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Ingó : “I have won against all odds since nobody had faith in the song at the beginning” (Icelandic semifinalist – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Ingó (Ingólfur Þórarinsson), semifinalist of the Icelandic national selection for Eurovisionn, Söngvakeppni 2016. The singer, runner-up in 2009 with Yohanna’s victory, and his band will sing “Fátækur námsmaður” (A broke student).

ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision 2016!

E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?

I started playing guitar when I was 13. I formed a band when I was 16 and I have been doing this ever since. My band made a hit album in 2009 which had 4 songs that topped the charts. Since then, I have been playing every weekend a mix of my own songs and covers.


E+:  What impelled you to take part in “Söngvakeppnin 2016”?

I wrote a song I thought was great but the band didn’t agree. I thought “fuck it” and decided to try in Eurovision. Surprisingly it got through!

E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-finals?

I felt a bit like I had won against all odds, since nobody had faith in the song at the beginning.

E+: What it would mean for you to represent Iceland?

I would be proud of myself and try to use the opportunity to introduce my country as widely as possible. I would also try to win, not just take part.

E+: Can you tell us about your song “Fátækur námsmaður” (A broke student)? What is the story behind the lyrics?

I used to be a broke student, but I decided to get my things together and work harder. The song has a message of irony and encouragement to help broke students not to feel sorry for themselves and work even harder.

E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm?

Because me and my band are genuine musicians and can play in lot of places to plug the song. I would also have a winning strategy like a football manager.

E+: How are you preparing your performance for “Söngvakeppnin”?

Not much since there are still 2 moths to go. My main thing is gonna be trying to remain calm about everything and let the music speak for itself. I think many people also over-rehearse. I’m not gonna do that.

E+: You took part in Söngvakeppni 2009 getting the second place after Yohanna. How was the experience in the contest?

It was a good experience performing in front of the camera, but for me it was a bit too much rehearsed and NOT relaxing. I Will fix that this year.

E+: What is your opinion about the past Icelandic representatives in Eurovision? Do you have any favourites?

I like almost all of them. My personal favourite is “Is It True”, a great pop song with one of the best female vocals in the business. My opinion is that Johanna is the best Icelandic singer.

E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?

I’m gonna be releasing a lot of singles and playing all over Iceland with my band. I’m also planning a-month vacation with my girlfriend. I think I’m going to Thailand to enjoy the sun.

E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?

You are lucky to be a Eurovision fan. Eurovision is all about the pop culture and acts trying to please the majority. What I like the most about is that it is so hard to guess which one will win. That’s why music in general is so great. Everyone can make something great and there are no boundaries. Hope to see you in Stockholm!

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck! 

About Tony Rodríguez (Spain)