Daði Freyr sat down with Eurovoxx’s Andy for an interview, following his rehearsal with his group Gagnamagnið for “10 Years”, the Icelandic entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2021. The conversation touched on Daði’s impression of the rehearsal, the creative process behind the group, and the international success they’re already experiencing.
“We had to make some tweaks”, Daði said regarding the rehearsal, “but it was minor things”. He gives as an example the short time they had for moving from one part of the stage to the other, which forced them to stop and stand in the middle. Other than those small changes, all the group members had a positive outlook on their performance: “I think all of us were thinking the same thing – that it felt weirdly normal to go on the stage and perform it there”, Daði noted. “It didn’t feel as overwhelming as we were kind of anticipating, even though it’s like the craziest stage I’ve ever seen”.
Daði also gave us a peek into the creation of Gagnamagnið, as well as the group’s purpose and dynamic. “I put the group together in 2017, when we first competed in the Icelandic pre-competition”, he explained, “because you can have six people onstage, then obviously I’m gonna get five of my friends to be on the stage with me”. He clarified that Gagnamagnið are not an actual full-time band but, as he describes it, “a Eurovision performance group/band/powerhouse”, of which he is the main mastermind. “I run everything through the band and it’s all a group effort in some ways, but most of it originates from me”.
The conversation further touched on the success Daði og Gagnamagnið had over the past year with “Think About Things”, their inteded 2020 entry. Both Daði and Andy agreed the song found its greatest recognition in the UK, where it garnered airplay and appeared in the TV contest Strictly Come Dancing. “The UK has been the most embracing out of all the countries”, Daði decisively noted, while also mentioning his planned tour dates in the country later this year and in 2022. Go grab your tickets!
Daði og Gagnamagnið are already succeeding at this year’s contest as well, as “10 Years” qualified from its semi-final on Thursday. Yet it was a bittersweet achievement, as member Jóhann Sigurður tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. The rest of the group decided they will not perform without him, and instead used a recording from their second rehearsal. They’re unlikely to perform at today’s final either, yet by all accounts, their chances of a strong finish are still high. We wish Jóhann, Daði and all of Gagnamagnið a safe and speedy return to live performances.
So what do you think? Can Daði og Gagnamagnið be the first Eurovision winners not to be present when they win? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!