Levelling Up: Flóni Enters Stage Two - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Levelling Up: Flóni Enters Stage Two

Levelling Up: Flóni Enters Stage Two

Published June 7, 2019

Photos by
Sigurður Ragnarsson

On every Icelandic hip-hop fan’s lips, you’ll hear the name Flóni. After dropping his debut album only two years ago, the singer quickly dominated the scene in a way that had never been done before. Now, he’s back with his second endeavour, ‘Flóni 2’—an upbeat effort that has cemented his rightful place as the current king of Icelandic hip-hop.

In person, Flóni is intelligent, open, honest, and—when it comes to music—a self-described perfectionist. “I really wanted to take my time with ‘Flóni 2,’” he explains, sitting relaxed on a sunny day in the 101derland Studio. He started working on it only weeks after finishing his debut. “I was really motivated by how positively people had taken to the first album; I was kind of riding the high from that,” he says. “We planned it like a video game. First level: releasing the album. Final boss: the album release concert.”

Super ultra speed mode

In contrast to his first effort, ‘Flóni 2’ is a true pop album. Filled with heavy synths, guitars and more catchy melodies than you can count, it’s an emotional, rhapsodic experience.

“At the beginning of my career I was a pretty ratchet dude… I’ve learned to tone it down a bit.”

While he produced much of the album himself, Flóni did have some unexpected contributors, including pianist and composer Magnús Jóhann Ragnarsson. “He’s a real synth perv,” Flóni says, smiling. “I quite like the analogue touch that he brought to the album.”

The song “Hraðar” is particularly poignant for the singer. A fast-paced ode to seizing the day accompanied by a snappy hi-hat and synth-driven beat, it’s on this track that he speaks about how his life has changed since his music career blew up.

“It’s about being grateful for the things that you have and enjoying every second of the day,” he says. “My life has been on super-ultra-speed mode recently. The past two years went by in a haze. It’s like Thanos came and snapped his fingers and they just disappeared.”

On “Fyrir Aðra,” though, Flóni shows a more personal side. The song was inspired by his close friend, singer Jökull Breki, who won his secondary school Verzló’s annual singing competition, Vælið, in 2015 with the song “To Build A Home.”

“I remember thinking how beautiful that song was,’’ Flóni says. ‘‘Jökull was going through some tough times when I was making the album, so I was thinking about him a lot. ‘Fyrir Aðra’ was inspired by warm thoughts for a friend.”

Still ratchet

The last two years have been a period of growth for the singer, as he reached an unprecedented level of popularity in seemingly record time. “I think the number one thing that probably every artist who blows up in Iceland learns is how to be more professional,” says Flóni. “I can say that, at the beginning of my career, I was a pretty ratchet dude.”

“Iam still ratchet today, but I’ve learned to tone it down a bit.”

‘Floni 2’ is out now. Listen on Spotify.

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