Keeping a finger on the pulse

Q&A w/Snorri Helgason

in Explore/Issue #1 by

Words by Bartek Wilk

Snorri Helgason – singer-songwriter, former member of Sprengjuhöllin, promoter, manager

You are a very experienced musician. At 19 years of age, you quit your job and completely focused on music. Looking back to these times, when you released your first album with Sprengjuhöllin, what – as a beginner artist – did you dream of? What were your expectations of the music market?

Well it’s been 10 years since I made that first album with Sprengjuhöllin. A lot has happened since then. A lot of things have changed in the music business and in the world in general. We didn’t have Spotify, and Youtube was just starting to grow. People were still buying CDs and downloads to load onto their ipods. Artistically I don’t know what I expected from that first album but it was a surprise hit in my home country. We sold something like 10.000 copies (which is a lot for a country of 300.000 people) and our music was constantly being played on the radio. That was a weird thing to experience, when you are just starting out. If the first thing you do gets so much exposure it kind of gives you a strange perspective on everything you do after that. It also gives your ego a massive boost which is not always a good thing. I was young, 22 or 23, and I had a lot of confidence but being given that kind of attention right when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do musically could have been a dangerous thing. It took me a while to figure out what it all meant. I still don’t really know what happened there.

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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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