Keen Airwaves goers have probably seen Berlin-based Icelander Daði Freyr before, playing as part of the band Retrobot a few years back. In the last year though he’s really become a star in Iceland after his amazing song and performance of “Is this Love?” charmed everyone yet still somehow only finished in second place in the qualifying for Eurovision. That song became a big national hit and now he’s preparing to play at Airwaves for this first time as a solo artist, and he has an EP coming out right around the same time.
Hello Daði! Where are you and what are you doing?
I am sitting in an apartment in Grettisgata, petting a fluffy cat and drinking tea because I´m getting paranoid about getting sick. I am also making the poster for the release concert of my debut EP as Daði Freyr which will take place at Húrra the 26th of October.
I think I'm right in saying this is your first Airwaves festival playing under your own name. But you've played before in other bands haven't you, how many other bands have you been in or are you still in?
This is my first time performing under my own name. I have performed two times with my former band RetRoBot. We haven’t been active for a while, maybe one day we will do a reunion, who knows. I am currently in the band Lesula with my friend Jökull Logi and I’m also working on some music with Karitas Harpa, we call ourselves Karitas & Daði.
I guess a lot of people first really got to know you with the song, "Hvað með það?" which so nearly became Iceland's Eurovision entry. How does it feel to be robbed (in my view!) of certain Eurovision glory?
It feels pretty good actually. If we would have gone through to Eurovision I would have had to postpone my graduation from dBs Music Berlin because I would not have had time to finish. Also the reaction to the song and performance in Söngakeppnin was much more than I could have ever hoped for, so I can’t really ask for more.
Is there any chance I could persuade you to recreate that exact choreography for Airwaves?
There is always a chance. But no ;)
Browsing around your Soundcloud account, it seems you have a little obsession for "The Breakfast Club" - can you explain yourself?
I did the music for a play that my friend Dominique Gyða was directing for Verzlunnarskólinn. They did The Breakfast Club. Right now I’m working on the music for her next play which will premiere in November, it’s called Skömm.
Who else are you excited to see at Iceland Airwaves this year?
I am very excited to see what Sykur, DJ Flugvél & Geimskip, GusGus, Sigrid, Benjamin Clementine, Kiriyama Family, Halldór Eldjárn and a bunch of others have to show this year. I’m pretty sure I will miss a lot of concerts that I would like to see. But you can’t have everything.
Finally, what are your tips for people attending Airwaves and visiting Iceland for the first time?
Don’t plan to much ahead, visit all the venues, don’t stay in Reykjavík the whole time, Iceland has so much to offer, Reykjavík is just the tip of the iceberg.
I can’t wait to see Daði play at Airwaves very soon. Here are your opportunities…
Wednesday November 1st, 2:30pm at American Bar
Wednesday November 1st, 5:00pm at Viking Brewery
Wednesday November 1st, 7:00pm at Petersen Suite
Thursday November 2nd, 6:30pm at Slippbarinn
Friday November 3rd, 9:40pm at Húrra
Saturday November 4th, 1:00pm at Bryggjan Brugghús
photo by: Mummi Lú