Kristin: “I started writing songs when I was 12 just as a form of expression.”

The second semi-final of Icelandic national selection for Eurovision 2023, Söngvakeppnin is taking place this Saturday 25th of February. A total of 5 acts will be competing for two tickets for the grand final of the show. One of them is Kristin Sesselja, an Icelandic singer who cooperated with contestant of MGP 2023, Tiril in creation of her song “Óbyggðir”/”Terrified” .

Hello Kristin, first of all I would like to congratulate you for being among the artists who compete at Söngvakeppnin 2023! What made you decide to take part at Söngvakeppnin?
Thank you! I’ve always loved Eurovision and always had it in the back of my mind to send in a song. This year I’ve been writing a lot and that’s why I decided to do it this year.

Can you tell us a bit about your musical beginnings?
I started writing songs when I was 12 just as a form of expression. I was a really angsty and emotional teenager and needed to express myself. I was also a hopeless romantic with a million crushes and wanted to be like Taylor Swift. I started performing as soon as I started writing and mostly performed my own songs.

In 2021 you were nominated for the Newcomer artist of the year. How did that feel?
It felt really validating, I actually got nominated twice and won one if the awards! It was such an honour, especially since it was a fan voted award and I was really grateful and proud.

Can you tell us a bit about “Óbyggðir”/”Terrified” and what does it mean for you?
It’s a song I wrote about heartbreak, and that first feeling when you get broken up with and you’re so terrified of what’s going to happen next. The future feels uncertain and it can be so scary. But the only thing you can really do is keep moving forward. It’s a deeply personal song but I think it’s something everyone can relate to.

On the creation of the song as well as the English lyrics of it you cooperated with Tiril who competed at MGP 2023. How did that cooperation start and how was the process?
I met Tiril in a songwriting camp and we clicked right away. So when I decided that I wanted to send in a song to the contest I decided to text her and my producer/writer friend Vetle and we got into the studio together to write the song. We freestyled some melodies and then me and Tiril got deep and personal about what I wanted to write about. It was such a fun day.

What can we expect from your performance? Can you share with us any details of it?
The performance is beautiful in my opinion, not to flashy to really let the song and the lyrics shine.

In case you qualify to the final of Söngvakeppnin will you perform the English or Icelandic version of the song and which one would you rather choose to perform at Eurovision in the case you win Söngvakeppnin 2023?
I would perform the song in English. I originally wrote it that way and I would want the message of the song to reach as many people as possible.

Do you watch Eurovision regularly, if so would you like to share a memory which you have of it or a favourite song from the contest?
I always watch Eurovision! I love it. My favorite year was probably 2021 because I had a watching party with my friend who is a HUGE Eurovision fan and it was so fun because we were so enthusiastic. It was also a year where Iceland landed in fourth place so it was so fun to see Iceland doing so well!

Which of the artists would you like to do a duet with?
I would love to work with S10 from last year, I think we have similar vibes. Out of the contestants in the Icelandic competition I actually worked with a few of them before, me and Benedikt wrote some songs together including one that we sent into the competition where Kjalar actually sang backing vocals!

What do you do when you aren’t singing? Any hobbies?

I love cooking, I’m quite good at it! I love food in general but I’m also a big crochet fan and crochet a lot!

What are your plans after
Söngvakeppnin 2023?
I have an EP that’s ready to go so the plan is to release a lot more music and perform it live!

Thank you so much for your time
Kristin. We wish you the best of luck at Söngvakeppnin 2023. Do you want to share something else or you maybe have a message for readers of escbubble?
Thank you! And thanks to the readers for listening to my song Óbyggðir/Terrified, I hope you will enjoy my performance <3

You can listen to “Óbyggðir” by Kristin Sesselja below:

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