Iceland 2013: Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson

Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson
Artist name: 
Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson
Song title: 
Ég á Líf
Song writer(s): 
Örlygur Smári / Pétur Örn Guðmundsson
Year: 
2013
Language: 
Icelandic
Country: 
Iceland
Starting position semi-final 2: 
8
About the song: 

Ég á Líf (I'm alive) is a gentle, traditional ballad with a Celtic tinge, written and composed by Örlygur Smári and Pétur Örn Guðmundsson. Following it's victory at Söngvakeppnin 2013, it rocketed to the top of the Tónlist charts, where it stayed for three weeks, before being deposed. It recaptured the top spot once more, this time with it's own digital release, besides being available on the selection's compilation album.

The song is essentially a love song, with a text that tells of Eyþór being lifted up by his love, being able to overcome any difficulties that may come his way. It tells of a struggle to dare take the chance and put ones faith in love and about the exhilaration it gives once you succumb to it.

Örlygur Smári is a name familiar to many Eurovision fans, as well as being one of the most prolific composers of the Icelandic music scene. He has no fewer than three previous Icelandic entries to his name: pop rock duet Tell Me! performed by Einar Ágúst & Telma in 2000, as well as the fan favourites This Is My Life by Eurobandið from 2008 and Je Ne Sais Quoi by Hera Björk from 2010. Petur Örn Guðmundsson performed his own composition Elísabet in the 2011 national selection, but failed to make the final. He returned to the Söngvakeppnin stage the following year, providing backing vocals to the victorious duo Greta Salóme and Jónsi, accompanying them to Baku, performing Never Forget.

Eg á Líf will suprisingly enough be performed in Icelandic in Malmö, the first time viewers will get to hear an Icelandic entry performed in the national language in sixteen years. The last time this happened was in 1997, when Páll Óskar brought his avant garde Minn Hinsti Dans to the Dublin stage.

About the participant: 
Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson, born on the 29th of May, 1989, comes from the same place as Friðrik Ómar and Matthías Matthíasson (of Sjonni's Friends), namely the small coastal town og Dalvík, in Northern Iceland. His childhood was heavily influenced by the songs by Elvis Presley, which sparked an early interest for music and performing.  During his adolescence he participated in numerous theatre productions such as Oliver Twist which were immensely popular. But interest for Gunnlaugsson really began to take off when he played the role of Jesus in the production of Jesus Christ Superstar. 2007 saw him taking part in a national college song contest for the very first time, which led to him taking part in the TV talent show Bandið Hans Bubba. Winning the show opened many doors for him, launching his career as a professional singer and musician.

The multitalented artist has also played his part in founding the rock group Eldberg in 2008. 2010 saw Gunnlaugsson play the role of Riff Raff in a production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show; his vocal performance earned him an award nomination from the Icelandic Actors' Guild. Another major role followed in 2011, with him playing the role of Berger in a production of Hair at the Harpa concert hall. He has previously performed with numerous bands covering various genres, including a Deep Purple tribute band and the immensely popular group Todmobile as well as participating in the Freddie Mercury tribute show, amongst other things. He is currently busy working on his first solo album.
About the selection: 

A record number of entries were submitted to Icelandic broadcaster RÚV, with 240 hopeful entries vying to represent Iceland in Malmö and be the country's 26th entrant. Deadline for submissions came to a close at midnight, the 8th of October. A total of 12 songs were selected from the submitted entries, with the titles and composers being revealed in mid November. The names of all twelve acts were revealed by RÚV in mid January, with some familiar names figuring among the line up, such as Erna Hrönn, Birgitta, Jóhanna and Magni. Just as was the case last year, prolific composer Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson managed once again to get three of his entries into the final twelve. All twelve entries were to be performed in Icelandic, with the winner eventually having the option to perform in English in Malmö if so desired.

The Icelandic selction process, Söngvakeppnin 2013, was divided into two semi finals, with a final originally scheduled to take place on the 9th of February. Dates were changed however, with the semi finals taking place on the 25th and 26th of January. Three acts progressing from each heat to the grand final which took place at the Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík on the 2nd of February. All three shows were hosted by Þórhallur Gunnarsson and Guðrún Dís Emilsdóttir. The three qualifiers from each heat were determined through a combination of votes from a professional jury and televotes. The three acts that advanced from each semi were:

Semi 1:

Svavar Knútur Kristinsson & Hreindís Ylva Garðarsdóttir Hólm - Lífið Snýst
Birgitta Haukdal - Meðal Andanna
Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson - Ég á Líf

Semi 2:

Jógvan Hansen & Stefanía Svavarsdóttir - Til Þín
Haraldur Reynisson - Vinátta
Unnur Eggertsdóttir - Ég Syng!

In addition to these six, Magni and his entry Ekki Líta Undan was awarded the RÚV wildcard, bringing the total number of acts in the final to seven. From the seven competing acts, the two which received the highest number of cobined jury and televotes went on to a final round, whereby the winner was determined solely by televoting. No voting figures were revealed, but Unnur Eggertsdóttir with Ég Syng! took the second place, with Eyþór Ingi Gunnlaugsson and his powerballad Ég á Líf capturing the ticket to Malmö.

Lyrics: 

Lagði ég af stað í það langa ferðalag
Ég áfram gekk í villu eirðarlaus
Hugsaði ekki um neitt, ekki fram á næsta dag
Einveru og friðsemdina kaus
Ég á líf, ég á líf
Yfir erfiðleika svíf
Ég á líf, ég á líf vegna þín
Þegar móti mér blæs
Yfir fjöllin há ég klíf
Ég á líf, ég á líf, ég á líf

Ég skildi ekki ástina sem öllu hreyfir við
Þorði ekki að faðma og vera til
Fannst sem ætti ekki skilið að opna huga minn
Og hleypa bjartri ástinni þar inn
Ég á líf, ég á líf
Yfir erfiðleika svíf
Ég á líf, ég á líf vegna þín
Þegar móti mér blæs
Yfir fjöllin há ég klíf
Ég á líf, ég á líf vegna þín

Og ég trúi því
Já ég trúi því
Kannski opnast fagrar gáttir himins
Yfir flæðir fegursta ástin
Hún umvefur mig alein

Ég á líf, ég á líf
Yfir erfiðleika svíf
Ég á líf, ég á líf vegna þín
Þegar móti mér blæs
Yfir fjöllin há ég klíf
Ég á líf, ég á líf vegna þín
Ég á líf, ég á líf ,ég á líf


English translation of the lyrics: 
I set out upon that long journey
I walked on lost and restless
Didn't think about anything until the following day.
I chose peace and tranquility.
I am alive, I am alive
I glide above every hardship
I am alive, I am alive
When the winds turn against me

I climb over the high mountains
I am alive, I am alive
I didn't understand about love, which can move everything
Didn't dare to embrace and to simply exist
I felt like I didn't deserve to open up my mind
And let the bright love enter within

I am alive, I am alive
I glide above every hardship
I am alive, I am alive
When the winds turn against me
I climb over the high mountains
I'm alive, I'm alive because of you

And I believe it
Yes I do believe it

Perhaps the wondrous gates of heaven will open
Beautiful love will flood out
to embrace me alone
I'm alive, I'm alive
I glide over every difficulty
I am alive, I am alive

When the winds turn against me
I climb over the high mountains
I am alive, I am alive because of you
I am alive, I am alive, I am alive
Video: 


 

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