Iceland’s Daði Freyr on Eurovision 2021, ’10 Years’ and ‘The Story Of Fire Saga’

Before COVID stopped him from performing live, Iceland's entry Daði Freyr spoke to NME about the viral success of' Think About Things', new music and his country's opinions on the "incest-y" Will Ferrell spoof

Iceland’s Eurovision contestant Daði Freyr has spoken to NME about his hopes to follow up viral success at this year’s competition, as well as sharing his thoughts on the Will Ferrell spoof, The Store Of Fire Saga. Watch our video interview with Freyr above.

The singer became an online sensation with his track ‘Think About Things’ which represented his nation at the contest last year, despite not being able to perform in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was crazy, a lot of fun – but very weird not to be able to experience it from actual people but rather their online avatar,” Freyr told NME. “I saw the numbers go way up, but basically my life was the same; doing the same things but for a bigger audience.”

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He continued: “It’s a fun track and very uplifting. A trend that I didn’t really have anything to do with dancing to it and it just came out in the right moment.”

Asked if he felt the pressure to follow-up such a viral hit with this year’s entry ’10 Years’, Freyr replied: “No, I don’t think so really. We put pressure on ourselves with the act and I put pressure on myself with the song to one up everything that we did last year.

“I didn’t want to go too far from ‘Think About Things’ because the Icelandic population voted for us to go through to Eurovision with that song, so I didn’t feel like I could go in a completely different direction. We wanted to keep it in the same spirit as last year’s performance.”

Our interview with Freyr took place before he was forced to pull out of the live shows at the contest due to one of his bandmates catching COVID-19, but his legion of ‘Dada-ists’ can still look forward to a high octane pre-recorded performance. Lyrically, the song is a personal ode to his wife of 10 years – who helped him put together the on-stage spectacle.

“We have new instruments,” said Freyr. “We have pyro, but way more than we had in the teaser clip. My wife and I make all the instruments, and this time they combine into one combined super-instrument before the solo, because that’s what the solo needs.”

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At the final on Saturday, Iceland’s scores for other nations will be read out by none other than the ‘Play Jaja Ding Dong’ guy from the Will Ferrell Eurovision spoof, The Story Of Fire Saga.

“I met him like seven years ago or something when I was boom operating for an Icelandic movie,” Freyr told NME. “I can’t remember if we had a conversation then, but he seems like a really nice guy.

Asked about his thoughts on the movie, Freyr replied: “In Eurovision super-fandom it’s really, really controversial. Some people really liked it, and some people thing that it wasn’t true to it. Most people agree that it’s not that accurate and some people didn’t like how Eurovision was portrayed, but to me it’s just a funny movie.

“I watched in a hotel in France the day before it was released. Netflix sent me a link, and it was a film about Will Ferrell being Icelandic, competing in Eurovision the same year that I was supposed to compete and also he has the same hair as me. It was just a really surreal moment. I’m probably not the best person to ask how that movie.”

He added: “I think Icelanders think it’s funny. It’s also not a very accurate portrayal of Icelanders! We come off as very aggressive and very incest-y, which is maybe not the way we want to be portrayed, but nobody really cares. Icelanders are very sarcastic, so we see through it.”

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Eurovision stars Will Ferrell and Rachael McAdams. CREDIT: Netflix

Watch our full video interview at the top of the page, where Freyr also talks to us about how his favourite in this year’s competition is Ukraine, who his Eurovision heroes are, the advice that past winners have given him, plans for a ‘sci-fi’ new album, and how he hopes to get revenge on Norway for Alexander Rybak stealing victory from Iceland in 2009.

The second of the Eurovision semi-finals take place tonight (Thursday May 20), before the finals on Saturday May 22.

Daði Freyr will be embarking on a UK tour in November. Visit here for tickets and details.

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