Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson was born on 29 May 1989 in Dalvík, a small fishing town of approximately 1,400 inhabitants in northern Iceland.
Eyþór founded the progressive rock group Eldberg and in 2010 joined the renowned Icelandic band Todmobile, contributing to their seventh album, which was also entitled ‘7’. In 2011 Eyþór Ingi was nominated as best singer in the Gríman Theatrical Awards for his role as Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The following year he played hippie leader Berger in the musical Hair, He also featured in the cast of Les Misérables as law student Marius Pontmercy, when the musical was staged in Þjóðleikhúsið, the National Theatre of Iceland, in 2011-2012.
Who are your biggest musical influences?
I get my inspiration from my favourite singers David Bowie, Robert Plant, Ian Gillan, Freddie Mercury, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Doors, Led Zeppelin and others. Two persons changed my life and how I think about music, one is Thom Yorke of Radiohead, whose attitude to music I admire and the other Jeff Buckley who made me start thinking about how I could express myself vocally and what the singing voice was all about.
What is the story behind your ESC song?
The name of the song has double meaning: I have a life and I am alive. People can relate to the lyrics in their own way. Some people think of their kids, some people think of their spouse, some of people that influenced them and some of their parents. The line says “Ég á líf, vegna þín” I have a live/I am alive because of you.
The writers wrote it together while traveling in Ireland. The lyrics are personal and about the life of the writer.
Have you listened to all of this year’s songs?
No, I can’t say I have listened to them yet.
For you, what's the meaning of representing your country through music?
I feel honoured for the nation selecting me for that project and for the songwriters for trusting me for their creation. I know the song means a lot to the songwriters and I will do my best to deliver the story of the song.
Going back in time, which one of your country's songs is your favourite in ESC history and why?
Usually, my favourite song doesn't go through the Icelandic competition. My favourite entry is Minn hinsti dans by Paul Oscar.
What would you like to get out of this experience in May?
I love big stages and productions so I look forward to performing. Also meeting people from all of Europe and working with friends of mine.
What can you tell us about the staging for your performance?
The stage presentation is done in the moment with some ideas before going on stage. But with me on stage will be four backing vocalists, Einar, Hannes, Beggi and Kristjan Gisla. Only Kristjan has sung in the competition before.
Any messages for our readers in Portugal and abroad?
Stay true to yourself.
Interview elaborated by:
- Max Rod (Portugal no ESC represetantive in Malmo)