MAIAA: “I started singing before I started talking”

The Icelandic national selection for Eurovision Song Contest 2024, Söngvakeppnin continues with the second semi-final this Saturday, 24th of February. It will feature the performances of the remaining 5 acts. The two who score the best results will advance to the final. We had a chance to talk with the young artist María Agnesardóttir who goes by MAIAA and she will be performing the song “Fljúga burt”. Find out what she told us below

Hello MAIAA, first of all I would like to congratulate you for being among the artists who compete at Söngvakeppnin 2024! What made you decide to take part at Söngvakeppnin?
Thank you so much! taking part in söngvakeppnin has been a dream of mine since I was about 6 years old. When I released my first song Sober last year I realized that söngvakeppnin would be a great place to start and get my name out there!

Can you tell us a bit about your musical beginnings? When did you start singing and what were the songs you enjoyed performing the most?
You could say I started singing before I started talking (according to my family). Nothing was more fun than putting a CD in my pink CD player/radio and reading the lyrics and singing with the artist.

I was really obsessed with Disney channel at one point so most of my singing involved Selena Gomez, Hannah Montana etc. I enjoyed pretending I was taking part in some talent show and got “discovered” from that performance, haha! The songs were either disney channel related or Icelandic pop music

You rose to fame for Icelandic audience after you took part at Iceland Got Talent in 2015 and 2016 once with your grandfather and once as a soloist for whom a golden buzzer was pressed by Agusta Eva. How was that experience and do you think it helped you to prepare yourself for the bigger audience?
That experience was great, it was quite overwhelming but I really learned a lot from that show,  especially the live performance. That experience will help me in söngvakeppnin in the sense that practice is everything, and I have been practicing the song everyday for months now.

How did “ Fljúga burt“/”Break Away” came to life and what does it mean for you?
The song is written by Baldvin Hlynsson, who I’ve been working with for almost two years. The song was pretty much finished in regards to the melody in the verse and chorus. We just had to figure out the lyrics, the vibe and the bridge. We spent so many hours in the studio trying to perfect the lyrics because we wanted the song to tell a story, not just the lyrics but also the song itself.

The song means a lot to us Baldvin because we can both relate to it and we based it on real situations from both of our lives.

What can we expect from your performance? Can you share with us any details of it?
I would describe it as beautiful. I’m wearing all white with lots of lights around me helping me to tell the story. It will be emotional and hopefully I won’t fall 😀

You recently released a video for “ Fljúga burt” is that the official music video? How was it to record it?
The video is really just a concept video for the competition and I haven’t really decided if I want to do an official music video (maybe if I win). It was recorded in an abandoned house so it was quite literally freezing in there and couldn’t feel my fingers for about 2 hours afterwards

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 2024?
I will perform the English version in the finals. We wrote the song in English and found out at the last minute that we have to submit an Icelandic version too. I prefer the English version because i’m only releasing English songs at the moment. However, I’ve grown quite fond of the Icelandic version, the lyrics are really beautiful.

Do you watch Eurovision regularly, if so would you like to share a memory which you have of it?
Yes, I’ve loved Eurovision since I was a kid and fell in love with so many Icelandic performers that way. Jóhanna Guðrún and Silvia Night really stood out for me and when I was little I would steal my grandfather’s phone and vote way too many times giving my grandfather a hefty bill. I think I single handedly got them into Eurovision with all the votes i casted. The last few years I’ve been hosting little Eurovision nights with my friends and those memories are really dear to me. in short yes I looove Eurovision.

What’s your favourite Eurovision song?
I watch Eurovision every year, it’s my favorite thing to look forward to. My favorite memory is probably when Finland won in 2006 with hard rock hallelujah. I was 6 years old at the time and loved the song yet terrified of them.

What do you do when you aren’t singing? Any hobbies?
I just graduated with a bachelor degree in psychology from the university of Iceland so I’ve never had time for anything but school the last couple of years. Now that I’m graduated I’ll try to find some new hobbies maybe hahaha! But singing, writing and playing the guitar has been my one and only hobby for a really long time

With which artist would you like to record a duet?
John Mayer hands down.

What are your plans after Söngvakeppnin 2024?
I’m releasing an EP album later this year, but the first single of the album called “The problem is you” will be released on the 14th of March so stay tuned for that!

Thank you so much for your time MAIAA. We wish you the best of luck at Söngvakeppnin 2024. Do you want to share something else or you maybe have a message for readers of escbubble?
Can’t wait to show you guys my performance, the outfit, my voice and staging. There is so much that goes into these shows and i wish all the other contestants good luck <3

You can listen to “Fljúga burt” by MAIAA below:

Let as know how do you rate “Fljúga burt” and leave your impressions about it in the comments and at our social media @escbubble

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