From Iceland — Kristín Sesselja Loves Love & Heartbreak: The Singer Who Turns Breakups Into Bops

Kristín Sesselja Loves Love & Heartbreak: The Singer Who Turns Breakups Into Bops

Kristín Sesselja Loves Love & Heartbreak: The Singer Who Turns Breakups Into Bops

Published May 7, 2021

Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
Art Bicnick

“I’m so pathetic, when it comes to boys.
I let them push and play me like I am a box full of toys.”

And so, over a jumpy, sparkling pop beat, begins Kristín Sesselja’s “FUCKBOYS”.

It was the song that brought the singer to the attention of the Grapevine, and it was one that immediately sparked an obsession in the office. An empowering, confessional anthem about getting screwed over by a fling, the track tells Kristín’s story of being a hopeless romantic and always falling in love in the worst places, culminating in a chorus of “Fuck boys!”—a play on words to emphasise, if you still didn’t catch it, the type of guys she’s singling out. Gross.

 

Kristín Sesselja’s fearless

Kristín began playing piano and guitar when she was but 10 years old.“I started learning guitar by watching YouTube videos and studying Taylor Swift songs,” she says. “After that, I began writing songs and I’ve just been writing since then.”

“I just love love, but I also love heartbreak.”

Laughing, Kristín calls her early attempts at songwriting “dramatic”—potentially a result of her longtime Swift obsession, she notes. She rolls her eyes when divulging her first song, called “Trust Me.” “I was on the way home from school and I was looking in the sky, seeing an ex’s face. But I’d never been in a relationship. I was like 12,” she giggles.

That said, that first song sparked a desire to write honestly and fearlessly about love, regardless of age or experience. “I remember in eighth grade, I had a crush on a boy and wrote a song about him. I put it online and told one friend who the song was about. Of course, then the whole school found out and they would sing it to me in the hallways when the guy walked by,” she explains. While Kristín could have been embarrassed by the attention, she took it in stride. “I was like ‘Oh, that’s so cool! Everyone knows my song!” She laughs. “Now I know they were making fun of me, but hey, writing songs is now my job so, like, joke’s on you.”

Kristín doesn’t see her stark honesty as brave, though, even though most others would. For her, it’s just who she is. “I always want to share what I’m thinking. I don’t have any secrets. I’m the type that just meets someone at a party and tells them my whole life story,” she says, smiling.

Fuck Boys

In truth, it’s hard not to be inspired by Kristín’s self confidence. She has a knack for saying what others are thinking, even if they wouldn’t dare to say it out loud. The aforementioned “FUCKBOYS” is emblematic of this—it’s a healing work. Everyone’s been fucked over in love and, finally, there’s an earworm you and your girlfriends can throw your middle fingers up and laugh it off to.

“I originally saw the song as this badass anthem that makes you want to go to war because you’re just so angry,” she explains. Her producer put a bouncy pop riff underneath it, and the whole work fell into place. “[The beat] makes the song funny instead of just super dark and emo. I’m not actually hating on boys!”

Kristín Sesselja. Photo by Art Bicnick

Hitting the right notes

Her newest effort, “W.A.I.S.T.D. (what am I supposed to do)”, is potentially the singer’s most personal, combining Kristín’s experiences with heartbreak with her current relationship, which, she explains, is going great. It starts a cappella, with Kristín describing her music in two succulent lines:

“I write a lot of sad songs.
It’s kind of my thing.”

“[Sad songs] just hit the hardest,” she says, when asked about this lyric. “I’ve liked a lot of guys that didn’t like me back and I’m just a hopeless romantic.” She smiles. “I just love love, but I also love heartbreak.”

Check out Kristín Sesselja on her website and all streaming platforms. You can also catch Kristín Sesselja live and in person at this year’s Iceland Airwaves.

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