From Iceland — Fall In Love With Emmsjé Gauti

Fall In Love With Emmsjé Gauti

Published August 15, 2015

Fall In Love With Emmsjé Gauti
Hannah Jane Cohen
Photo by
From Emmsjé Gauti

Earlier this year, The New York Times reported on a set of 36 questions, created by psychologist Arthur Aron, that were designed to make you fall in love. We at the Grapevine decided to put it to the test with notorious local rapper Emmsjé Gauti, who just released a new track, ‘Strákarnir,’ and accompanying video (scroll way down for the embed!) . So read it and tell us—did it work? 


Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

As a dinner guest? Prince. Have you seen the stand-up Kevin Smith did on him? He talks about Prince and man, he’s one of the craziest people on Earth. He’s just way too famous. I want to sit down with Prince and talk to him about life. He could give me some advice on how to be sexy.

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

[strange expression] I think I’m a little bit famous. OK, side-story—if you are famous here, you can’t say that you’re famous. If someone’s like, “Are you famous?” you got to be like, “No, no, no! I’m… well known.” As soon as you say you’re famous, people are like, “What an asshole!” Why? I don’t know. Like if you’re on TV, you’re making music, people know this! But if you’re chilling with your friends, you can’t be like “I’m famous.” You can’t do that. It makes you look like an asshole.

But ok, famous? I think I’m just happy where I am. Maybe get a little bit more money…

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

I make so many telephone calls that sometimes I call and then just forget who I was calling. Cause, you know, I’m so afraid of being alone that I have to have someone on the phone all the time.

[Interviewer laughs.] No, I’m not even joking.


4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

Perfect day? Waking up to no alarm clock, eating good food, meeting friends, doing like a bro-workout where you only do your arms so you look big, and then going to the swimming pool. Afterwards, get some drinks. That’s a good day.

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

I sang to somebody else yesterday, but I sang to myself just this morning. I do that almost everyday. I put my curtains down so no one can see, and then I just fucking dance and sing.

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

The mind or body? Of course the body ‘cause you want that wise old brain. Yeah, definitely the body. Why the fuck would I want the body of a 90 year old?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

Plane crash. I’m so afraid of flying. It’s the only situation that I don’t have any control over anything and like I cry almost every time I get into an airplane. Or I’m like this [freaked out expression]. We hit a bump and everyone else is like “Woo!” but I’m like [more freaked out expression]. Two weeks ago, I was on a plane that bumped just a little bit—I screamed and  then everybody laughed.

[I ask about minister who vomited on airplane.]

Yes, that’s like a nightmare! Not being him, being the guy that got throwed up on. That’s fucked up. Imagine like, I was scared and crying and this guy comes and vomits on me. It would be terrifying.

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.


9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

My family. I have a perfect family. And my daughter, who was born three weeks ago. I feel most grateful for that. I’m super excited about watching her grow up. I think I’m gonna be a cool Dad.

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

Fuck. Um. I think I would not change anything because that would turn me into a different person and I like myself so I would not change anything. I think my Momma raised me right.

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

Of me? Ok. My Momma pushed and I came out. I was born in Akureyri in the north of Iceland. Then I moved to Reykjavik, to a place they call the ghetto of Iceland, which is actually the nicest neighbourhood. I started doing music around 11-12 years old and then traveled the world after I was 15. I guess I’ve just been doing the same thing since—making music and working at shitty jobs in between. Just having fun.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Superpowers? Definitely not reading minds. That would be the worst idea ever. ‘Cause maybe you’d hear your friends like, ‘Uh fuck I hate him!’ or a friend of a friend like, ‘Oh I always have to chill with this fucker!’” Shit like that.

Teleporting—that’d be my choice.


Set II

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

I’ve thought a lot about this, like do I want to predict my death? I don’t think so.

If it would be like, “You will die at 90 happy and smiling.” I’d be like mhmm [happy face].  But if it said, “You will die at 28.” And you don’t know what’s gonna happen, then no I would not. Maybe if I could change the situation, but if I can’t then I don’t wanna know shit.

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

Hopping on a plane with my backpack and not coming back for 2 years. Not to find myself, but to find the world. I don’t know why I haven’t [thoughtful expression].

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

I think it’s gonna be my daughter. I hope so! No I’m joking, it’s my daughter. That’s my greatest accomplishment.

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

Trust. If you can’t tell somebody something they are not your friend.

Emmsje Gauti by Rúnar Sigurður Sigurjónsson

17. What is your most treasured memory?

It’s something about music—concerts, touring with my friends—but I can’t put my finger on it.

18. What is your most terrible memory?

I was in a parachute accident. That was really terrifying. I was paragliding and the instructor was trying to show off ‘cause we were filming for a TV show. He was trying to do some tricks and then he lost control and so we slammed into a mountain.

We were lucky ‘cause the ground we fell on was like loose rocks and not hard rocks so we just landed and slided for 20 meters. But the guy opened his face and I was really scared.

For three days I was fucked up but there were no broken bones or anything like that. He took the hit. But he was really professional—he had an open face and was still trying to help me.

There’s probably something more based on feelings though that is more terrifying somewhere in my life, but I can’t think of it now.

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

I would stop everything that I’m doing. No, this is gonna be so boring: I would spend all the time with my daughter, trying to get her to know me and then maybe release one more album. Except the album would only be dramatic songs about my life so that people can remember how I am really and not how [thoughtful expression] I pretend to be.

20. What does friendship mean to you?

Didn’t we have that before? No? Friendship is mostly trust, but it’s also the trust of making fun of each other. Like if your friend is doing something wrong, you can point that out. Let’s say your friend is getting really fat, you can point that out. It’s a person that you can talk to and trust about everything.

Owning It Emmsjé Gauti by Axel Sigurðarson

Photo by Axel Sigurðarson

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

What is affection? [I explain.] Oh yeah. It plays a big part. Yeah, I need love. I need love in my life.

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

My family is really close, especially on my mother’s side. When I was younger, and kids would talk like, “I have to go to family dinner tonight. Uh! I hate it!” I was the opposite—I always loved it. And we like meet up, the whole family, every week.

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

It’s really good. But it’s like the sea —it can be calm but it can also be rough. 

But I think that if you can’t argue with somebody, then that’s not a person you love. If you are afraid that if you argue, she will leave then it’s not your friend, and it’s not your family. So it’s up and down, but it’s always good.


25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”

What? Share what? Like my coffee? Uh, I think I’m a really open person. I think I’ve shared everything with at least somebody.

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

They need to know that I can be a fucking total bitch. They need to know that I can get really mad.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.


29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

Like a few weeks ago, we were touring around the North and we picked up these two tourists on the way—two hitchhikers— and they were in the car with us for like five hours and they didn’t say anything. So then we came to the place where we were playing and those tourists watched the concert.

Afterwards, my friend Arnór from Agent Fresco was standing backstage and my friend Vignir, the bass player, was next to him. I see my charger was right below Vignir’s foot and he’s a good friend of mine so I can fuck around with him, and so I take his leg and I squeeze the inside of his leg to get my charger. And then I look up, and it’s not Vignir my friend, it’s the tourist.

I was so embarrassed and so ashamed that I was going to say something to her but then I just walked away, which is way worse. I just looked her in the eye and then walked away. Oh fuck, it was a bad moment.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

Like two weeks ago? Yeah, two weeks ago. For both.

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

There is nothing too serious to be joked about, but it depends on how you joke about it. You can make jokes about something really serious. Yeah, you can joke about rape, you can joke about AIDS but it depends if you’re saying —like I was watching this fucking horrible comedian Jason Rouse. His jokes were like, “Does anybody have a kid in the room?” and someone would say, “Yeah, 7 years old!” and he’d be like, “I’m gonna fuck her.” That’s not funny.

But if you make a point with a joke. If you’re using the joke to point out how ridiculous something is, then you can do it. Like rape, the sentences for rape in Iceland—they’re nothing. It’s like, “Shh! Don’t do this. Go out and play again but don’t be raping anyone.” It’s ridiculous. You could make a joke about how ridiculous that is.


33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

I think somebody knows everything in my life, except my daughter. Let’s put her in again. I’d be like “I love you!” and then die. I used to do that all the time, when she was still in her Mamma, I’d yell through the belly, “I love you!”. Sometimes I whispered so the mother can’t hear… “Don’t tell your Mom.”

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

One item? Oh my god. I think, I have to say my computer because I have a lot of memories on there, like photos and stuff. If I can pick one thing, I don’t want to take like one picture book, I want the computer.

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

I don’t like this question. It’s too sad.  Why are these questions so sad? I choose no one. No one dies. Is that good?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

Smitten? Well you’re in luck, ’cause Gauti just released his new video, ‘Strákarnir’ (‘The Boys’), today, so you can watch him skateboard, chill, and get down for as long as you want.

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