She isn’t the first name to come to peoples’ lips when thinking of Icelandic musical exports, but Thorunn Antonia has been around the block and hit foreign shores. Having worked with Danish bigwigs Junior Senior and formerly singing for the British band Fields, she can most notably be heard singing as Nico on Beck’s Velvet Underground cover album.
She isn’t the first name to come to peoples’ lips when thinking of Icelandic musical exports, but Thorunn Antonia has been around the block and hit foreign shores. Having worked with Danish bigwigs Junior Senior and formerly singing for the British band Fields, she can most notably be heard singing as Nico on Beck’s Velvet Underground cover album. She’s now teamed up with electro-party master Berndsen to make made a new album that delivers deliciously dance-perfect Italo Disco. We caught up with her to have a little pre-Airwaves chat.
So who are you and what is your modus operandi?
I am a singer and I have sung with a lot of cool bands through the years like Fields, Junior Senior and Beck to name a few. Now I am making a pop solo record and you can expect good things at Airwaves. My mission is to make you dance.
Who are you excited to see during the festival?
There are so many and I’m looking forward to discover new bands! I recommend seeing Berndsen, Oculus and Forgotten Lores, because they are all great.
Are there any acts missing from the bill that you’d like to see on there?
There are always bands that I would like to see on the bill but I think Airwaves does a great job every year finding the best possible line up.
THAT AIRWAVES FEELING
With so many international acts on the bill, do you think the festival retains its spirit? Are you excited to see any of them?
Some of them I haven’t heard of, some of them I have. It’s always brilliant to discover new things and I welcome the fact that there are so many foreign bands.
If you had to pick one, what would be your favourite year of Airwaves?
I think it was the first couple of ones. I was only a teenager and it was crazy fun. I hand-made little demo tapes to hand out and it was all so exciting. I still get that same feeling every year. I love it.
What advice would you give to a first-time Airwaves visitor? Any good places to eat or festival strategy tips?
I would say don’t plan too much. Find a few gigs you definitely want to see and then just get a little drunk and wander around the town. It’s more adventurous that way.
CHANGE IS GOOD
Given that most Airwaves-visitors won’t have a lot of time in their schedule to see the Icelandic countryside, are there any nature havens close by that you’d recommend?
If we are lucky we’ll get Northern Lights in the city so just remember to look up. You can also take a five-minute cab ride to Grótta on Seltjarnarses. There is a beautiful lighthouse and a little hot tub you can dip your feet into. Perfect when the sun is coming up or going down.
Has a lot changed in the Icelandic music scene since Airwaves 2009? How about Airwaves 2002?
I guess. I only just moved back to Iceland two years ago from years of living in London and Los Angeles so those years in the music scene are pretty foreign to me, but I hope a lot has changed. I think change is good.
Who are your favourite Icelandic acts these days?
I really like Ojba Rasta, Mr. Silla and Elín Ey. She has a wonderful voice.
Anything to add?
Don’t miss my show on Thursday the 13th at 20.20 in Tjarnarbio! And have fun.
By Rebecca Louder