We met SÓLEY some hours before her show in Leipzig and talked with her about SPOT FESTIVAL, her solo-career, SEABEAR, Iceland and lots of other things. Enjoy!

Photo by Mandy Wagner / Hokus Pokus Design

I saw you on SPOT FESTIVAL last some weeks ago. How did you enjoy it?
Sóley- Yes it was nice. We did a collaboration with DARKNESS FALLS which was very interesting – especially for me because I didn’t know them before. We only rehearsed three days. I flew in three days before the festival and we rehearsed. That was really interesting, but my solo-shows were really nice too. (all in all SÓLEY played three sets at SPOT FESTIVAL). Nice time! But it was not like us deciding to do this, it was some kind of competition and my booker is Danish…so I guess that’s the reason why I ended up in this competition (laughing). Really good, lots of people. Great time.

Since you are by now mainly known for playing in SEABEAR: how would you describe your music to someone who doesn’t know your solo-stuff until now.
Sóley- We were in the van an Rob, the guitar-player in SIN FANG said “if you don’t know it by now you will never ever know” (laughing) No but seriously, I think my solo stuff is mainly based on piano, because there are a lot of piano-layers in there and of course my voice. And then I add some kind of small percussions and organs and stuff. It’s not like a band, it’s my solo-thing – the sound is a little bit smaller compared to SEABEAR.

How came it that you decided to music on your own besides SEABEAR? I mean SEABEAR went really well…

I wasn’t really planning on going solo,
it just kind of happened.

Sóley- Well…I didn’t really decide this. I was touring with SEABEAR and then Thomas Morr – the main guy in my record label Morr Music – sent me an email and asked me if I had some song. I was in the arts-academy studying music composition and I sent him some demos, something I just was playing around with. And four months later I had my EP out. So I wasn’t really planning on going solo, it just kind of happened.

What is your main-thing right now? Still SEABEAR or are you planning a solo-career?
Sóley- Since my album came out last year in September I’m on the road a lot. I’m longing for a break. But yeah in the last months my solo-project has been like my main thing and SEABEAR has been on a break since we toured a lot. We needed a little break. Now I have got plans until September, then I go to Iceland to work in a theater – I’ll make music in a theater. You know how life is…you never know what happens. I want to relax a little bit and write my new album, because while I’m on the road it is really hard to be creative. The album shall be out next year or if everything fails at the beginning of the year after. That’s my next goal, to start the work on my new album.

And what about SEABEAR? Are there also plans?
Sóley- Well…we’re still on a break. Sindri is also doing his SIN FANG stuff… All of the others do their own stuff, too. Some go on tour with SIGUR RÓS in July – and this will surely last for two years. And everyone else has their own art-projects like visual or music or so. Everyone is doing their own stuff right now and we just have to see what happens.

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Photo by Mandy Wagner / Hokus Pokus Design

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That’s a question I wanted to ask you anyway. Iceland is so small and it has such an enormous creative output. How is this possible? You seem to network a lot and everyone helps everyone…
Sóley- How can it be? Yeah… for the music scene it is pretty easy to tell. There are many bands and many musicians coming from Iceland, but most play in three or four different bands. So there might be many bands, but the people who are in the scene are not that many. We are just like a big family. People like to ask questions to the Icelandic sound and why it is like this. I think the reason is if you’re in three bands you definitely don’t want to do two similar things. We don’t have this kind of thing which happens in Europe or in the UK – we all want to do our very own, unique thing. In other countries bands get really famous and then everyone follows. This doesn’t happen in Iceland. I think everyone wants to find his or her own unique path in the creative scene.

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Your lyrics are often really dark and sad. What inspires you when you write lyrics? You don’t seem to be a very depressive person…
Sóley- Mostly from here. (laughing and pointing on her forehead) When I was starting my solo-project I was still in the art-academy studying composition and I was trying to find my way there. Like what sounds come from myself. There I started with all the piano compositions – I’m playing piano since I was young. So I started a lot of piano and pitched it up and down and that made a little bit of dark-horror-piano-play. So when I did the pop-versions of these songs, it just fitted to try out some dark lyrics. In the art-academy we composed mainly instrumental songs. It would be weird to sing very happy songs about the summer or something…

Yeah who does it?
Sóley- Yeah – who does it? (laughing) I mean I like happy songs, but I like that I have found a way to express myself. I’m definitely not very depressive at all. It’s so funny (laughing) because people might think “aaah what a poor girl.” I think it’s really funny, because when I do the music I’m not myself. I try to go somewhere else. I wanted to try that and it kind of worked out. I didn’t really wanted to talk about my life and what I’m doing. So it’s good to have a second SÓLEY somewhere else.

What are your influences or who influenced you most? Or do you just listen inside yourself…
Sóley- Probably both. I listen to a lot of music. But when I need inspiration for lyrics I read a lot of poems. I also like poems because they are short (laughing) When I’m trying to read a book mostly I have to go away like “ah I have to organize tomorrow” – So poems are short and nice. There was a Icelandic poet David Stefánsson and he wrote very very dark and horrible poems. But also Edgar Allan Poe…

I just thought of the poem by Lee Hazlewood – “At The Top Of The World…” – that AMIINA used in a song…
Sóley- Yeah they made a 7″ or something. SIN FANG’s drummer is also the drummer of AMIINA. As I said Iceland is really small.

Last question: what do hope and passion mean to you?

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Sóley- Well…passion…I guess music is passion for me. I would say just music and life. Really positive. I think everyone should be positive and everyone should enjoy life as much as they can. And I hope that someday everyone can have a good life, because not everyone has a good life on this world…

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I think everyone should be positive and everyone should enjoy life

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SÓLEY
[one_half last=”no”]singer-songwriter

from Reykjavík / Iceland

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