Like every year, Iceland celebrates its national final called “Söngvakeppnin”. In three shows the winner has been determined. From the first moment the winners have been clear: Hatari. This extraordinary band is coming with a real different song called “Hatrið mun sigra”, which means hate will prevail. This is tough song title with a strange performance and crazy singers – this will definitely polarize in Tel Aviv.
The group consists of Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan (musician, cabinetmaker and designer), Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson (artist, journalist and writer) and Einar Hrafn Stefánsson (musician, producer and sound engineer). These synth-punk trio had their debut at the Iceland Airwave Festival in 2016. Since then they have released an EP Neysluvara and four singles such as:
The song is about the hate in the world, wherever we are looking at the evil is getting stronger and there is no hope for the better, it’s a song against capitalism, a political multimedia project. This is a very striking entry which should open their eyes to the unsolved problems we do have in the world. The techno rhythm, the leather-fetish S/M styled singers and the screaming chant is probably not for everybody. A miracle that the Icelanders really love that entry and voted for it so that it represents Iceland in Tel Aviv. In interviews the band committed that this is also a protest song against Israeli politics.
It will be very interesting how far Hatari will come in the ESC. Either love or hate. In the past Iceland has send so many good songs, which could not win at the end. It would be a miracle if this kind of song will bring the great victory for Iceland.
Top 10: 5
Chance for Top 10: 16%
Chances for Final: 50%
The Icelanders have always followed the ESC with great enthusiasm, it was broadcasted a long time ago in Iceland, but they had to wait until 1986 when the technical preconditions were ready for a live transmission. So Iceland made its debut with "Gleðibankinn" by the group Icy. This song has already become a cult entry and it's being sung on almost every Eurovision party, especially in Iceland.
Iceland could reach the final 24 times and reached the Top10 five times! The chances to reach one of the Top10 places are 16% and to reach the Grand Final is at 50% (since 2004). Two times Iceland has made the fabulous second place in 1999 and 2009. In recent years Iceland was able to qualify for the Grand Finals since 2008. Unfortunately they did not in the last four years.
The most fascinating fact is that the creativity in this small country with a little bit more than 320.000 inhabitants so enormously high, that music from Iceland has become so popular. The most popular Icelandic singers in general are Björk, Sigur Rós, Mezzoforte and GusGus (Daníel Augúst Haraldsson, 1989 with “Það Sem Enginn Sér"). Last year’s singer Ari Ólafsson could not reach the Grand Final either.
Publisher, Editor, Journalist
About me: My first Eurovision Song Contest I watched behind the walls of the former GDR in 1987. This was even possible at that time! Since then I am following the ESC every year on TV. In 2004 I had the chance to watch it live in Istanbul. Due to the fact that Jens and Bernd have collected many interviews, photos, etc. the idea came up to show all this contest to the public. We founded the website eurovisionlive.com and we have been one of the first to offer the medium internet for the Eurovision Song Contest.