Linda Hartmanns, from Iceland, will participate in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision 2017, with her song ”Ástfangin (Obvious Love)”. She will compete alongside 9 other artists with the hope of obtaining the golden ticket to represent her country in Kyiv, at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017. She took the time to talk to ESCBubble about her song and her participation in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision:
What was your first reaction when you were told that you would compete in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision 2017?
I mean, of course I really hoped to get in the competition, but I actually just sent my song in the competition and tried to forget about it. Then this one evening when I was doing my first tarot card reading at this wonderful family friend’s house, and while he was telling me that the year 2017 was going to be MY YEAR, my phone started ringing. It was a man calling to tell me that I had gotten into the competition. I could hardly believe it, and I’m still wrapping my head around it. At that moment I thought; From now on I’m not only a singer, but a song writer as well.
Why did you decide to enter the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision this year with your song ‘’Ástfangin (Obvious Love)’’?
Mainly because it’s such a big song contest and everyone knows it, and the reason everyone knows it is because it’s a very good contest and a great show for everyone to watch. I’ve always watched Eurovision and dreamt of being on that big stage in front of that big audience and when I had written this song, Obvious love, I felt that it was special and different from the songs I’d been writing before, which led me to enter it in this big song contest.
How would you describe your song in a few words? Is there message behind your song?
My song is a slow ballad with a big build up and a flood of feelings. The message is that no matter how afraid of your feelings you are, don’t let the opportunities get away because of them. Always follow your heart.
Could you tell us a bit more about yourself and your musical career?
I have been singing since before I could speak, according to my mom 😉 I grew up in a christian environment and sang a lot in church. I learned to play the piano from 9 years of age, after I moved back to Iceland from South-Africa, but I lived there for 5 years. At the same age I joined a choir which gave me the good ear for music I have today 🙂 I studied jazz singing in one of the best musical schools in Iceland, Tónlistarskóli FÍH, for 3 years. In 2010 I joined an all-girl band called Elektra and we gave out a single and a music video for it which became very popular. The name of the song is “I don’t do boys”. We also went on a tour in Iceland in 2010 with another band called Dalton along with playing in Norway for about 3.000 people – that was awesome!
The band broke up about a year later, but we’ve all been making our own music careers and we still keep in touch. In May 2016 I joined a reggae band called Lefty Hooks & The Right Thingz and we’re still going on strong. We are now recording our original songs and playing at festivals like Secret Solstice and Airwaves for example, which are the biggest musical festivals here in Iceland. I started writing songs in 2007 but stopped for a few years, mainly because I started a family, had 3 kids, but in 2016 I started writing songs again and it’s been going well, and much better, since before. It’s different for me to write songs now that I’ve become a mother. I tap into all these unknown emotions and get deeper understanding and insight which helps me go deeper when I’m writing my songs, and especially my lyrics.
Do you have other plans for 2017?
Yes, I have plans with my reggae band, f.x. we’ll be playing at Secret Solstice again this year and hopefully finish our album soon and release it. The plans I have for myself are pretty similar. I will hopefully get to play at music festivals this year with another put together band, and with my own songs, as I have written quite a few. I will record an album as well and definitely record more music videos, I really enjoyed recording the one I did for my Eurovision song, which was my first music video.
Do you have any goals for the national final this year?
Only to win! I’m going to put on the best performance of my life so it will be an unforgettable experience, whether I make it to Kiev or not. At the same time I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself so I’ll just enjoy myself as much as I can on stage here in Iceland – on the 4th of March! 🙂
What would it mean for you to get the chance to represent your country in Kyiv?
It would mean the world to me! I would appreciate it so much and I am doing everything I can to represent myself here in Iceland. I really believe I have what it takes to represent Iceland and I’m going to prove it.
Are you a Eurovision fan? What are your favourite Eurovision songs?
Yes, I always watch Eurovision! My favorite songs are Euphoria, Heroes and Tonight Again (difficult to choose only one).
What do you think of the previous Icelandic participants in Eurovision?
Well, a lot of them have been very good. You can say that I’ve been inspired by some previous Icelandic performers. For example, Jóhanna Guðrún, which sang ,,Is it true?” participated in 2009 and did such a good job. She inspired me, especially because we’re almost the same age and I know her a little. It gave me the influence I needed to write songs and take part in the competition myself.
Do you have any special ideas (ex: dancers, choreography…) for your live performance during the national selection?
Yes, I know pretty much how I’m going to perform, and I’m really excited to show you. I’ll have 5 members with me on the stage, but I won’t say more… for now.
Do you have musical inspirations?
Yes, I do. I looooove soul singers, singers that sing with so much heart and feeling that you get lost in the song. A few of my favorite are Amos Lee, Gavin Games, James Arthur, Whitney Houston, John Mayer and many more.
What would you like to say to your fans who are going to support during the national selection?
My dearest fans. I thank you so much for all your support during my time in the semi-finals of the Eurovision song contest in Iceland. I am so grateful for this time in my life and I really don’t think you understand how much this means to me. Sometimes when I’m reading comments from fans, I get all teared up of joy and inspiration. I promise you that this is only the beginning for me, I am nowhere nearly done – you’ll hear a lot more of my originals after the Eurovision song contest 2017!
We would like to thank Linda for taking the time to do this interview and wish her the best of luck for the national selection.