Eurovision 2022 Iceland profile: 'Með hækkandi sól' by Systur
Iceland in Eurovision
Iceland have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1986. They have only missed the Contest on two occasion, in 1998 and 2002 as they missed out due to finishing outside qualification places in the preceding years. Although they are the only Nordic country to have never won a contest, they have finished in second place twice with Selma in 1999 and Yohanna in 2009. Iceland has achieved seven Top 10 finishes including the last two Contests with Hatari 10th in 2019 and Daði og Gagnamagnið fourth in 2021.
2022 entry: Systur – 'Með hækkandi sól'
Semi-final: Systur will compete in 14th position in Semi-Final 1
My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 28th
Odds to win ranking: 32nd
(as of 13 April 2022)
About the artists
Folk-trio, Sigríður, Elisabet & Elín Eyþórsdóttir are sisters hailing from Reykjavík. They are usually known as Sigga, Beta & Elín and are well known in the Icelandic indie music scene. Both of their parents are musicians hence they spent a lot of their childhood making music.
Ellen Kristjánsdóttir, their mother participated twice in Söngvakeppnin in 1989 and 1990, missing out on a Eurovision ticket herself in her first year as she finished in second place. Their younger brother Eyþór is an accomplished percussionist and will also be joining his sisters on stage in Turin. Systur’s music is inspired by people’s stories, Icelandic history, poetry and nature. They also find inspiration from artists such as Lauryn Hill and Gillian Welsh. In a 180° turn from their traditional folk genre, Sigga, Beta & Elín performed house music as ‘Sísý Ey’ with a producer called Fridfinnur, aka Oculus. They also perform as solo artists. ‘Systur’ was the name chosen for Eurovision as they felt that a rebrand was needed for the competition. Systur is Icelandic for ‘sisters’. Systur are trans rights activists, particularly for transgender children.
About the song
‘Með hækkandi sól’ translates as ‘With the sun getting higher each day’. The song is a nod to the period after Winter solstice when the daylight is shorter thus the country is in darkness for much of that time. The message of ‘Með hækkandi sól’ is hope-seeing hope with the sun getting higher and days getting warmer. It is written in the point of view of from a 18th/19th century Icelandic woman who was in "Vistarband". Vistarband refers to a law of the time where homeless people had to be employed on a farm. They were treated as slaves and had very little control of their lives since they were forced to work for landowners and live under their rules. ‘Með hækkandi sól’ was written by fellow Icelandic musician and singer Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir aka Lay Low. Sigrúnardóttir has a background in genres such as alternative country, folk, blues and rock. She supported Of Monsters and Men on their United States tour in 2012 and has been releasing music since 2006. Sigrúnardóttir states that ‘the lyrics can also be related to anyone in many and all sorts of situations’.
How were Systur chosen for Eurovision?
Sigga, Beta & Elín were approached by Lovísa Elísabet Sigrúnardóttir to sing ‘Með hækkandi sól’ as an entry for Eurovision. They competed and won in Söngvakeppnin 2022, the Icelandic national final which is used to select the Icelandic entry for the contest.
Sigga, Beta & Elín were finalists from the first semi and went on to compete in the final winning through to the super final where they defeated Reykjavíkurdætur (Daughters of Reykjavík) with their song ‘Turn This Around’. Jury members included 2021 Eurovision Song Contest alumni Daði Freyr (Iceland) and Tusse (Sweden).
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Iceland will compete in semi-final 1 on May 10 (European time) in Turin.