The Eurovision Song Contest: Iceland takes it to the next level

Singer Svala Björgvinsdóttir will be representing Iceland in The Eurovision Song Contest, in Kiev this year, after winning the Icelandic national selection for the contest last night. GayIceland’s Lilja Katrín Gunnarsdóttir was there.

Svala Björgvinsdóttir will represent Iceland in The Eurovsion Song Contest, that will take place in Kiev this year.

“I had such belief in this song and knew I could be proud of it, no matter what happened,” said one of Iceland’s most beloved musicians and fashion icons Svala Björgvinsdóttir, at a press conference that was held straight after the show on Saturday night.

Svala won the Icelandic national selection for The Eurovision Song Contest (“Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins”) which took place in Reykjavík, after going head-to-head with Daði Freyr Pétursson in the super-finals. She will therefore represent Iceland in the contest early May, with her song Paper.

The song is very personal for Svala who has fought anxiety since she was a teenager and gone on to discuss her battles openly in the media, in the aims of being a role model for young people who also suffer from the disorder. “This is not a love song like some people tend to think,” she points out. “It’s about inner struggle; about not giving up, not being ashamed and being strong.”

“We’re working on it (the act). We’ll be taking it to the next level (in Kiev).”

Paper was composed by Svala and her husband Einar Egilsson, Lester Mendez and Lily Elise, who also wrote the English lyrics to it alongside Svala. “We’ve put together a fantastic team,” she says. “It’s such a good collaboration.”

Einar was the art director for the performance, which was minimalistic and cool, with Svala singing by herself on stage – surrounded by an impressive light show. When asked about the act he says in a reserved manner that it “was all Svala”.

But will the act be different in Kiev?
“We’re working on it,” he replies. “We’ll be taking it to the next level.”

“I’m a perfectionist”

Many people have rooted for Svala ever since it was announced that she would be competing in the Icelandic national selection for The Eurovision Song Contest. But did Svala ever feel like she was under more pressure than other contestants, in light of the fact that she’s the daughter of music legend and former Eurovison contender Björgvin Halldórsson (Bo Hall)“I’m a perfectionist. So I mostly put pressure on myself,” she replies. “But I love being on stage and this is so exciting. A cool project that I want to do well. I want to do my very best for Iceland!”

“This is not a love song like some people tend to think,” Svala says about her song, Paper. “It’s about inner struggle; about not giving up, not being ashamed and being strong.”

Svala has competed in Icelandic national selection before, as a songwriter for the Wiggle Wiggle Song in 2008. The year that The Euroband won with the song  This is My Life. Why compete again now?

“Originally the song wasn’t written for Eurovision, just for our band,” she admits. “We wrote it a year ago but a few weeks after that we started talking about that it would be a cool number for Eurovision; since it’s big and also very international. So I went online to do a little research on the contest and ended up thinking to myself that competing could be fun.”

Svala says that even though Paper may be a bit mainstream its in line with the style she’s already know for. Adding: “But, I want to do something original and I do think my style is different from those that have competed in Eurovision the last years.”

“I want to do something original and I do think my style is different from those that have competed in Eurovision the last years.”

A few days before the Icelandic national selection took place Svala did a carpool kareoke session (á la James Corden) with Eurovision darlings Jóhanna Guðrún Jónsdóttir and Selma Björnsdóttir, who both ended up in second place in the conest; Jóhanna Guðrún with Is it true in 2009 and Selma with  All out of Luck in 1999. Does Svala think she can follow in their footsteps, and get Iceland to second place – the best the country has done in the competition so far?

“Getting to second place like they did, would be an honor for me,” she says. “But you never know if people in Europe are going to appreciate the song as much as the people in Iceland. But I will certainly do my very best in Kiev and try to go as far as I possibly can.”

Who is Svala?

Svala Björgvinsdóttir started her career when she was only seven years old, singing backup on one of her father’s albums. At the tender age of nine she had her first number one hit in Iceland, a Christmas duet with her father titled Before Christmas (Fyrir jól). Two years late she had another hit: I’m so excited (Ég hlakka svo til); again, a Christmas song, the ultimate one for many Icelanders.

During her teenage years in the 90’s Svala joined several popular bands (including Scope) and got her big break in 1999 when she signed a deal with EMI and Priority Records in North America. She had a Billboard top 40 single with The Real Me.

In 2006 Svala formed the band Steed Lord with now husband Einar, and his brother Edvard Egilsson (the third brother, Elli Egilsson, joined the band a few months later but left it in 2010. Steed Lord has toured all over the world and their music has been featured in TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Svala also designs clothes under the name Kali and is a judge on the Icelandic version of The Voice.

Main photo: Mummi Lú

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner


Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.



    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website:

    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.




        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

        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.

        - 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.

        - 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.

          Contact Us

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