By Abbie Gobeli
Iceland Music Export was formed in November 2006 to provide a gateway for artists to send their music out to the rest of the globe and for new, eager listeners to hear the sound of Iceland. During my adventures abroad in Iceland, I was lucky enough to catch up with Sigtryggur Baldursson, Managing Director of IMX to discover what Icelandic music has to offer.
What Icelandic groups are essential to the Iceland music scene?
That is a good question. I don’t want to make that call. I have to be pretty diplomatic about this. There are many bands that have done well outside our market. You probably know must of them; The Sugarcubes, Bjork, Sigur Rós, and Of Monsters and Men. There are loads of others I’m sure you’ll hear of soon.
Why is it important for the world to hear Icelandic music?
Iceland is a small market and it’s great for other Icelandic artists to have access to bigger markets.
What is unique about Icelandic live music compared to other countries?
For me, it’s hard to answer. It’s very varied, there’s techno like Gús Gús and Of Monsters of Men, which is a seven-piece band with guitar and accordion. It’s hard to pin down one thing that stands out.
How do musical artists in Iceland usually get their start?
That’s one of the funny things about the market here. One of the reasons we seem to produce so much music is what I call the DIY factor. This homegrown effect empowers a lot of musicians to go make their music.
Find IMX online at http://www.icelandmusic.is/
Sóley - Smashed Birds (touring with Of Monsters and Men in the US)
Múm - Green Grass of a Tunnel
Human Woman - It’s Gonna Hurt You
Bjork - Pluto
Sigur Rós - Hoppípolla
Nóra - Bringsmalaskotta
Bró∂ir Svartulfs - Rólan Sveiflast Enn