I dreamed of this for over 10 years

The Canadian musician Denique is releasing his first solo album, Shape 1, today, Friday October 6th and he has chosen to release it in Iceland first with a launch party at KIKI bar tonight at 20PM.

A Canadian launching an album in Iceland? What is that all about? GayIceland got in touch with Denique and asked him every question thinkable about his new album and the reasons for choosing Iceland to launch it.

Tell us about the album, how would you describe the music?
“Shape 1 is my baby. It’s wild to think of this as my debut album, as it feels like I’ve been doing this for 1000 years. During the beginning stages back in 2013, I really didn’t know what I was doing. Over time, the audiovisual side of the project continued to develop and it wasn’t until 2015 that I realized I was onto something. Finally, after my first summer in Iceland, around the time I filmed the music video for “Vegvísir”, I felt that I had found my sound and wanted to create a body of work that people could enjoy not only visually on YouTube, but sonically on the bus, walking down the street or in the car on the way home from work. I look at the songs on Shape 1 as fifteen different stories from my past. While most of my favourite albums are cohesive bodies of work, I did the opposite for this album, putting each track/video onto a planet of it’s own. What connects them all together is the galaxy I created, which is Shape 1, my helmet of thoughts, fears, dreams and hopes for the future.”
The title, Shape 1 [listen here], what does it refer to?
“Shape 1 refers to the galaxy helmet I wear on the album cover, shot by Sydney MacLennan, a shape with fifteen edges that connects the 15 stories of my past. Throughout my years in elementary/high school, I was told by multiple teachers and my parents that I was “in my own bubble” or that “I was on my own planet”. And while I definitely struggled to fit the mold of a studious academic (haha!), I saw the value in thinking differently and critically, despite sometimes feeling bad about it. In retrospect, they were right, but I quite enjoy the planet I live on, I’m quite comfortable. I guess it’s time to invite some people over, eh?”

“… The “Shape 1 Party” is a celebration of the album release, but more specifically a night that welcomes freedom of expression … In a nutshell, it’ll be a night where people are free to dress up however they like, to dance, sing and celebrate this release with me!”

This album has been in the making for quite a while, right?
“Honest to god, I dreamed of this moment for over ten years. I remember watching Canadian Idol at my grandma Grant’s house in the middle of nowhere, at age 10, saying: “I’m going to do that one day. I’m going to be a singer and have my own album”. I’d walk to the beach and sing to myself, pretending I was on stage in front of a sold out crowd. Although I wasn’t any good, I still believed in the dream. Never in a million years did I imagine that 14 years later I’d release a full length LP in Iceland. It’s absolutely wild! Of course, it took a huge amount of patience and hard work, which still drives me crazy, but I never let go of my inner 10-year-old voice. I really can’t express to you how much hope, pain, frustration and joy this project has brought to me. I am obsessed with the process, the good, the bad and the wave of emotions in between.”

After launching the album you’re planning on a releasing a video for the single “Fruit”, tell us about it. Where did the idea come from?
“Yes! While, I filmed a video for every track on the album, there’s something particularly special about the “Fruit” video. I wouldn’t spoil the surprise, but what I can tell you is that I worked with the fabulous Montreal directors Schaël Mareus and Katharine King So, to create a timeless piece of work. I mean, when I first started this audiovisual project, it was just me and my tripod doing all the work, relying on natural light and my own instinct to guide the way. I’ll still continue to make my own videos, but it was so inspiring to work with a film crew who could take it to the next level. I was lucky to have Zion Lipstein-Saffer on lights, which gave the video a whole new perspective. What else can I say? I designed my costume from scratch, which turned out to be exactly what I hoped it would be!”

Where do you usually get inspiration from?
“I’m obsessed with the process of creation. I’m not sure why but my brain has always been attracted to things that it hasn’t seen, or things that are challenging visually or sonically. If it challenges the norm, I’m all in! From a global standpoint, we’re in a political crisis, the environment is suffering and people are feeling extreme emotions… naturally, this ignites creative flames and I definitely felt that while writing this album. In 2017, it just has to mean something, to push against something. And if I’m being honest, I want my listeners to feel challenged, to allow themselves to discover a new headspace, a new area of their mind that they have yet to explore.”

Not only do you sing and make your own music, but you also create your own videos. Isn’t that a little bit challenging?
“It’s so difficult! But the filming itself is always the best part. I dress up, put on my black lipstick and feel empowered. It’s almost like Halloween, except I’m not wearing a costume, I’m wearing myself as I evolve into my pop star version. It’s rather strange to talk about it, but it all feels right. That’s the fun part.

Then there’s the editing process, something I’ve grown to absolute hate. It’s really awful and yet I’m so addicted to it. There’s this burning need to achieve a certain look or feel, and because these are my videos and visions, I’m really the only person who can do it. Unfortunately, I don’t think that will ever change, regardless of how miserable I become (hahaha). I hate it so much but I think it’s extremely important for artists to be involved in every step of the process, regardless of what your interests are. This business requires discipline and you can’t only do what you like to do. It’s what ultimately builds a strong brand as your energy stays connected to everything, the costumes, the videos, the website, the business cards, the promo… Sometimes editing is manageable, sometimes it’s fucking horrible and I want to throw my computer down a flight of stairs. Either way, I have no choice but to keep going. It’s the only way this rocket ship will continue to accelerate.”

“… I dress up, put on my black lipstick and feel empowered. It’s almost like Halloween, except I’m not wearing a costume, I’m wearing myself as I evolve into my pop star version. It’s rather strange to talk about it, but it all feels right. That’s the fun part.”

You also play the fiddle and have a background in traditional music. How did you end up doing this type of music.
“I am indeed a fiddler, although I wasn’t classically educated! I grew up on the East Coast of Canada which has a fantastic traditional Irish and Scottish music culture. While my roots are very connected to Celtic music, I felt limited in that genre as I only ever played other people’s music. The tunes I grew up with will always hold a special place in my heart but it felt more exhilirating to create my own galaxy of songs. In the beginning stages of Shape 1, it was difficult for people to classify me as a singer, as I had always been known as a fiddler. I also felt the pressure to choose one over the other, which in retrospect, is ridiculous. I’m a singer, fiddler, photographer, filmmaker, writer… these are just some of the skills I’ve acquired. I’d be so bored if I focused only on one thing.”

How did your background in music help make this album?
“Of course, my fiddling and piano days helped me understand music theory, which ultimately helped me write digital music. I couldn’t have used such a broad range of sound without understanding basic music knowledge. I’m no theory expert but I know enough to achieve a full sound. I also have to thank my mom for introducing me to the coolest music when I was a kid. She swooned over artists like Love Inc., Loreena McKennitt, Missy Elliott, Peter Gabriel, The Verve… the list goes on.”

Where does your interest in music come from? Is the family immersed in music?
“My dad is tone-deaf, couldn’t sing a note to save his life. My mom and sister, however are very musical. My body experiences a very intense sensation when listening to music, which is 100 percent genetic from my mother. I feel music the exact way that she does. It’s raw, it’s real and it’s intense. My sister feels it too. She’s in a touring choir in Canada (currently on tour!) and her voice blows my mind. It’s so pure and clear, with a very smooth power. I keep pushing her to record a few songs but unlike me, Shila thrives out of the spotlight. She wants to fly under the radar and I respect that. But let’s be honest: with enough sibling bribery, I’m sure I’ll convince her to feature on one of my songs. Perhaps on Shape 2?” Laugs.

Do you think you have already found your own style, your own voice, or are you still developing it?
“That’s a lifetime process. As for right now, I found the sound for Shape 1 [on Spotify]. It’s a distinct style, very representative of myself at this stage of my career, but isn’t immutable. Vocally speaking, I know I what I like and what I don’t like. I’ll always be competing with myself to reach greater heights (literally) and continue to try push my vocal cords in a different, healthy ways. Some of my songs are vocally challenging, and for me, that’s part of the fun. I love people who can really sing, and always looked up to the vocalists who could do more than just sing the same note over a whispy guitar loop. I live for that adrenaline rush of, “will I be able to hit that note again?””

“I remember watching Canadian Idol in the middle of nowhere … at age 10, saying: “I’m going to be a singer and have my own album” … Never in a million years did I imagine that 14 years later I’d release a full length LP in Iceland. It’s absolutely wild!

You are going to have a party at KIKI tonight at 20PM to celebrate the launch of your album. Tell us about it.
“I am so thrilled about this! Kiki Bar was a second home for me, where I felt comfortable and happy. Held on October 6, the “Shape 1 Party” is a celebration of the album release, but more specifically a night that welcomes freedom of expression. I wanted a NYC Club kids theme, as I’ve often fantasized about being part of that generation of creators who wore unconventional outfits and felt empowered by their differences. In a nutshell, it’ll be a night where people are free to dress up however they like, to dance, sing and celebrate this release with me!”

Why did you decide to launch your album in Iceland?
“Iceland holds a special place in my heart. It’s very deep, I’m still pinching myself when I talk about it, but I just love the people and the energy that the country gives me. When I first came in 2015, I was so surprised by people’s reactions to my work. It was the first time I felt like people truly “got” what I was doing, what I was trying to say. I truly never imagined I’d build a network of close friends in a foreign place like Reykjavik, but I’m just so grateful for all the support and love I’ve gotten from such a small place. Icelanders are full of soul, always striving for a better future. To release my debut album in Iceland… it’s the biggest highlight of my life so far.”

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.


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.



        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

        Our unique position at the center of the capital markets allows us to see firsthand how these values have redefined corporate culture and success, deepening and accelerating our own commitment to champion inclusive growth and prosperity, as we strive to create more equitable opportunities to help people of all backgrounds reach their full potential. Most notably, we published our diversity statistics for the first time in 2020. These metrics serve as a quantitative assessment of where we are today and help determine what strategies we need to adopt to enhance diversity in the workplace. We recognize that we have much work to do, but we are steadfast in our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture—one that reflects the communities in which we live, allows all employees to be their true, authentic selves and fosters individual growth and achievement.

        As we move forward together, we will continue advancing diverse ideas and perspectives that help fulfill the promise of a more inclusive and prosperous world. We aim to set the pace for rethinking capital markets and economies anywhere and everywhere. To learn more about the company, technology solutions and career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter @Nasdaq, or at www.nasdaq.com.

        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        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 2.000 meters within the earth where seawater and freshwater converge in a tectonic realm 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 two hotels, three restaurants, three
        geothermal lagoons, a subterranean spa, a renowned line of skin care, a thriving research center, and a wealth of spa and refreshment facilities.

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

        The 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.

        - 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.

        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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            - 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. “

            VSÓ Ráðgjöf


              VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

              - 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.

              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.

              - 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).

              - 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.


              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.


              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
              -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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