Meet dirb: A Debut Album That Serves Up A Melange Of Sounds

Meet dirb: A Debut Album That Serves Up A Melange Of Sounds

Meet dirb: A Debut Album That Serves Up A Melange Of Sounds

Published June 19, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Ingvi Rafn Björgvinsson, also known as dirb, creates music that is just as unusual as his name. The pseudonym comes from the combination of a childhood nickname and his initials. “When I was young, and my brother was starting to be able to speak, he couldn’t say Ingvi,” he explains. “So he always said Diddi, and it just stuck.”

Uncharacterisable

His self-titled debut album, which drops on July 3rd, can’t be characterised by any one genre. Indeed, it serves up a broad spectrum of sounds from experimental hip-hop to lo-fi trip-hop. “I don’t want to put myself in too much of a box,” he says. “So I want to make pop songs and I want to make hip-hop songs and electronic dance music and everything in between.”

As a producer, dirb is always trying to do what comes naturally in the studio, which he says can change from day to day. “One day its ambiance, the next day it’s a 4 to the floor kick drum beat or whatever,” he says smiling. “I just try to follow my stomach and follow what comes naturally that day when I start working on a new song.”

As a result of this genre-blending, dirb has collaborated with a diverse set of artists, each with their own unique sound, including R&B songstress GDRN and the always-eccentric rapper Kött Grá Pjé. Yet, he lends his own voice to each collaboration.

“I want to make pop songs and I want to make hip-hop songs and electronic dance music.”

For example, “Kattarkvæði,” featuring Kött Grá Pjé, is a solid hip-hop song with a heavy beat and angry tone, showcasing dirb’s flow. This contrasts sharply with “Segðu Mér,” a sleepy, sweet song featuring GDRN, with an electronic and bass-heavy piano riff.

A whole ‘nother ball game

In advance of the album release, dirb landed a record deal with Alda Music—the same label as Countess Malaise, Benni Hemm Hemm and KALEO—a deal, he explains, that was sort of an accident. “I uploaded my first song to global distribution,” he says, adding that difficulties with the bots that ran the online global distribution led him to seeking out a human contact for the task. “Trying to deal with personal stuff with bots is not good. Quite stressful,” he adds.

Then, a friend told him about Dreifir, the distribution source for Alda Music. So he went to the office with the intention of uploading his music there. The attendant who answered his questions subsequently asked to hear his music. “After it was done, I was taken aside, and they were like, ‘Hey, I think we could work with you,’” he explains.

Prior to that interaction, dirb hadn’t shared his music to anyone outside his inner circle. “When someone who is not emotionally attached to you comes to you and says, hey, let’s do this, it’s a whole ‘nother ball game,” he concludes.

Never say never

While Ingvi does not restrict himself to a single genre and he likes to collaborate—he still plays electric bass with Oyama, Markús Bjarnason and Sunna Friðjóns—as dirb he is sticking to solo work for the time being. “Never say never,” he says, “but I think I will focus on the solo project for now.”

Check out dirb on YouTube, Facebook, and Spotify.

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