KIRA KIRAEverything but the Elves - The Reykjavik Grapevine

KIRA KIRAEverything but the Elves

KIRA KIRAEverything but the Elves

Published October 2, 2005

Explosions are one of many things Kira Kira has developed to perfection. Her first solo album, “Skotta”, starts off with a bleep that explodes into electronic music of the charming sort. It is now being released on a small French label and it will most definitely be released in Iceland some time this year. The title of the record refers to a special type of ghost that only exists in Iceland. “When I was a kid my Dad used to read me ghost-stories before I went to sleep. Since then I was always interested in them and accepted them as my buddies,” she tells me.

Kira Kira’s approach to creating songs is turning the electronica artist’s traditions upside down: While many of the trade start out of the joy of experimentation to build up song structures from noises, Kira Kira’s foremost drive is finding a musical expression for a story. This might be a romantic accident or some other kind of emotional turmoil; in any case it is the narrative around which the song is built. “I approach music as a visual artist or a child rather than a composer: I break all the rules, I am not a trained musician. I tinker with noises and if all goes well, they end up being songs.”

With her first bands Spúnk and Big Band Brutal (an electronic improvisation band), she loathed professionalism and thus enjoyed total creational freedom, doing the things she wanted to do without necessarily knowing how to do them. “There are different things at different points in life that we get our kicks from – for me at that time, it was through running wild across the buttons, enjoying the spin of an impulsive process rather than thinking too much about where the noises would end up ”. Towards the end of Big Band Brutal’s life, though, she was beginning to long for something permanent, for something she could hold in her hands and bring back as a song that would stay. “Now is the time to tame the beast and ride it, to take it exactly where I want it to go, but I still like to keep a certain risk-factor, because for me total safety in music can never be good. I always have to do something that disarms me and pushes me to something I would have never thought of doing initially.”
Nowadays, she puts the risk factor into her performances: “I totally surrender to being an entertainer and admit that I aim to charm. It would be no fun if there was not a slight possibility of tickling people a little bit.”

She mentions Mugison, whose down-to-earth-style she admires: “It’s very commendable not to pretend that you are untouchable or perfect, JUST because you are half a metre above the floor.”

Neither Kira Kira nor Julika Huether were attempting to lampoon the Icelandic stereotypes of naturalistic, naïve artists at play with this interview. It just happened… well, naturally. We apologize to both of them.

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