Icelandic Daði Freyr fires up the North Atlantic beach party
Icelandic musical mastermind Daði Freyr already had a substantial repertoire in his native language behind him when he decided to make up the new fictitious band ‘Gagnamagnið’ and compete in Eurovision in 2020 with the incredibly catchy “Think About Things”. Although the show never materialised due to global lockdown, the song’s explosive popularity has now opened the doors for Daði Freyr to take his energetic live show around the world. And the next stop is Syðrugøta.
From the artist’s 2019 album “& Co.”, the messages don’t necessarily expect that virtual fame would have been right around the corner. From tracks such as “Kemur þér ekki við” (It has nothing to do with you) and “Skiptir ekki máli” (It doesn’t matter) the lyrics ask the audience to stop hiding behind a computer screen, to stop internalising every hateful comment online, and that others’ opinions don’t matter in the real world.
Cue 2020, and suddenly the artificially made-up band ‘Gagnamagnið’ with its pixelated avatars and fake instruments mostly meant as a satirical nudge to how Eurovision doesn’t allow live music on stage strikes a chord. The “band”, whose composition and aesthetic were intended to distance Daði Freyr’s own music from his light-hearted flirts with Eurovision, also competed in the Icelandic qualifiers Söngvakeppnin in 2017 with the song “Is This Love”. But in 2020 with the global population locked indoors behind screens, and with live music eerily silenced, Daði Freyr’s energetic and carefree lovesong “Think About Thing” felt simultaneously like a respite from reality and an ominous premonition of our collective virtual suffering.
Personally, Daði Freyr is happy that he never had the chance to perform at Eurovision - first due to the show being cancelled in 2020, and second because a band member caught Covid after arriving in Rotterdam to perform “10 Years” in 2021. According to the artist this allowed his music to enjoy its own life online, especially on social medias like TikTok and YouTube, without the physical and mental exhaustion of the extensive touring and TV appearances that a sudden hit usually begets.
Not to be confused with the fact that playing live is the musician’s favourite activity. All songs are written with the objective of being fun to play in front of an audience, since you never know which tracks will be the ones you might be playing for the next 30 years. It is a common thought in the industry that if a song does not become a hit, then it’s a failure. This doesn’t hold true for Daði Freyr, who considers the success of the song the emotion and excitement it can elicit in an audience. And when he enters on stage, he does so with a clear purpose - create a good mood, crack some bad jokes, make the production team laugh, and have fun.
Daði Freyr will ignite the party on the Beach on Friday evening at 23:20.