Entertainer Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson (aka Paul Oscar) drolly describes himself as “Iceland’s biggest pop star icon if there ever was one”.
An Interview about the Icelandic pop sound, gay activism and living to the ripe old age of 111.
By Eliza Reid
Published in Iceland Review Magazine 46.03.
Confessions of a Pop Nerd
ER: What’s your favorite part of being a musician?
All the nerdy things. We have a huge box that can make a thousand different versions of a “beep” and the trick is to find the right “beep”. This is what I love. But I also love performing live. There is this energy to performing live that has always fascinated me and I’ll be interested in that until I’m 80.
ER: So are you going to be performing until you’re 80?
Yes. Like Mae West.
ER: Is there an Icelandic pop music scene?
We have a very specific sound called the Icelandic sveitaball (countryside ball) sound. You could say it’s soulful rock. It has great melodies and great hooks. Icelanders are rock ‘n rollers really. Icelandic people cannot dance to the rhythm; they dance to the lyrics. If you go to a disco, you’ll notice that Icelanders don’t move their feet to the rhythm but they do sing along.
It’s like they don’t have the rhythm in their feet, but they have the knowledge in their heads. It’s probably because our forefathers were stuck in these muddy cottages writing poetry and the sagas. This is our origin.
Read more @ www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/feat/?cat_id=16567&ew_0_a_id=322017