We try to be civil

Unbroken will represent Iceland in the Eurovision Song Contest  2015 after recently winning the Söngvakeppni (the Icelandic preselection song competition for ESC). The song is written by StopWaitGo, a group of three musicians and music producers. Brothers, Pálmi Ásgeirsson and Ásgeir Ásgeirsson, and their childhood friend Sæþór Kristjánsson. Pálmi was kind of enough to tell us little bit about StopWaitGo’s background, future plans and the writing process of the winning song.

What’s your story?

Friðrik Dór and María just before the winner was announced.

“We all started in music at an early age, and after experiencing being in a band we started producing, editing and recording music. After a while I think we finally became OK, and that’s were we are today.”

What do you do?

“We make and produce music for musicians of different genre: pop, rap, rock etc. And for films, TV shows, commercials, musicals and such.”

What led to you to taking part in the Söngvakeppni?

“It’s a great venue for upcoming artist to be noticed and be able to showcase their skills and talent. It was an obvious choice for us.”

StopWaitGo was behind the top two songs in the finale of the national preselection for Eurovision 2015? You must be more than just OK to pull that off?

“We have our performers to thank for that. We couldn’t have wished for better artists to work with, then Friðrik Dór and María. Then of course years off trial and errors are finally paying off, along with countless hours at the studio and a dash of stubbornness.”

María totally blown away by the results.

You are not only working with Icelandic artists are you?

“The music biz in the U.S. is one big whirlpool that we have just dipped our toe into it. We produce and write songs with people who have good connections and that’s how we build our network. So far we’re just a small fish in a tiny pond, hopefully we’ll grow into a 20 pound salmon. But enough with the metaphors.”

Now that you’ve won the Söngvakeppni, what next?

“Hours of preparation and practice.”

What else is going on with StopWaitGo?

“We’re keeping a lot of balls in the air, too many to list all of them here. All I can say is that a lot of new Icelandic material on the horizon and things are happening for us abroad. The best way to keep up with is to follow us on Facebook.”

How much work is behind a song like Unbroken?

“It depends on the song but as we’ve said somewhere before this one didn’t take too long to create, that is the melody, chords and lyrics. Although the production always takes a bit longer and we’re actually still working on that.”

“We’ll focus on enjoying the experience,” says Pálmi about participating in Eurovision.

Do you guys work well together?

“We do our best to be civil, but of course there is always some conflict specially among us the brothers. Although it’s never anything that a good hug can’t fix.”

Why did you choose María Ólafsdóttir for the song?

“Actually I don’t think I really need to answer this one, since it must be obvious why we chose her. She’s a great singer and wonderful talented person, easy to work with and very grounded. We have had our eye on her for a long time and this was the opportunity we were waiting for to introduce her to the nation. We chose her before we wrote the song, so the song is not only written for the Söngvakeppni but for María.”

What do you think are your changes of winning Eurovision?

“We got the same change as everybody else, and that’s how I see it. Somebody will win and others will lose and I can’t make and predictions. We’ll focus on enjoying the experience and learn from this opportunity given to us by our country. Everything else will be added bonus.”

Main photo: Ásgeir Ásgeirsson (left), Pálmi Ásgeirsson and Sæþór Kristjánsson. Courtesy of RÚV, The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service.

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