Troubadour Ellert Sigþór Breiðfjörð Sigurðarson knows how to work a crowd. When asked any question about getting a bar pumpin’ or bringing the mood to a different place, he has the playlist ready. “Say if the crowd isn’t responsive, then I go to ‘Ég er kominn heim’ or ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’” he says. “Everyone blows up during those, and if they don’t, then I know they are just doing their own thing. Which can happen.”
Ellert has been performing as a troubadour now for almost three years, but he’s already differentiating himself from the pack. “I like doing songs that people love and can sing along to but maybe others don’t play,” he says. “Take ‘Break My Stride’ by Matthew Wilder. People hear the beginning and think, ‘What’s this song?’ Then the chorus comes in and everyone goes, ‘Oh! I love this song!’” He sings the chorus for a moment. “Then the playlist is unexpected, which makes it more fun and memorable. That’s the mood I want to evoke.”
His most requested number? “‘Eg er kominn heim’ no question,” he replies. “I like that song—many troubadours don’t—but it doesn’t matter what I like, I’m there to make you feel good and if you want to hear it, I’ll play it.” He starts to smile. “But you can’t get through a night without someone asking for ‘Wonderwall,’ usually multiple times. At least twice.”
His nighttime hours do have drawbacks, though. “Once I get home my body is still full of adrenaline,” he says. “It takes me a long time to come down. I won’t get to sleep until 7 or 8 in the morning.”
It also affects him socially. “If I want to go out with friends, I have to plan it like a month in advance,” he says. “But it comes with the territory. I get to do what I love for a living.”
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