Keeping a finger on the pulse

Bella Donna Elíza Newman from Lavaland

in Explore/Issue #3 by

Words by Wim Van Hoose
Photo by Gísli Kristjánsson

Among the many distinct qualities of Icelandic music, the greatest is diversity. This is embodied in Eliza Geirsdóttir Newman, who is a singer-songwriter, violinist, ukulele player extraordinaire (!!), music teacher and dreamer from the Reykjanes peninsula of Iceland. She conquered the local music scene 26 years ago with Kolrassa Krókríðandi/Bellatrix. So far, she has immersed herself in different projects including four solo albums, and she shared with us some of her stories.

When did music come into your life, and when did you start to sing?

For as long as I can remember, there was always a lot of music playing in my house; either my dad would be playing the guitar or there would be records playing. I started attending music school in Keflavík when I was six years old, first playing the recorder and then moving on to the violin. Since then, music has been a big part of my life.

In my late teens, I focused on classical singing and went on to graduate as an opera singer from Söngskóli Reykjavíkur, and then pursued further studies in London at Sirry Ella Vaughan’s opera studio. I also did my master’s in Music education and psychology in London.

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Stína has followed her passion to Icelandic music as a music journalist since 2010. She joined then a writing team of Muzyka Islandzka - a Polish website dedicated to Icelandic music. Spreading her wings, Stína started her adventure with Icelandic language and moved to Reykjavík where she studied the language at the university. She also takes an active part in life of the local music scene. Since 2014 Stína had run a music blog that was transformed in 2017 into a printed magazine on Icelandic music.

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