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Get to know Svala Björgvinsdóttir from Iceland

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE ARTIST

Svala Björgvinsdóttir (born 8 February 1977), sometimes known as simply Svala, Svala Björgvins, or Kali, is an Icelandic singer and songwriter. She is most notable for her 2001 song, “The Real Me”, from the album with the same title. She took up the stage name, “Kali”, after joining the house band Steed Lord. She will represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 in Kiev.

Svala is the daughter of Icelandic singer Björgvin Halldórsson. She started singing and recording at a very early age. Her first recording came out when she was 7 years old, when she sang backup on one of her father’s albums. She had her first number one hit in Iceland when she was 9 years old, when she sang a Christmas duet with her father called “Fyrir Jól”. Her second number one hit came out when she was 11 years old, with another Christmas hit called “Ég hlakka svo til”. She would also be known for more Christmas songs that became hits in Iceland. Svala studied ballet for 7 years with the Icelandic National Theatre Ballet. While studying ballet she was also writing music with her high school band. When Svala was 16 years old she formed the band Scope with two Icelandic DJs and a producer. Their music was very influenced by UK house and disco. Svala and Scope released a cover of the song “Was That All It Was” in the mid 90s which became a dance anthem and a number 1 hit in Iceland. Svala was quickly signed to one of the biggest record labels in Iceland Skifan Records and after releasing a few songs with Scope, Svala left to join the Icelandic indie dance funk band Bubbleflies. She wrote a few songs with Bubbleflies and toured all over Iceland performing originals and soul and funk cover songs by Stevie Wonder and Sly and The Family Stone and also releasing a few songs like “I Betcha” which charted on Icelandic radio.

When Svala was 18 years old she started writing and recording with the Scottish producer Ian Morrow. She was attending college in Iceland but was traveling back and forth to London and Glasgow to write and record music for her debut solo album. In 1999, Svala signed a six-album deal with EMI and Priority Records in North America. The record deal was one of the biggest deals ever made with an Icelandic recording artist. After signing she moved to Los Angeles in 2000 and started writing with some of the biggest hit-makers in the music business at that time. Her debut album The Real Me was released in the fall of 2001 with the title single “The Real Me” which charted on the Billboard top 40 singles chart. After 9/11 happened Priority Records struggled to stay alive and in 2002 Priority Records was bought by Capitol Records and Svala and all the other artists on the label transferred over to Capitol Records. After Svala left Priority Records her album The Real Me became a platinum selling album in Iceland and was also very well received in Germany, Spain and Japan. The singer returned to Iceland and started writing and recording for her next solo album The Bird Of Freedom which was released in 2005. It was produced by Svala herself and her father Bo Halldorsson. Svala co-wrote with songwriters from the UK, Scotland and Germany. The album went Gold in Iceland and gave Svala the opportunity to show her writing and producing skills.

On February 8, 2006, Svala and her now husband Einar “Mega” Egilsson and younger brother Edvard “Eddie” Egilsson formed the electronic band Steed Lord. A few months later their middle brother Elli Egilsson joined the band as AC Bananas. After a few shows in Iceland and with major buzz on MySpace, Steed Lord quickly became a success in their home country Iceland and abroad. Before they knew it, Steed Lord was touring all over the world and being featured on high-profile blogs, magazines, college radio and mixtapes by big DJs in the US. Recognized for their soulful-beat-heavy dance music and very fashionable style, Steed Lord joined the nu-rave wave. They started to tour more and were remixed by giants in the EDM world like Crookers, DJ Mehdi and Jack Beats. In 2006 Steed Lord became WeSC Activists, joining the Swedish clothing brand for all their campaigns. In 2007 they were approached by H&M to design a clothing line which was sold in 52 stores in over 100 countries around the world. On April 9, 2008, the band was on their way to the airport in Iceland to go tour in Scandinavia when they had an almost fatal car crash on the icy road in Iceland. Svala’s father in-law was driving the car when another car from the opposite direction lost control and hit them straight on in a head-on collision. Svala, Eddie and Elli suffered broken bones and serious internal injuries, but Einar was injured the worst and had to have three life-saving surgeries. He was in the hospital for four months recovering.

After recovering from the accident Steed Lord joined Chromeo on their US tour. Svala and Steed Lord moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2009, and in early 2010 Elli left the group to pursue his career in visual arts. Since moving to the US, Steed Lord has achieved more success in the US market with their DIY project after winning a few awards for their music and visual achievements. Their music has been featured numerous times on TV shows such as So You Think You Can Dance and Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Now described as a music and visual art collective, Steed Lord has gained more and more interest from the art world with their own unique and self-directed music videos and art films and other interesting project based concepts. Recently Steed Lord has been hired by brands and companies such as The Standard Hotel and Universal Music Australia to direct and style music videos and brand based content. In early 2016 Svala formed the duo Blissful with her husband Einar Egilsson and later in 2016 they released their first single “Elevate” which has gotten over 230 thousand plays on Spotify. On 11 March 2017, she won the Icelandic national selection.[2] of Eurovision in Iceland with overwhelming majority of the votes and it was announced that Svala is going to represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.[1] She will be competing in the Eurovision semifinals on May 9th with her song “Paper” which she wrote with Einar Egilsson, Lester Mendez and Lily Elise. She will be the 13th contestant on stage.

In 2012, Svala released her debut clothing line Kali which was sold exclusively on the webshop Lastashop. Svala who is known as Kali in the band Steed Lord is considered an influential fashion icon not only in her home country Iceland but also by her fans around the world. With countless magazine covers and headlining concerts Kali is getting recognized worldwide by her talent and impeccable style. Svala married her high school sweetheart Einar Egilsson on July 27, 2013, in Iceland. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California in the United States. In 2015 Svala joined the franchise “The Voice” in Iceland as one of the four judges. Sixty singers were selected to participate in the Icelandic version of the show, which was aired in the autumn of 2015. The Voice is one of the most popular talent competitions in the world, with over 500 million viewers, and the first edition of the Iceland version of the franchise was said to have been watched by 30% of the population. (source: www.wikipedia.org)

LYRICS

You’re under the water
Trying to pull me under
I reach for you
I reach for you

You can throw it all at me, I won’t give you up
I can handle all your pain, take it as it comes
I love you right, but you make me feel like

Paper, you cut right through
I’m stuck like glue to you
Paper, your darkness pulls
I lose control again

Drawing every bit of my truth
Colour me in with your blue
Paper, you cut right through
A thousand words for you

I know I wasn’t a part of you plan
I know you think that you’re being a man
Tell me to leave you alone
Tell me I would be so better off
But you don’t understand

I canʼt leave you, baby
I can’t leave you
But you make me feel like

Paper, you cut right through
I’m stuck like glue to you
Paper, your darkness pulls
I lose control again

Drawing every bit of my truth
Colour me in with your blue
Paper, you cut right through
A thousand words for you

Paper, you cut right through
I’m stuck like glue to you
Paper, your darkness pulls
I lose control again

Drawing every bit of my truth
Colour me in with your blue
Paper, you cut right through
A thousand words for you

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