INTERVIEW: Iceland’s Daði Freyr talks new single “Where We Wanna Be” and the viral success of “Think About Things”

Crazy dance-moves, signature mint-green sweaters and nothing but positive vibes: we are sure you’ve all guessed who we’ve just described. Daði Freyr and his band Gagnamagnið shook things up with their viral hit “Think About Things” which they were about to represent Iceland with at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest.

However, while things became quite tough with coronavirus, the Icelandic singer, who would describe his own music as “synth-heavy, feel-good, alternative dance-pop”, still hasn’t stopped working – he has delivered his new single “Where We Wanna Be”, which came hot on the tails of his Eurovision entry. With the release, Daði Freyr proves that he is here to stay, with the infectious groove and playful melody.

‘This song is about having people in your life that you love when faced with difficult times. Trying to make the best out of it and staying positive. I wrote this song in Berlin while there was a 2 person maximum, so me, my wife and our daughter didn’t get a chance to meet anybody else. Then it’s really important that you love the people you have around you.”

After we all have found the song which we want to listen to all day during the lockdown, thanks to the 27-years-old talent, we asked him about the production of his latest track.

“I wrote “Where We Wanna Be” from start to finish in my home studio in Berlin when there was a 2-person maximum in Germany. Spending so much time without meeting any new people can be tough, so I was really lucky to be stuck with my two favourite people in the world: my wife Árný and our daughter.”

“Think About Things”, the song which he was about to bring to Rotterdam for the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 with Gagnamagnið, quickly went viral, and its video has been now viewed over 11 million times, picking up celebrity fans like James Corden, Russell Crowe or P!nk. With the hit, Iceland also became a big fan favourite to win at this year’s Eurovision. We asked Daði why he thinks his song was so successful.

“It has a positive vibe, there’s a dance for it that most people can do, the video was well thought out and I genuinely think it’s a fun song to listen to. But something happens on the stage at Eurovision, and I don’t know what would have happened there, what the other acts would have looked like. For me, I think, Australia would be the ESC-winner this year. I like the song and the staging Montaigne did for “Don’t Break Me”.”

We all fell in love with their signature dance moves, so just a month ago, the Icelandic singer invited fans around the world to join him in a #danceaboutthings with the chance to appear in an official fan compilation video. The fan video is now available to watch.

“The dance was created for Eurovision. I wanted people to be able to dance it kind of easily, but not so much that you would just be able to dance it after seeing the performance once. The challenge came after I saw so many people recreating our dance online, and I wanted to make a compilation.”

There is one more thing that we can immediately connect to Daði and Gagnamagnið’s name – and it’s their sassy, mint green sweater with their pixel versions on it. The singer told us what was the inspiration behind it.

“In 2017, Gagnamagnið and I competed in Söngvakeppnin, the Icelandic national selection show for Eurovision. As you are not allowed to plug in any instruments in Eurovision, cause all instruments must be on playback, we decided to play around with the idea and created the fake electronic instrument keytar thingies. From that came the whole computer aesthetic for Gagnamagnið and the sweaters were a no-brainer at that point.”

So, we hear you ask if he would like to represent Iceland at Eurovision next year – here’s the answer.

I would like to experience the party that Eurovision is with my friends in Gagnamagnið, so I would be willing to go again.

Daði & Gagnamagnið consists of siblings Daði Freyr Pétursson and Sigrún Birna Pétursdóttir, Daði’s wife Árny Fjóla Ásmundsdóttir and their friends Hulda Kristín Kolbrúnardóttir, Stefán Hannesson and Jóhann Sigurdur Jóhannson. It seems like music stays in the family, so we were eager to know if Daði would like his daughter Áróra to follow in his daddy’s footsteps.

“I want her to do exactly what she wants to do. I mostly work on music alone in my studio – Gagnamagnið is a fictional band, and we don’t actually write music together. Both of my sisters and my wife did backing vocals for the recording though. Árný is my filter, I run everything through her first, and she gives me feedback, which is very important to my creations.”

If he wasn’t a singer-songwriter, Daði would still be doing something very interesting, he told us.

“I’m pretty sure I would be working in visual art. I am very interested in CGI and animation, so probably something within that field.”

We also asked the Icelandic singer where he sees himself in 5 year’s time, and he said, he just wants to be “happy”.

Have you heard about Netflix’s upcoming Eurovision movie, starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams as Icelandic singers? If you can’t wait to see the movie, we have some great news for you: Daði has just released a “Volcano Man” cover, and you can watch it below.

You can follow Daði Freyr on his social media here:

What do you think about Daði Freyr’s new single “Where We Wanna Be”? Make sure to let us know your thoughts on Twitter @CelebMix!

Written by Alexandra Nagy

I'm Alexandra from Hungary, now living in the UK, and writing is not just my hobby - it's my passion. I'm a writer/journalist addicted to music, travelling, football, movies & books, proudly supporting Derby County Football Club.
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