From Iceland — Hildur On Striking Out On Her Own And Not Having To Compromise

Hildur On Striking Out On Her Own And Not Having To Compromise

Published February 16, 2016

Hildur On Striking Out On Her Own And Not Having To Compromise

Hildur is no stranger to making music. She’s been a part of Rökkurró for some ten years, performed with Cell7, Ólafur Arnalds, and more. Lately, however, she’s been working ardently on her new eponymous solo project that she is débuting at Sónar Reykjavík. On the occasion of releasing her first music video, we decided it was high time to get to know her.

What inspired you to start your solo project?

I’m always writing songs. I had a folder in my computer with like two LPs worth of stuff, but I think I was always waiting for someone to ask me to do music. I hadn’t really thought of going solo until the summer of 2015, when my friend asked me if I had any solo stuff that could be used for a video project. I answered “no” without thinking, then I was like “Wtf did I just say?” Of course I should have said “Yes, I make music”, even though it wasn’t a project yet.

And that’s how it got started, I decided to launch my own project and started focusing on finishing the best songs I had, and to try to get them out. I participated in the Eurovision pre-competition in Iceland in 2015 and that opened the world of pop up for me. I’ve always loved pop but I guess I just hadn’t really sat down and tried to make a pop song until I decided to make a one for Eurovision. That went really well and me and my friend Guffi went into the finals with our song “Fjaðrir”—that was a pretty damn good song for Eurovision.


Do you relish in this new-found freedom of having complete creative control?

Definitely. It’s so cool not to be dependant on a band’s genre, and be able to go in whatever direction you like the most. I had been in an indie-rock band for almost ten years, but had stopped listening to that kind of music some years ago. Now I’m mostly into to hip-hop, pop and electro, so it was only natural for me to do music heavily inspired by that. It’s such an awesome feeling to make music you want to listen to yourself and not having to compromise on anything. Of course I get a lot of input from the guys I’ve been producing with, but I’m the one that writes all the songs and the lyrics, so it’s mostly my ideas. I would love to be able to fully produce my songs too, and I’m working on getting there. I’ve been producing for four years now and it just takes time to get the sound you really want, so I pick out awesome producers that help me get there. I also just love the idea of girls producing—there’s unfortunately not many of us doing that.

Can you tell us a little bit about what you are working on?

I don’t have any plan for an EP yet, I’m just working on releasing material song by song and see how it goes. I’m very chilled with releasing stuff in a traditional way, I just want people to start listening to my songs, one by one.

I would say that the songs I’m writing don’t all fit into the same box. My first single has a very happy-go-lucky pop feel to it, but then I have songs that are darker and moodier, but still pop. But that’s what I love, having the whole spectrum in my songs—even though they are all electro-pop, you can still fit all those feelings in there!

You’re unveiling a full live set at Sónar—have you been tinkering with the material for a long time?

I would say that I started working heavily on those songs in November when I met up with the first producer I worked with, Auðunn Lúthersson. I had chosen two songs I had written to produce with him, and I thought that was a good start. But he was the one that pushed me to apply for playing at Sónar, which made realise I would have to finish producing a whole set quite fast. When I got the “Yes” in December, I dropped everything and started focusing on finishing a full set. I had written most of the songs in the fall/winter of 2015 but then I wrote two brand new songs to fill up the programme. I worked with various producers, for example Auðunn, Logi Pedro and Janus from Kiasmos, as well as producing some material myself. So it’s a super team of great talent!

How nerve wrecking is it to début your work on such a big stage? What should people expect from your show?

I’m not that stressed. I’m mostly just crazy excited to share my stuff! I think it’s a great honour to have been selected to play at Sónar, even though I hadn’t released any songs at the time, so I feel like they really believed in me after hearing my demos. That’s a good feeling. The show will feature me and my drummer Ási. We have a very minimal stage set up but I think it will be very powerful. I also have Trausti doing my visuals to make it all come together. Kaldalón is a seated venue which leaves me with just one goal: to get people standing by the end of the show!

Hildur performs at SonarComplex (Kaldalón) on Friday 19, 20:00-20:30.

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