Local rap musicians HOLY HRAFN (Óli Hrafn Jónasson) and Stelpurófan (Þorgerður María Þorbjarnardóttir) form the musical collaboration Stelpuróló. In the past months, they have performed at a handful of events—such as our own Grassroots n°6 concert—and at local DIY music venue R6013.
A project is born
Stelpuróló’s performances are alternative, upbeat and observational Icelandic rap that tackles various situations and feelings. “Most of our songs are some sort of a concept,” says Þorgerður. Óli continues: “One of our songs is from the perspective of a dog. Another is about money and constantly speeds up. Our first song, ‘Slydd City’ is about the gray reality of waiting for summer.”
The two met after a concert featuring Krakk & Spaghettí—a project that Þorgerður is also a member of. “I asked Þorgerður to join me on songs regularly because I dug her style—and I still do,” says Óli.
“Suddenly we had a bunch of songs and decided to collect them together under the name of Stelpuróló,” adds Þorgerður. “So a little project baby was born!” Óli exclaims.
Óli and Þorgerður share a common affection for expressing themselves through words. When asked what they have in common, Þorgerður said: “We’re both suckers for funny and witty lyrics. Hip hop is the best way to channel them, in my opinion.” Óli continues: “We want to reflect a non-serious and loose feeling with our music. And we pretty much do whatever we want.”
They enjoy music-making and performance on different levels. “I love the part of producing when I’m in the zone, take a walk with a half-cooked project in my headphones and fill in the missing pieces in my mind,” says Óli. “Then take it back, tweak it, repeat, and so-forth.”
“Remembering the lyrics and thinking about looking cool fills my head-space while performing live,” says Þorgerður, with a smile. If I know someone in the audience well, I try not to look at them, in case I start laughing and lose my cool. But I enjoy live performance for the ego-boost it gives me.”
Unpredictable and weird
When asked to name influences for their creative practice both Óli and Þorgerður ran down a list of strange, quirky and alternative musicians. “Madlib’s music and attitude really influenced me,” says Óli. “I like the feeling I get when I get to know music that I don’t get at first.” Complex, fractured hip-hop producer Prefuse 73, prog rock legends Gentle Giant, Beck, and American jazz pioneer Sun-Ra are also big influences for him. “They’re all unafraid to do something unpredictable,” Óli explains. For Þorgerður, “Kött Grá Pje is my spirit animal. I also really like Cyber and Tommy Cash. I like the weirdness.”
Stelpuróló are working on a full length album, which will see a release in the near future. “We are about finished recording it. It will be ready soon,” says Þorgerður. Óli, who is also finishing a solo album under his HOLY HRAFN guide, finishes: “It’s going to be a fun album!”