Suspense is mounting as the last places in the Icelandic final on the 12th of February are up for grabs this coming Saturday. There are, as in previous heats, some well known names to look out for, but the entry by the late Sjonni Brink shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of sympathy votes.
You might find the background information on the artists who will be competing against one another useful. The 5 acts to feature in this Saturday’s heat of Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins are as follows:
Song number 1: Buff – Sáluhjálp/Salvation (Pétur Örn Guðmundsson)
Buff are a five piece with Pétur Örn Guðmundsson at the helm on vocals and guitar, Stefán Örn Gunnlaugsson on keyboards and additional vocals, Bergur Geirsson on bass, Einar Þór Jóhannsson on guitar and backing vocals and last but not least, Hannes Heimir Friðbjarnarson on the drums and also providing backing vocals. The group have previously released 3 studio albums, their first album Góðir Farþegar appearing in 2002, followed by Selfoss in 2006 and Buff in 2008. 2009 saw the release of their newest album Reyndu Aftur, a concent album where they took songs by Magnús Eiríksson and gave their own interpretations. The band members have frequently been seen on the TV, appearing in such shows as Það Var Lagið and Singing Bee.
Song number 2: Georg Alexander – Morgunsól/Morning sun (Jóhannes Kára Kristinsson)
Georg Alexander is born and raised in Reykjavík. He studied electronic engineering and graduated from Reykjavík Technical College in 2003. He founded the company Antenna Services in 2006 where he still works today. He started to dabble in songwriting in 2007, a year later he started to take the project more seriously and began work on his first album, which should hoefully be released this spring. The album will feature a lot of material by many prominent Icelandic writers and musicians. He has recently taken up studying the guitar.
Song number 3: Sigurjón Brink – Aftur Heim/Home Again (Sigurjón Brink)
Sigurjón Sjonni Brink was a popular figure on the Icelandic music scene for a number of years, building up a significant following. He staged the production Bítl together with a friend, Jóhannes Asbjörnsson which stretched over 25 performances, playing to a packed venue and getting rave reviews. He also released a solo album and was member of the band Rokk. He participated previously in Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins on 2 previous occasions, he sang Waterslide last year. His music is easily recognizable by its use of the banjo and accoustic sound. Sadly, Sjonni passed away suddenly last week before he was due to perform his entry this year, Aftur Heim. According to RÚV, Sjonni’s song is to be perfomed as planned but by six of his friends at the request of his family. Those performing will be Hreimur Örn Heimisson, Gunnar Ólason, Benedikt Brynleifsson, Vignir Snær Vigfússon, Matthías Matthíasson and Pálmi Sigurhjartarson.
Song number 4: Jógvan – Ég Lofa/I Promise (Vignir Snær Vigfússon/Jógvan Hansen)
Music has been a major part of Jógvan’s life from a very early age. He studied the violin for 9 years and had a best selling album in his native Faroe Islands when only 16 years old. He came to Iceland for vocational studies. 2006 was perhaps Jógvan’s defining year, when he decided to attend casting auditions for the Icelandic X-Factor. He ended up winning the whole series and since 2007 has been a popular figure on the Icelandic music scene. 2009 saw the release of Vínalög, a collaboration album with Friðrik Ómar, going on to become the biggest selling album of the year. This year sees his second attempt at winning Söngvakeppni. He came second last year with One More Day and is back this year to try his luck again.
Song number 5: Magni – Ég Trúi á Betra Líf/ I Believe In a Better Life (Hallgrím Óskarsson)
Magni has been involved in music since forming his first band at the age of 12. At high school he recorded his first album with the band Shape as well as making a name for himself as a result of performances at various school proms. In 1999, Magni joined the band Covenant, resulting in the release of no fewer than 7 albums, shifting about 35.000 copies. He also released his self titled debut solo album in 2007. He has also appeared in a reality rock show called Rock Star Supernova on American TV and this will be his third time in Söngvakeppni having previously taken part in 2006 and 2008.
Listen to the entries in full here!