We need to keep the fire going

For over three decades Sigríður Beinteinsdóttir, otherwise known as Sigga Beinteins, has been one of Iceland’s most prominent singers. Today she’ll be performing her new single, “Surrender”, at the Reykjavík Pride outdoor concert (at Arnarhóll).  We spoke to Sigga about her newly released song, what it takes to make it in the music industry for so long and why Pride is still important in Iceland – as well as being a lot of fun.

Congratulations on the new song. How did it come about and become the official Reykjavík Pride song?
“Thank you, it’s a great honor to perform the official Reykjavik Pride song this year. The song came to me last winter when the composers, Swedish twin sisters Ylva and Linda Person, sent me a demo of a few songs of theirs. They wanted to know if I was interested in singing any of them for publication.

This particular song, “Surrender”, was one of the songs that immediately caught my attention. I thought it was a well composed and “catchy” song with great potential. All the elements to become a Euro hit. So we finished the song and sent it to the Eurovision song contest in Iceland. Unfortunately it didn’t make to the Icelandic contest. But since we all felt the song had great potential to become a summer hit in Iceland it was offered to the Reykjavík Pride board of directors and they loved it.”

There’s a Eurovision vibe to it, not surprising given that the songwriters live in Sweden, the land of Eurovision extravaganza. Why did it appeal to you?
“I agree, it has a great Eurovision vibe to it and that’s one of the reason I originally liked it. What appeals to me mostly is the melody itself. And the fun summer beat which mixes together the old and new disco beats.”

At risk in Zagreb

It‘s been two decades since you sang „Nætur“ on behalf of Iceland in Eurovision in Ireland. Would you compete again?
“I’m not sure I would participate in Eurovision again on behalf of Iceland. But if I would even consider it, the song in question would have to be really strong. I would have to have one hundred percent faith in that it would go far in the contest. To tell you the truth, I was pretty certain that “Surrender” would do well in the Eurovision contest. So it came as a big surprise that it didn’t even make it into the contest in Iceland. But that’s Eurovision for you, always full of surprises.”

You’ve competed three times in the past. Can you share a memorable Eurovision moment with us?

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Sigga and Grétar Örvarsson in Zagreb 1990.

“What’s most memorable is how much fun it’s to take part in the contest, to see how big of a show it is, to perform and try your very best for your country. It’s of course a big thing so you feel pressured to do well – not least for your country.

However the most memorable incident was with the band Stjornin in Zagreb 1990. I performed in high heels and the famous red dress – high heels and dresses weren’t exactly my every day outfits at the time. I was really stressed out since the floor was also laid with plates that had small gaps between them. So not only did I have to sing my very best, wear a dress and high heels, but I also needed to step between the gaps when dancing so the heels wouldn’t get stuck in the gaps!”

The advantages and drawbacks of being a YouTube star

For decades you’ve been one of our most renowned singers. What’s the key ingredient to such a longevity?
“That’s a big question with no right answer, since it would be different for everyone. But one of the key elements is to perform and make appearances. Otherwise you’ll quickly be forgotten. Of course you need to make music you love and sing with your heart. That’s what appeals to your listeners. Also be humble and thankful for the gift of being able to sing and bring joy and happiness to people. That’s not something that everyone can do and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.”

Would you say the music industry has changed much since you started out?
“I guess the Internet has been the key game changer in the music industry like in almost everything else. Today, young artists can be heard all over the world instantly and do a lot of their own marketing, especially abroad. That’s something that wasn’t even a remote possibility when I started my career.

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“You need to make music you love and sing with your heart.”

At the same time, there’s a lot more on offer so your music has to stand out. But young kids can become YouTube celebrities even though they wouldn’t get their music played on the radio stations. This creates more opportunities for any type of artists and makes the cake bigger for everyone.

However it’s getting harder for musicians and composers to get paid for their songs and lyrics since there are less hard copies being sold. A thing I believe will evolve and even out in time like everything else.”

A lot of singers seem to suffer from vocal problems now a days. How do you take care of your voice?
“The vocal cords are a complex organism. Nobody has the same type of voice, so nobody performs or acts the same way. The voice, like any other muscle in the body, needs to be used and exercised in order to keep it in good shape. People who have a lot of vocal problems are usually not using the right technique. Which is something they should learn sooner than later. Otherwise they might lose their voice or damage the vocal cords. Throughout my career I’ve fortunately had very little problems with my voice. If anything, I’ve gained more strength and control over it as the years have passed.”

Who’s currently your favorite artist(s)?
“That’s a difficult question. I listen to a very broad range of music so it’s hard to pick one out. My all time favorites though have always been Elvis Presley and Tina Turner, outstanding performers that you can always look to for inspiration.”

Visibility is important

The big Pride Parade is coming up. Do you always participate in it or Reykjavík Pride for that matter?
“For the past few years, yes and I made an honorary performance on the main stage in 2012 when celebrating my 50th birthday. This year I won’t be able to join the parade itself since I’ll be performing on the stage. But the whole week has been full of celebration and this weekend will continue to be. The Reykjavík Pride is one of the most fun weekends of the year.”

What significance does Pride have for you?
“It’s so great to see how it’s grown from being a small parade to being one of the largest yearly events in Iceland. A family event that welcomes everyone but also reminds us we need to keep our heads up and keep the fire going. I take part because I know it’s important to be a good role model, visible and lead with good example. That will pave the way for others to come.”

Finally, what does the future hold in store for Sigga Beinteins?
“Knock on wood, I think it’s bright in respect of Sigga the singer. I’ll keep on singing as long as I enjoy it and as long as anyone is willing to listen.”


 

The Hamburger Factory
- gourmet burgers

Ok. You’re in Iceland. Most likely for the first time.

You will probably bathe in the Blue Lagoon and take a road trip to Gullfoss and
Geysir. That’s all well and good. But neither Geysir’s nor waterfalls are
something you eat. That’s why we have 15 brilliant and creative hamburgers at
The Hamburger Factory. And they are all perfectly square. Don’t miss out on
Iceland’s most beloved hamburgers.

The Hamburger Factory is Iceland’s most innovative gourmet burger chain.
Packed with burger-craving customers since it’s opening in 2010, among the
regulars is Iceland’s best known fisherman, Eric Clapton. In our restaurants we
welcome tourists with our newspaper like menu and smiley service. They are
packed with fun items and memorable connections to Icelandic pop culture.

Locations:

Omnom Chocolate
- award-winning chocolate maker

    Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

    Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

    Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

    In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

    At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.

     

    Alfred’s Apartments
    - gay owned an operated

      Alfred’s Apartments and Alfred’s Studios is a gay operated and owned accommodation in the heart of Reykjavik.

      Alfred’s Apartments offers spacious apartments at a good price located just around the corner from Laugavegur shopping street. You can choose the apartment starting from a Small Studio for 2 persons to a large One-bedroom Apartment with balcony for 5 persons.

      Their staff will ensure your comfort during the stay and provide the most updated information about the city, gay and night life in Reykjavik.

      Each apartment has a private bathroom with a shower, fully equipped kitchen and free Wi-Fi. Guests can buy groceries at the local grocery store 50 meters from the apartments. Because of their very central location, numerous shops, restaurants and cafés are available in the surrounding area. The Church of Hallgrimur is located 350 m from the apartments, a tourist agency is just 50 m away and the nearest gay bar is less than 5 minutes walking distance.

      Laekur hostel
      In the hostel we have dorms for 4-8 persons with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. The rooms are furnished with free internet, lockers, and a USB charger by each bed. The beds have linen provided and you can rent a towel in the cafe on the ground floor for 5 EUR.

      All the dorms are mixed with both genders. You can also book a whole room with 4-8 bunker beds.

      Blue Lagoon
      - a world of wonder

      Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater comes from 2000 meters within the earth where sea and fresh water converge in a tectonic frontier of porous lava and searing heat. Propelled by extreme pressure, the water ascends to the earth’s surface, emerging enriched with silica, algae, and minerals: the elements that endow Blue Lagoon geothermal seawater with its radiant, healing properties.

      From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing a hotel, a restaurant, a luxury lounge, a renowned line of skin care, a research center, in-water massage, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

      Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape of Iceland’s Reykjanes lava plain, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

      Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

      Whales of Iceland
      - larger than life

      Whales of Iceland is the largest whale exhibition in Europe (and perhaps even the world), where guests can learn about the giants of the sea in a calm and modern environment. The permanent exhibition features whales like guests have never seen them before. It is truly a giant experience.

      Landsbankinn
      - leading financial institution

      Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

      The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

      Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

      The bank’s vision is to be exemplary and its role is to be a trusted financial partner.

      Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

      Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

      It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

      Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

      Dohop
      - get inspired

      Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

      Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

      More recently, Dohop has developed a unique product called Dohop Go!, which allows users to check for the cheapest available flights from their home airport. This tool is perfect for those who are looking for travel inspiration but are not willing to overpay for their flight ticket. Dohop Go! is now available in the Dohop Flights App, both for Android and iOS, along with its traditional flight, hotel, and car search engines. “

      Macland
      - for all your Apple needs

      From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

      Macland is located at Laugavegur 23 (101, Downtown Reykjavik)
      For all your Apple needs. We are here.

      Aurora Reykjavik
      - northern lights center

        Aurora Reykjavik is a Northern Lights Center situated in downtown Reykjavík at the Old Harbor next to Icelandair Hotel Marina and Vikin Maritime Museum.

        Aurora Reykjavík is Iceland’s first educational and recreational Northern Lights Center where multimedia is used to explain when, why and how the Northern Lights work, with the highlights being large HD projection of the Aurora’s. We also share myths and legends about what our ancestor thought about those mystical lights.

        The Northern Lights Center is for all ages. Children are our favorite guests and we created the exhibition in a way that children can have a look freely and parents don’t have to worry about things being broken.

        Aurora Reykjavik offers a great selection of souvenirs that are designed and made by Icelanders along with nice little coffee corner, where you can enjoy free coffee and tea while browsing through the souvenirs or just planning your next step.

        Contact Aurora

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          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

          Núðluskálin
          - noodle bar

          Núðluskálin is a small gay owned and operated fusion noodle bar.

          All of our courses are individually made from fresh ingredients and therefore highly customisable.
          We offer fully Vegan versions of all courses.
          Though originally a take-away we now seat over 30 people.

          Núðluskálin is located right in the heart of Reykjavík on Skólavörðustígur 8 (street leading up to the big Church) near the junction with Laugavegur (main street).

          Seatours
          - adventure cruise

          Ferry Baldur – the gate to the West fjords
          and VikingSushi Adventure – Bird & Nature watching Tour for everyone all year around

          The “VikingSushi Adventure” is the right boat tour for travelers who are adventurous and want to experience something new – close up to the nature seafood simply doesn’t come fresher than this! The archipelago area of the Breidafjordur Bay always surprises her visitors during winter or summer with spectacular sights. Where else you get to try delicious fresh scallops and sea urchin roe straight from the ocean served with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

          600x400-seatours-tasting

          This old volcanic area, characterized by the typical basalt formations of the islands, is the home of countless birds. Here you will also find the strongest currents in Iceland. The VikingSushi Tour takes roughly two hours and our captain is also the tour guide.

          600x400-seatours

          The VikingSushi Tour is a true adventure through incredible nature which should not be missed by any traveler to West Iceland.

          Birds, possible to spot:
          -puffins (from the middle of April until the middle of August)
          -eider ducks
          -shags
          -kittiwakes
          -fulmars
          -white-tailed eagle

          The car ferry Baldur is the bridge to the West fjords via the island Flatey
          Ferry Baldur crosses Breidafjordur Bay daily from Stykkisholmur on the Snæfellsnes peninsula to Brjanslaekur in the north. A ferry ride considerably shortens the route between the south and mid-west of the country and the West Fjords region. It also gives you the opportunity to experience a floating restaurant.

          Take a stopover at the charming island Flatey when you are crossing the bay or go to a day tour to Flatey and back to Stykkishólmur. At Flatey are no cars allowed and between the houses of the 18th century you get the feeling of a journey back in time.

          Contact Us


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          Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.