Interview with Greta Salóme & Jónsi from Iceland
Iceland are represented in Baku by Greta Salóme, a multi talented singer/songwriter and Jónsi, who himself returns to the Eurovision Song Contest stage eight years after representing his country in 2004 in Istanbul.
Greta Salóme Stefánsdóttir was born in 1986. Music runs in the family as her mother Kristin Lilliendahl made some records in her teens, and her grandfather Karl Lilliendahl was a guitarist and renowned bandleader. Greta began her violin studies in 1991 when she was only four years old and has never looked back. At thirteen she entered Reykjavik College of Music. In the autumn of 2004 she was accepted into the Iceland Academy of Arts, where she continued her studies. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in 2008. Currently she's working on her master's degree at the Iceland Academy of Arts and is studying advanced vocal technique called Complete Vocal.
She is a professional musician and has a position as a violinist in the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. She regularly performs with classical and pop music ensembles, has made several radio and TV appearances and is a busy studio musician. In 2011,Greta Salóme had another song ready in her mind. This was Mundu Eftir Mér which she and Jónsi finished recording early last summer. When hearing the song a colleague urged Greta Salóme to try for the Söngvakeppni Sjonvarpsins, Icelandic selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest. She took his advice and actually ended up having two songs in the final.
Jónsi, or to quote his full name, Jón Jósep Snaebjörnsson was born in 1977 in Akureyri the biggest town in northern Iceland. He started singing at an early age and took part in a national college song contest before moving to Reykjavik in 1997. Two years later he joined the soul orientated pop group 'Í Svörtum Fötum' who dressed in black suits and white shirts and started his singing and songwriting career. The group had already abandoned the Blues Brothers image when they released their first self financed album in 2000. They made three successful albums and after a year long break released a "Best Of" album in 2009. The band is currently active touring Iceland. Jónsi starred as Danny with Iceland's 2003 Eurovision entrant Birgitta Haukdal as Sandy in the musical Grease in 2003 and other musicals followed during the next years.
In 2004, Sveinn Runar Sigurdsson, the composer of Heaven asked Jónsi to perform the song in the Eurovision Song Contest 2004 in Istanbul. Jónsi made his first self titled and critically acclaimed solo album in 2005. Over the last few years he has had some TV experience acting in shows and films along with hosting the Icelandic version of Singing Bee and presenting the youth sports programme Skolahreysti. Jónsi is married with two children and lives with his family in Reykjavík.
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