Steinunn Helga Þorsteinsdottir and her band (Magnús Jóhann Ragnarsson and Bergur Einar Dagbjartsson) appeared at last year’s Músíktilraunir. I’ve found her music very interesting since I’ve heard her for the first time. Steinunn is 20 years old. Currently lives in the Netherlands and study electronic music production. Constatly creates her music and got plans to release her own album. I’ve asked her about Músíktilraunir and how important it is for young musicians, her inspirations and plans for the future. Meet Steinunn.
Bartek: I remember it was shortly after Musiktilraunir 2016. I’ve asked you if there would be a chance to make a little interview. I felt I just have to do that, as your music was a kind of a new, fresh discovery for me. It’s been a while since then. And I guess it’s good, because a lot of things happened through this time. But let me start with a question about Musiktilraunir. Do you find this contest important for you personally?
Steinunn: Yes, extremely. It’s a great platform for to share my music and practice my performance. It also gave me a chance to work with a good quality equipment on stage which is convenient to know for future performances.
Bartek: You’re 20 years old, so it’s quite amazing how music-wise you are. How long have you been doing music?
Steinunn: I took piano lessons from when I was six to thirteen years old and at sixteen I taught myself how to play the guitar and soon after I started to write my own songs on it. Three years ago my dad got himself Cubase and by figuring out my way in it I developed interest in electronic music which followed with my songs becoming more electronic feeling wise.
Bartek: I’ve been listening to your records repeatedly. It’s simple electronic synthwave music and beats with the most important – vocal layers. I have to admit you’ve created your own, very special sound and atmosphere. Really intimate (so the lyrics) and absorbing. Do you work alone on your songs? Are there any other people helping you with your records?
Steinunn: Thank you. I’ve always worked on my songs and lyrics completely alone. Athough, I’ve collaborated with others e.g. my band in Músíktilraunir this year.
Bartek: There are 10 songs on your soundcloud website. Quite enough for an album or at least EP. Do you have any plans for such release?
Steinunn: Yes, for sure. But for now I’m focusing on school and learning as much as possible. When I finish school I want to be able to release my songs with a good quality sound and mixed and mastered in a proper way.
Bartek: Your latest track is Amsterdam. You’ve also made your own video for the song. Beside the title, also the picture is very urban, collating modern city art with architecture of late 1950s. What does inspire you the most? In your life, in your music?
Steinunn: My future dreams, love, nostalgia and young girls who chase their dreams are my inspirations. I get Influence for the visuals in my songs from minimalistic graphic design and architecture from eastern european countries which are shown in my video Amsterdam. My songs are inspired from wide variety of genres from pop music to deep house and dreamy electronic music from both up and coming and known musicians.
Bartek: Amsterdam is not only a song. It’s a fact from your life. You currently live in this city. Why did you left Iceland?
Steinunn: I moved to Amsterdam primarily because I was going to study electronic music production at SAE but on the other hand I’ve always wanted to try out living in a another country.
Bartek: I also wanted to ask you about Icelandic music scene. What are the most interesting new, young project/bands in your opinion?
Steinunn: Everyday I see new Icelandic bands coming out so there is definitely a lot of them to check out. Vök is one of my favourite bands and their music and success after competing in Músiktilraunir inspired me a lot to take part this year.