In just less than a week’s time, on Saturday 7th May in Stockholm, Eurovision royalty Hera Björk (Iceland 2010) will be performing her one-woman show in Stockholm called ‘The Queen of Effing Everything’. You can read all about the show HERE. Hera kindly managed to take some time out of her crazy schedule to have a chat with us about her show, what Eurovision means to her, and
The last time we saw you was last year in Vienna when you were a backing singer for María Olafs. What have you been up to since then?
I want to start by thanking you for this interview and giving me space and attention during these last hectic days before Eurovision – it´s very much appreciated 🙂 And Vienna…. ahhhhh I loved Vienna. Supporting Maria was a great experience and seeing all of your smiling faces after a few years was also a treat. After Vienna, I went back to Santiago in Chile where I lived at that time and started packing and organising for my family to move back to Iceland. Chile was a fantastic experience and quality time for me and my family that we will never forget – beautiful people and amazing nature. When I returned to Iceland, I went back to doing my “same old, same old” – singing, teaching, planning and organising concerts, rehearsing, and between all of this, try to take some quality time with friends and family. December is always a big month and I had my annual concert which was fantastic. Among my sensational guests was the one and only Chiara and she was, of course, fabulous as always. For the past few months, I have been working on my new show and I’m so looking forward to bring it to Stockholm on the 7th of May.
Well… to be able to survive in this business and still be able to get all that you want out of this life, you have to be willing and able to do what’s needed and that includes almost everything. The “Effing” is there because of my granny – blessed be her memory – she would have been furious if I used the “F” word in public. So, Effing it is.
Where did you get the inspiration from to do the show?
My daily life is full of inspiration filled with people I meet, things I see, hear and read about – and things I need to deal with that are both fun and dull. Being a “loving life” kind of a girl, a mother of 2, a wife, a friend, a co-worker, a singer, a planer, a doer, an adventure seeker, an investor, a passionate interior decorator wannabe, a good listener and so on and so forth. All of this gives me plenty of material for this show. Being an artist is a tough job to have, and therefore we almost always have “real” jobs as well. It’s in those jobs that I have learned to do things that I never imagined I would learn and as so many other powerful women, I can call myself “The Queen of Effing Everything”. To be an abnormal thing as a diva one day and a very abnormal person the other is such a crazy combination and just screams for fun and sometimes sad) stuff to happen. I just have to share it with you all 🙂
Some Eurofans may say that they know you pretty well – what surprises do you think the show will have in store for them?
Well…I know stuff that you never could have imagined and I will show off in that department. I love the fact that you know me so well and in the QOFE show we will just get to know each other even better. Hopefully, I’ll get to know you a little bit more as well and that is how I would love our relationship to evolve.
OMFG…who told you? I ABSOLUTELY love gymnastics – a sport involving the performance of exercises requiring strength, flexibility, balance and control. It’s my guilty pleaure. I watch it during The Olympics like my husband watches football. I wake up in the middle of the night to watch and for the rest of the day I walk around like an Olympic Medalist, totally owning it. And I might bust some moves… just “Because I Can”.
Do you have any plans for some musical numbers throughout the show?
Hell yeah! That´s what I do best. I will be performing some of my favourite numbers and those that have played a big role in my life and career. And of course, there will be a nice portion of ESC gems that I adore for different reasons… good and bad.
I’ve also heard you will have some special guests joining you in the show. Can you give us any hints on who they may be?
OMG… who is this bird that´s whispering in your ear? It knows too much 😉 I love guests and there will be some… but I´m not going to reveal just yet. But I can tell you that I adore them, and look forward to introduce them to you all.
If you had to describe the show in three words, what would they be?
FAB – FUN & FIT.
If the show is a success, do you think it’s something you’d like to take forward? Perhaps do other shows elsewhere?
Yes I would love that. This is one way for me to be able to keep working in this business and an opportunity to travel the world and meet wonderful people, see all the stunning places and taste all the yummy food. I’m all for experiencing new things and being born with this madness of feeling like “Honey I´m home” when I´m on stage, it’s best to make the most of it while I can. So YES… you’d better prepare because I am planning to be “coming to a theatre near you soon”… in THX …with added volume in my hair.
My highlight was my own entry in 2010. I had the time of my life. I just feel so blessed and honoured to have been among the fans’ favourite and still being asked to come and perform. It´s such a big project to take on and the team I had was just AMAZING in every way. The love, respect and support was what got us through this adventure with smiles smeared on our faces.
My number 2 highlight would then be Belgrade in 2008. I had a blast and almost partied my pants of with the Euroband. It was like taking a crash course in “How to Prepare for Eurovision: The Do’s & Dont’s”. Obviously, I was the best student that year. In Belgrade I also met for the first time my soon-to-be dear friends and co-writers Christina Schilling & Jonas Gladnikoff. We (+ a few extra gems) ended up working together the following year in the Danish Melody Grand Prix with the song “Someday”. That was the true start of my ESC adventure.
What is the most positive thing that Eurovision has given both you and your career?
The people. I have met so many wonderful human beings through this contest and it has led me to places I never imagined I would go to… like Chile, who would have thought? This path has also thought me a thing or two about myself and has given me the extra push that I sometimes need to keep on going in this business! Even though it seems all fun and fab, it sometimes gets tough and tiring. Way to many payments from gigs come in “exposure” credit that sadly the banks don´t take as valid payment. And so, as a result, way too many of us performers fall off the horse and turn to jobs that pay in real cash. Eurovision is a huge platform that you can work with if you have the stamina and believe in yourself. With Eurovision it’s not about the entry – it’s about the exit. If you believe there is life after Eurovision, there is. And to me, that is the most positive thing Eurovision has given me and my career, along with the people you get to meet.
Do you think the Eurovision chapter in your life is closed, or do you think that there could be more to come in the future?
I don’t think my Eurovision chapter will ever be closed. Eurovision has been a part of my life since I was born and will be with me always. Closed or open – it really doesn’t matter. It´s all about doing what you love and keep paddling:-)
It’s been a few years since the release of your ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ album, and a few years since your last single ‘Because You Can’ – do you have anything else music wise in the pipeline?
Yes, I have a song coming out called “Queen of Effing Everything”…it´s the theme song of the show. Every girl must have a theme song or two. I have released material in Iceland since “Je Ne Sais Quoi”, but this will be the first international release for some time. I hope I’ll be able to do more in the very near future.
What other plans do you have for your time in Stockholm? Are you going to hang around for the Eurovision shows and parties?
I don´t have any other plans, to be honest. I will be staying for only a few days, and I´m leaving the day after my show. So sadly, I don’t think i will be anywhere but at the Playhouse Teater rehearsing and then singing my ass off for you guys and girls.
Have you heard any of the 2016 songs? If so, which ones are your personal favourites?
Yes I have, and I have a few favos. I love love love Croatia, Nina is an amazing singer and I love the song. I also really love France, Iceland, Sweden, Malta, Holland, Poland, Spain… and then some more.
Finally, do you have a message for all of our ESC Bubble readers?
Enjoy ESC 2016, my darlings, and hope to see you in Stockholm at the Playhouse Teater on the 7th of May:-)
Love, Peace & Hairgrease,
The Queen of Fu…(sorry grandma)… Effing Everything.