Ladies And Gents, Alvia Islandia - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Ladies And Gents, Alvia Islandia

Ladies And Gents, Alvia Islandia

Published June 2, 2016

Photos by
Jiri Hronik

Alvia Islandia. She’s damn funky. Sure, you may have guessed it from her music video for “Sugar Complex,” in which a barroom cotton-candy machine features prominently. But it’s also evident in the way she speaks, her word choice and sentence structure. She’s attempting to bring the neon frenzied feel of her music into her daily life. Or perhaps, it’s the other way around.

 
Sweet Sixteen
What Alvia calls her “young cat time” was spent predominantly in 105 Reykjavík. By the time she was sixteen she had moved out and was on her own. That same year she recorded her first song. “And it was meant to be: this is just me. My life, my soul. Not a career decision but a dream to live it.”

Moon Child
As is the case with many a musician, Alvia’s artistic interests extend beyond the realm of music. “I’m in love with creation,” she says. “Drawing, graffiti, collecting stuff and changing it. I make a lot of different pieces and usually give them away to people I vibe with on my way.” Alvia pens all of her own lyrical content. “My lyrics are influenced by the elf side of the moon, bubbly state of mind, wildcats, cozyslide and real stuff all put together in a riddle that sometimes only I can understand,” Alvia says. She seeks out those she finds interesting, who are creating beats, and collaborates with them. All of her recordings thus far have been made in Iceland. Her most recent production was forged at the Shades of Reykjavík studio with Hemmi Bridde.

To Each Her Own
Alvia’s influences are vast and vary in genre. (However, let the record show Björk is her idol.) She herself is an amalgamation of several music styles. Alvia lists bass, melody, trap, electronic, rap and house as classifications her songs could hold. “I don’t really think about it, though,” she says. “If it’s grooving and soothing, it’s my jam.”

Alvia hints that her new album ‘BubbleGum Bitch’, out in June, will be distinct from anything she’s done before.

The Company We keep
All musicians face criticism, particularly when starting out or when trying something a bit off-kilter. Alvia seems unperturbed by this. She’s most concerned with those residing in her inner circle. “The elves and the prrh cats that I surround myself with are on the sunny side. I do music for me, because I like it. I’m having fun,” she says. “Of course there are haters, but I don’t hear them.”

Her performance at Secret Solstice will undoubtedly be a good time. Alvia lists it as her favorite Icelandic music festival. And when not center stage herself, she’s looking forward to seeing fellow acts Die Antwoord and Goldie perform. A hallmark of an Alvia Islandia show is the Hubba Bubba gum she tosses to those in attendance. She dubs those who blow big bubbles of the gum in unison the Gum Gum Clan. It’s a select lot, one you’ll have the opportunity to join this Secret Solstice.

Can’t get enough Alvia? Here you go.

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