Admit it: everyone has distant passions they wish to pursue, yet very few are able to break through the chilling surface of their fears and actually pursue them. Asgeir, an up and coming solo artist from Iceland, is not one of these easily intimidated people. Although he hails from the town of Laugarbakki, Iceland, which fewer than 50 people call home, the 22 year old has already released two albums within the span of three years and is now touring globally. This easygoing musician reveals his ambitions and shares with us how important it is to keep striving for the best while believing in yourself.
Since your music career began, what have you learned about yourself?
Well, I guess one thing I have learned is to trust myself and be more confident. I am a shy person and always have a lot on my mind, and I never thought I would be where I am; therefore, I had a hard time adjusting to the music industry where there are many people around me and are involved with my music. Now, I am more confident than when I started and it’s getting more enjoyable everyday and every week; it’s fun getting to know so many different types of people.
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you have used poems by your father for your music. Would you mind sharing with us which one is your favorite and why?
My father was going to release a book a while back; however, it was never released so he had many copies of it, which he gave to many of our family members and friends. For a long time now, my brothers and I have used the book quite often for some of our own material. There is a poem from his book that stands out the most to me. One of the lines from the poem is “The way we all go in the end.” This is such a beautiful line to me and had such a positive response back in Iceland; it has been used in funerals and many ceremonies. I really feel anyone can connect to the line right away. Everyone can relate to it because we all go through it.
Are you more of a carefree or an intense person?
I am definitely more of a carefree person. I don’t worry about useless things. Being carefree has helped me through a lot since I am always thinking of things. Sometimes I do worry and get worked up, but I try to keep away from it. I guess everyone worries once in awhile but I’d rather stay away from it the most I can.
You have a beautiful and intriguing chest tattoo. Can you share with us what it is and the meaning behind it?
It’s a skull in the middle and has a rose on each side. The skull mouth is wide open and there is a silence symbol inside of the mouth. I chose the symbol because it relates to my album, where I began, and where everything changed in my life. It reminds me to never forget all the changes in my life.
Besides the languages, are there any other differences between your first album and your current album, “In The Silence”?
There are no drastic changes. We actually mixed instrumental parts a bit differently, but it is mostly the languages that are different. If you know what elements to look for, it would sound different, but you can’t really hear anything.
You are from a small town in Iceland called Laugarbakki, which is home to roughly 40 people, mostly retired adults. How has it been transitioning from Laugarbakki to performing in big cities, like London and Paris, and being interviewed from magazines and radio stations worldwide?
I thought I would be the last person to do something like this; I am used to being home, and I am not much of a traveler. I think it is all about the mindset. It is about knowing how much you really want to do this and have this ascetic part of life. I try to have fun as much as I can. It can be really difficult to be away from home and the security of your comfort zone. You don’t always feel connected to the people who mattered the most. I didn’t like being away at first. I was always over-thinking and having doubts if I want to do this. It wasn’t until when my songs became popular that I started taking it more seriously. It took almost two years when I realized that I want to do this, and I have to make sacrifices. I know now that it is all worth it because I want to do it. I am more open-minded about things, and I am able to see the big picture. My life is going somewhere, and it’s always good to be going somewhere instead of being stuck in one place. I am really happy where I am.
You have been playing music since you were six and writing songs since you were ten years old. You also come from a very musical family; you have been surrounded by music pretty much your whole life. Have you ever thought you were going to end up with a different career, or did you always know you wanted to pursue music as an adult?
I don’t like planning. I just figured I would keep doing what I love and whatever happens happens. I never had an image of my future. If anything, I always thought of being a guitarist or a drummer for a band or writing my own songs. I even thought of teaching guitar lessons or being a trainer since I was really involved in sports growing up. Being a solo artist never came to my mind; however, deep inside, I knew I always wanted to do something like this; it has been unbelievable.
What would you say is the most important lesson you have learned in life so far?
Don’t give up. If you really want to get good at something, stay on top of it and see where it takes you. I think that is what people should do when they find something that they want for themselves.
What are your favorite leisure activities when you are taking a break from music?
I enjoy watching movies and playing video games. I like to go running since I try to keep healthy as much as possible. It is hard when you have a busy schedule and you are constantly moving. You have to find some balance. I like going back to my hometown and reconnecting with my friends, family, my two dogs, and kitten.
Finish this sentence for me: Human beings are meant to…
Human beings are meant to be good to each other and have children.
You did a very angelic and soulful cover of “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana, which is such a soft and exquisite contrast to the original. Does the band Nirvana play a huge role in your life?
Oh yes, especially when I was growing up and even now. They mean a lot to me. They are one of things that got me into music and playing guitar at a young age.
You have accomplished so much at only 22 years old. It is very thrilling to see where your potential will continue to take you in the future. What are some future personal and music goals?
Even though I am not a planner, I do believe a person has to have some goals. I want to go visit Australia more; they have a good crowd there. I also hope to have more proper time to focus on writing my lyrics and making my best album yet. I would want to be able to balance things more out as I continue to go through all the chapters in my life. I want to stay healthy and get back into training because it is such a big part of me.