From Iceland — Weird, Unafraid And Upbeat: Collaborative Duo Stelpuróló Talk Music

Weird, Unafraid And Upbeat: Collaborative Duo Stelpuróló Talk Music
Photo by
Patrik Ontkovic

Local rap musicians HOLY HRAFN (Óli Hrafn Jónasson) and Stelpurófan (Þorgerður María Þorbjarnardóttir) form the musical collaboration Stelpuróló. In the past months, they have performed at a handful of events—such as our own Grassroots n°6 concert—and at local DIY music venue R6013.

A project is born

Stelpuróló’s performances are alternative, upbeat and observational Icelandic rap that tackles various situations and feelings. “Most of our songs are some sort of a concept,” says Þorgerður. Óli continues: “One of our songs is from the perspective of a dog. Another is about money and constantly speeds up. Our first song, ‘Slydd City’ is about the gray reality of waiting for summer.”

The two met after a concert featuring Krakk & Spaghettí—a project that Þorgerður is also a member of. “I asked Þorgerður to join me on songs regularly because I dug her style—and I still do,” says Óli.

“Suddenly we had a bunch of songs and decided to collect them together under the name of Stelpuróló,” adds Þorgerður. “So a little project baby was born!” Óli exclaims.

Verbal expression

Óli and Þorgerður share a common affection for expressing themselves through words. When asked what they have in common, Þorgerður said: “We’re both suckers for funny and witty lyrics. Hip hop is the best way to channel them, in my opinion.” Óli continues: “We want to reflect a non-serious and loose feeling with our music. And we pretty much do whatever we want.”

“We want to reflect a non-serious and loose feeling with our music. And we pretty much do whatever we want.”

They enjoy music-making and performance on different levels. “I love the part of producing when I’m in the zone, take a walk with a half-cooked project in my headphones and fill in the missing pieces in my mind,” says Óli. “Then take it back, tweak it, repeat, and so-forth.”

“Remembering the lyrics and thinking about looking cool fills my head-space while performing live,” says Þorgerður, with a smile. If I know someone in the audience well, I try not to look at them, in case I start laughing and lose my cool. But I enjoy live performance for the ego-boost it gives me.”

Unpredictable and weird

When asked to name influences for their creative practice both Óli and Þorgerður ran down a list of strange, quirky and alternative musicians. “Madlib’s music and attitude really influenced me,” says Óli. “I like the feeling I get when I get to know music that I don’t get at first.” Complex, fractured hip-hop producer Prefuse 73, prog rock legends Gentle Giant, Beck, and American jazz pioneer Sun-Ra are also big influences for him. “They’re all unafraid to do something unpredictable,” Óli explains. For Þorgerður, “Kött Grá Pje is my spirit animal. I also really like Cyber and Tommy Cash. I like the weirdness.”

Stelpuróló are working on a full length album, which will see a release in the near future. “We are about finished recording it. It will be ready soon,” says Þorgerður. Óli, who is also finishing a solo album under his HOLY HRAFN guide, finishes: “It’s going to be a fun album!”

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