Þórður Ingi Jónsson, better known to our readers as Lord Pusswhip, has lived an exceptionally interesting life in the short number of years he’s been on the planet. From Grapevine intern to punk rocker to hip hop artist to label founder and producer, his talents have spanned the globe from Berlin to LA.
“Yeah—you could say I come from a creative family,” he says, with ironic understatement. “My mom’s a sculptress, my dad’s a TV personality and journalist” ( renowned artist Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir and famed TV host Jón Ársæll Þórðarson).
That being the case, it’s probably little surprise that he pursued a career in some creative field. So what was his introduction to music?
White punks on hope
“Probably through punk rock music,” he says. “I was a young punk kid from like 11 or 12. So I was always into music and art. I studied piano stuff when I was a kid. But punk rock was my own musical awakening… It was an impetus to do stuff. I was on internet forums around that time. I’ve always been a student of the game, so to speak. I’ve always just been obsessed with different music.”
Getting into hip hop was almost tongue in cheek, but it ended up parlaying into the most flourishing aspect of his musical career.
“I think the first foray into electronic music was just playing with GarageBand, back in the MySpace days,” he says. “But then I started rapping and writing lyrics around 2007. It was all just very unserious.” From here, he started making own beats around 2013.
The golden age
This was a golden age for hip hop in Reykjavík, with Prikið as the nerve centre. Through the mid 2000-teens, Þórður Ingi established himself as an artist to be reckoned with, and his impact is still present. “Having any sort of effect or influence on people was probably the most fulfilling thing about being in it,” he says. “Having kids say that I inspired them. That’s really crazy.”
Rather than settle for being a big fish in a little pond, however, Þórður Ingi set his sights for Berlin in 2015, and from there, he eventually settled in Los Angeles. But then, he has never seen himself as a purely Icelandic artist.
“I’ve always been referred to as Icelandic hip hop,” he says. “But I just never really felt very like a part of that scene. I just always wanted to be part of an international underground scene. That’s where I’m known.”
Þórður Ingi has recently started his own label, Heavy Knife, with an incredible show dropping at Húrra on December 2nd, featuring Daniel Ness, Countess Malaise and many more. Could this mean he’ll be moving from songwriting to producing?
“I don’t even know if I’d even make a distinction there,” he counters. “In Iceland, I’m known mostly as a rapper. But internationally, I’m mostly known as a producer for some reason. I remember my parents were super worried. They didn’t quite get the label idea. They thought that I wouldn’t have time for my own music. And maybe they were right because that’s turning out to happen. I’m so busy, but it’s going really well.”
Heavy Knife will be presenting a show at Húrra featuring Daniel Ness, Countess Malaise, Smjörvi and Drexler on December 2nd at 21:00. More events from Heavy Knife will be coming up at Prikið and Húrra later in the month.
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