mutual colleagues and friends and then we wanted to present this message in the song together as two strong women. Feels great to do it as a team, you share everything together and that’s awesome!
Let’s talk about your song “Hækkum í botn / Keep it Cool” – can you tell us about the songwriting process and how this song initially came about?
Sanna was a part of writing this song together with a few others and the English version was actually written first. There was Sanna and the songwriter and producer Anders Gukko from Sweden and we had Marc “Cappy” Caplice from Ireland and Svenni Sigrudsson from Iceland on zoom writing this song remotely. Then we were sending over different versions back and forth. The Icelandic lyrics was written by Suncitys brother, Davíð Guðbrandsson and Valgeir Magnusson from Iceland. Then it was sending over til we had both versions finished.
Wow that’s a very spread out team geographically! Since it was written in English first, was the song always written for Söngvakeppnin or was it initially written for another reason?
Yeah, it was written for Sanna first to release as a single and a part of her EP, then we decided to apply for Söngvakeppnin since we love Eurovision!
Now I know that both of you have experience with Söngvakeppnin as Suncity you participated in 2018 and Sanna you wrote one of the 2020 entries. Is it easier or less stressful this time since you’re familiar with the national final format?
Yes, we have a lot of more practices and also as with everything, when you do it many times you develop and we both feel like that. This show is very professional and we are very excited to do this!
Of course, I have to ask you about Eurovision since that’s the reason we’re all here – are you both big fans of the contest? Do you have some favorite memories or moments from the contest you’d like to share?
We sure are! There are so many great songs with important messages but one song that was so beautifully performed was Salvador Sobral with Amor Pelos Dois in 2017. But we also wanna give a shoutout to our countries, Loreen – Euphoria, Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes from Sweden and Yohanna – Is it true, Daði Freyr og Gagnamagnið – Think about things and 10 years from Iceland.
Now for those who want to connect with both of you ahead of or after Söngvakeppnin , where can they find you and your music?
It’s on many platforms but preferably on Spotify and Instagram Sanna Martinez, @sannamartinez , Suncity @itssuncity11.
Alright, one final question for you – is there any message you’d like to share with our readers?
This song is about knowing your value and stand up for yourself. Let go of all your bad thoughts and emotions and just Keep it cool or Hækkum í botn! We really
hope that people will do that and are ready to dance 😉
Well I want to thank both of you again for your time and we wish you the best of luck in the Söngvakeppnin semi-finals! <3
Thanks so much for having us x