The new Pride song is out!

The new official Reykjavík Pride song has just been released, and it’s a cool Europop song with a tropical vibe.

The song is called “We Can Unite” (Við getum sameinast) and is the first song specifically composed for Reykjavík Pride. It’s performed by singer, director and actor Bjartmar Þórðarson and written by Eyþór Úlfar Þórisson, Birgir Steinn Stefánsson and Andri Þór Jónsson, who together form the up and coming group September. GayIceland met with September and started by asking what the song is about.

Eyþór Úlfar
Eyþór Úlfar Þórsson.

The lyrics are about how everyone is the same, how everyone is equal and how we can be united in happiness,” says Eyþór Úlfar. “We wanted a dash of a Eurovision vibe, but we didn’t want the song to be entirely Eurovision.”

He adds that the main idea for the song came from the Reykjavik Pride management team who contacted them when they were searching for songwriters. “We added our vibes and lyrics and the outcome resonated with the team.”

Eyþór says that in some ways the song is similar to what September have already been doing, but actually a bit less of a Europop song than they’re used to writing and also a bit cooler. “It also has a tropical vibe that we haven’t had before.”

The song is sung by Bjartmar Þórðarson. How did that come about?
“He auditioned for the song and we thought it worked out really well. He really fit the song. The idea to ask him to audition came from the Reykjavik Pride management team. We listened to him a bit before and in the end he was the perfect fit,” says Eyþór Úlfar.

Birgir Steinn says that it actually surprised him how well it went, because they just met Bjartmar for twenty minutes before he went into the studio and sang a demo. “I knew beforehand he had a good voice but he really nailed it. I immediately said to the guys that he really has a special character to his voice. The song benefits a great deal from it.”

We wanted a dash of a Eurovision vibe, but we didn’t want the song to be entirely Eurovision.”

Was it a challenge to write a song for a specific purpose? 
“No not at all,” says Eyþór. “We just sat down and wrote it. We are used to writing a lot of music together and we have written songs for others before.”

Eyþór Úlfar and Birgir Steinn have been singing together and making guitar-pop music since 2014, but have known each other longer through their fathers who are old acquaintances. They played together in a house band for their old college Menntaskólinn í Kópavogi in an annual school song contest and that’s where they got to know Andri Þór, who joined September last year in November. 

Birgir Steinn Stefánsson.

“That happened shortly after they released a song with Stefanía Svavars,” says Andri. “But we had known each other for quite some time since college, and we had often discussed making music together when we finally started our collaboration.”

Do you all have musical backgrounds?
“Yes and no,” says Eyþór. “I had a musical upbringing and Birgir as well, through our fathers. But none of us have taken any music lessons to speak of.”

His father is Þórir Úlfarsson, a keyboardist and music producer. Birgir’s father is Stefán Hilmarsson, frontman of the iconic Icelandic pop music group Sálin hans Jóns míns and veteran Eurovision singer and songwriter. “I’ve been involved in music for as long as I can remember,” says Birgir and admits that for about seven years he really annoyed the neighbors with his drumming. “Many people ask if I was pushed into playing music, if my father forced me to pursue a music career. That’s not the case, he hasn’t been involved much but I think he enjoys what I’m doing.”

Andri says that he’s been interested in music for a very long time. “My uncle is a musician and my grandfather was a musician. I think I got my interest from them. Uncle Arnar [music producer Arnar Guðjónsson] gave me a guitar for Christmas when I was 12 or 13 years old and my musical interest started to develop from there,” says Andri Þór and adds that he taught himself how to play the guitar and the piano.

Andri Þór Jónsson.

Asked how September, the name of the band came about, Birgir says it was actually Eyþór’s father who came up with it. “He suggested the name September because we both have birthdays in September, it was September at the time, and we had just released our first single, in September. We liked the idea and on the plus side the word September is so international.”

Despite being only in their early twenties the boys have already made a name for themselves in the Icelandic music industry, having worked with big names such as Pálmi Gunnarsson and formerly mentioned Bjartmar Þórðarson. As a group they’ve released six singles (counting the new Reykjavík Pride song), including a recently released single with María Ólafsdóttir who represented Iceland in the Eurovision song contest 2015 with the song Unbroken. But where do they get their inspiration from? And do they have any idols?

“As a group we listen to all kinds of pop music for inspiration,” says Andri.

Eyþór agrees. “When we are writing music together we listen to whatever’s popular at the time.”

Birgir adds: “We listen for example to Jess Glynne, Sigala and also Clean Bandit. That’s when we are writing music meant for dancing. They have such a cool sound.

“We listen to a lot of the same music,” explains Eyþór, “but each group member has his own musical interests as well. Personally I really like Clean Bandit and Michael Bublé.”

“We can unite” (Við getum sameinast) is performed by renown director, actor and singer Bjartmar Þórðarson, who says he enjoys being a part of this project and thinks it’s an honor to be able to front the song for Reykjavik Pride. “It’s also an honor to get to meet new artists and work with them. The September guys are so talented. It’s also always fun to get a chance to bring joy to the gay community, which I hope this song does.”
The song is performed by renown director, actor and singer Bjartmar Þórðarson, who says he enjoys being a part of this project and thinks it’s an honor to be able to front the song for Reykjavik Pride. “It’s also an honor to get to meet new artists and work with them. The September guys are so talented. It’s also always fun to get a chance to bring joy to the gay community, which I hope this song does.”

“Personally I like almost everything,” says Birgir, “except death metal.”

“I’m a big fan of John Mayer, Coldplay, James Morrisson, Ed Sheeran and many more,” says Andri.

“… we hope people will like it as much as we do. We’ll just have to see how it goes.”

What about the future, do you guys have any big dreams?
“It would be fun to write songs for international superstars,” Eyþór admits. “We aren’t dying about it, but that’s where we would like to see ourselves in the future. We haven’t sent anything out yet, we would like to establish ourselves here at home first, and then perhaps try to make it internationally.”

On a smaller scale they say that they would like to release an album, but have no plans yet. “I guess we will take a break for about a month,” says Eyþór, “and then start working on some new songs.”

But next up for the boys is the Reykjavík Pride in August which they will be attending to see Bjartmar perform their song. Normally there is a lot of anticipation for a new Pride song. Are they nervous about how it will be received?

Eyþór shakes his head. “No we’re not nervous,” he says with confidence, “but we hope people will like it as much as we do. We’ll just have to see how it goes, but no, we’re not nervous.”

With an upbeat tune, meant to bring joy and happiness to listeners, the new Reykjavík Pride song will surely get thousands of Pride goers to wiggle it. “It’s a great anthem,” says Bjartmar, “and hopefully people can unite about having a great time listening to it. It’s fun and has a beautiful message.”

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