Words: Jakobína Lóa Sverrisdóttir & Nína Marín Andradóttir
Diljá is a 21-year-old singer from Kópavogur who will be representing Iceland at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. She has one brother, asks for raspberries, salty licorice flakes, and cookie dough in her bragðarefur, and can listen to the Polish Eurovision contribution from 2022 on repeat.
What is most exciting about participating in Eurovision?
It’s probably the opportunity, knowing that so many will listen to me and see what I’m doing.
Are you nervous about performing for this many people?
Not a bit. I think I’ve finished my share of stress for my lifetime. I’ve stopped experiencing stress. I took it all out in one go some time ago and now I can always see the positive side of things. Of course, I realised I was nervous and never did anything to help me but I never had control of it and somehow, all of a sudden, I’ve managed to control it and can shut the anxiety off because I know it’s just going to ruin things for me and others.
“I lost complete sense of reality for the next few days. I’m even still feeling a certain high over it all.”
What was your favourite Eurovision song from last year?
Probably Sweden, “Hold me Closer” by Cornelia Jakobs. I thought it was fabulous.
What was your initial thought or reaction when you were announced as the winner of Söngvakeppnin?
It was 100% the feeling that this couldn’t be happening for real. I always believed it could happen but when it was announced, it swept over me that it couldn’t be happening and I needed to wake up. I’ve often dreamt these types of dreams and then wake up and realise it was “one of those”. I lost complete sense of reality for the next few days. I’m even still feeling a certain high over it all.
Was your song written in Icelandic or English?
It was originally written in English and I like it better that way. Then we wrote the Icelandic lyrics in three days before the deadline. There was a bit of a time pressure around that.
What’s your favourite Eurovision song of all time?
It depends on what you define as Eurovision songs. If it’s enough that the song is written for the purpose of entering Eurovision, even though it doesn’t move forward, then my favourite is “Statements” by Loreen. It competed in the 2017 Melodifestival, but didn’t get through to Eurovision. But my favourite Eurovision song that actually entered the competition is “Amar Pelos Dois” by Salvador Sobral, which won in 2017.
But finally: It’s been your dream since you were a kid to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest. Do you have any advice for people or kids who want to make their dreams come true?
Yes, it’s just about continuing doing what you do. For a person who’s anxiety-ridden, like I was, it was extremely difficult at times but I was determined in not allowing my shadows to stand in the way of what I actually wanted to do. So really, no matter how scary your dream seems, if you don’t want to go there, you can’t really call it your dream.
Thank you Diljá!
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