Rúnar Eff Rúnarsson: ”I never really felt I had the right song, until now”

Rúnar Eff Rúnarsson, from Iceland, will participate in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision 2017, with his song ”Mér við hlið (Make Your Way Back Home)”. He will compete, alongside 11 other acts, with the hope of obtaining the golden ticket to represent his country in Kyiv, at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. He took the time to talk to ESCBubble about his song and his participation in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision:

What was your first reaction when you were told that you would compete in the Icelandic?

Surprised and happy, to me it’s a great honor to participate and to have one of the 12 songs out of the 200-300 songs that where sent in is a great feeling.

Why did you decide to enter the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision this year with your song ‘’Mér við hlið (Make Your Way Back Home)’’?

It was actually a last minute decision, I have been asked a couple of times to sing for other songwriters and even sent in a song myself before, but I never really felt I had the right song, until now 🙂

How would you describe your song in a few words? Is there message behind your song?

I would say  that it is a current mixture of a ballad and a popsong, it’s soft but powerful, at same time. The song was written for my girlfriend, when she went on a short vacation to her hometown, and is basically, about how boring my life would be with out her. 🙂

Could you tell us a bit more about yourself and your musical career?            

I have been working as a musician for about 10 years now, playing all kinds of gigs, big and small venues. I do a lot of gigs alone with the guitar as well as performing with a band. I have released two studio albums “Farg” and “Knee deep” which are both quite different to the style of this song.

Do you have other plans for 2017?

Yes that’s all in progress now, most likely I will be playing a bit in Europe and offcourse here at home. I also have an exciting offer from Texas USA I am looking into. 

Do you have any goals for the national final this year?

No not really, I’m just happy to be a part of it, but I will of course do my best to go all the way to Ukraine. 🙂

What would it mean for you to get the chance to represent your country in Kyiv?

Wow that would mean the world to me, not only is this a huge platform to show your music to the rest of Europe, but it would mean so much to me that a lot of people in Iceland have picked my music to represent the country. It would be huge honor and make me very proud. 

Are you a Eurovision fan? What are your favourite Eurovision songs?

Yes I watch the contest every year and have done that since 1986, usually we have a party with some friends and family where we rate all the songs. My favorite song is “Hold me now” by Johnny Logan which represented Ireland in 1987. Iceland’s entry in 1986 “Gleðibankinn” is a strong memory for me aswell. And then I loved “Sjonni´s friends – Coming home”, they’re all my friends so it was very special to see them on that stage.

What do you think of the previous Icelandic participants in Eurovision?

I think we have sent many very good acts, “Jóhanna Guðrún” was amazing when she ended up in 2nd place. 

Do you have any special ideas (ex: dancers, choreography…) for your live performance during the national selection?

That has not been decided yet, but it will be something that suits the song, nothing over the top. 

Do you have musical inspirations?

Yes for sure, but I listen to all kinds of music. I am a huge Elvis fan, I have loved the rock band Kiss since I was a kid. But right now i am listening a lot to James Bay and Chris Stapleton.

What would you like to say to your fans who are going to support during the national selection?

Just to enjoy the contest, this year has a lot of great entries and it will for sure be a great night. And if you like my song “vote vote vote” 🙂

Fun Facts about Rúnar Eff Rúnarsson:

What is your favourite…? 

  • Song : Scars by James Bay
  • Book : Elvis Presley Biography
  • Artist : Chris Stapleton
  • Movie : Robin Hood men in tights
  • Sport : Ice Hockey
  • Dish : Anything my mom and dad cook

We would like to thank Rúnar Eff Rúnarsson for taking the time to do this interview and we would also like to wish him the best of luck for the national selection. Until then, you can listen to his song ”Make your way back home”:


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