As BRÍET gears up to take to the stage at Airwaves Festival in her hometown of Reykjavik, we brace the cold winds of Iceland to meet the nation's new sweetheart.
If you’re new to BRÍET on this side of the water, then allow us to introduce you to the latest sensation to come out of Iceland.
BRÍET is definitely not your average star – her ability to waver in between genre’s and transcend musical genres is akin to the magical energy that surrounds Iceland. From crafting and moulding pop jams from her studio, jumping on electronic tracks with her fellow Icelandic stars to pouring her soul out into haunting ballads is the reason why BRÍET can’t be put into a musical box.
The energy that surrounds BRÍET is one that radiates warmth, despite growing up in barren yet mystical environment throughout Iceland’s desolate landscape. She tells me that growing up in Iceland can be a lonely experience – particularly as a teenager – and her response to this was to simply look inward. Suddenly, things began to make a little more sense as BRÍET naturally gravitated towards her soul’s calling and began crafting words from her heart and spinning them into pure gold. It was either that or go crazy she tells me.
Like an old tale of Americana, BRÍET began performing the pillars of Jazz in bars and restaurants around Reykjavik as that was all she wanted to do. BRÍET, with her haunting and enigmatic talent, began creating a buzz around Iceland, and within a few years, she found herself at the top of the Icelandic charts. Her world was transformed and she knew that this was the only path she could take. Wise beyond her wise, BRÍET decided to remain unsigned, despite the repetitive knocks of labels giants, as she wanted to spend her time perfecting her talent and refusing to be put into a box. Rightfully so, BRÍET has amassed millions of streams with her tracks – the kind of tracks that will make you cry whilst dancing – all on her own.
With Iceland Airwaves – the new festival giant growing year on year to becoming one of the best festivals in the world – begins to get their 2019 showcase, we thought it was only right to meet up with one of the freshest talents being highlighted at the festival this year along with stellar artists like Mac DeMarco, Whitney and Murkage Dave. Tickets can be purchased here for the festival in Reykjavik on the 6th – 9th of November.
Check out BRÍET as our latest Internet Crush below!
What’s your creative process when it comes to making your songs?
Um, it’s different. Sometimes I just come up with a concept off of a word, like a cool word. Like the last song I did is called ‘Placebo’. I thought it was a fun and weird concept and I wanted to try and make it into a love kind of conflict – having another person being your placebo. Sometimes it’s just like that. Sometimes I just make chords, me and my producer, we do melodies over the chords to find out the vibe. Yeah, its really soft, or it’s going to be a love song, or pop or dance. So, it’s really what kind of mood I’m in. But yeah, sometimes it’s just a lyric, just how I’m feeling and out of that comes the song. Sometimes it’s like ‘omg that’s a love song and it’s going to be a ballad’, but it changes and goes into a dance song.
What are three words that you would describe yourself with?
I think I would say that it’s from the heart, it’s fun and it’s sad [laughs].
Being from Iceland, has that had an impact on the way you create your music?
Yeah maybe, because it’s really dark sometimes here and you get depressed, you know. And because there’s not much to do here then you just create. Its really bad weather outside so you just stay inside and do something, you know. So maybe that’s the reason, there’s a lot of musicians here in Iceland because there’s not much to do. There are no rollercoasters, like the only thing you can do is drive around, get ice cream and go to the cinema. That’s really it though [laughs].
Do you think that’s how you got so in tune with yourself?
think so yes. Probably because of just how I’ve grown up, like just my surroundings there. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m an Icelandic person. You just have to use your time wisely or else you’d go crazy.
What are you looking forward to in the next couple of months in terms of your music?
Just releasing music more, more music videos and I’ve been a bit afraid of signing a contract because I’ve always felt like I was too young or not knowing like my sound, or anything. But I think I’m ready to do that now. Because when I was seventeen and went to all those meetings I was like ‘What the fuck? I don’t even know what you’re talking about’ and stuff, I just finished school you know! So I waited, and now I’m 20 and I feel like I can do this.
What do your parents think of your success so far?
They’ve been so supportive and so great. I mean my Dad, he’s just living his dream, in my world you know. My Mum, she just gets it. She’s not like, ‘what are you wasting your time for?’ Or anything like that she’s just like ‘go, girl, just do it’.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations that inspire your work?
I listen to so much jazz, and like Chet Baker is just incredible – just his voice. Billie Holiday too, he’s my favourite one. Um, Amy Winehouse of course! Then Bon Iver and Tame Impala.
What was it like growing up here as a young person?
It was like free. You never had to lock your bicycle, you just threw it as nobody will steal it. You never lock your car or anything it’s just really safe. It’s good but it’s kind of not good at the same time because when you go to the big world you trust everybody and they are just playing with you, you know? I’m really happy I was born here in Iceland, because of the nature and how people are, and it’s lonely but when you’re lonely you make something. I liked growing up here.
What is it like for you when you perform on stage?
It’s great. I love it. I love that you can be sad and go on stage and be happy afterwards. It can be really hard because you see a lot of energy and a lot of faces and everybody is giving you mixed signals. Like some are smiling, some are dancing and looking at you or someone’s just on their phone so it can be really confusing and can take a lot of energy from you but I just love it.
Do you have a goal in the next year of where you want to be, or how much work you want to have created?
I just want to be happy. So, if I will sign a contract and I’m happy and that’s what I want to do, but if it’s going to make me, just fuck me up then no I’m not going to do it. Now I’m happy just making my own music, performing, I get to dress up and meet new people and I love it and I’m so happy – It’s just what I’m going to continue doing.
What would someone expect when they come and see you perform at Airwaves?
They would see maybe me being over the top and wearing something freaky. Umm, me saying weird stories that won’t make any sense because I just wanna say something. I think they’re going to see me and get to know me. There’s a lot of times when I go to concerts and I don’t even get anything from the artist so, I try to make mine more personal.
What have you learnt about yourself in the industry so far?
A lot. I’ve learned that maybe I say yes too many times. I learned that I’m getting to know me more. I’m getting to know my producer a lot more and just by taking time – you just have to give everything time with whatever you do – just give it time. Then you get to know it better or understand something you didn’t understand before.
What’s one fun fact that people may not know about you?
One fact about me… I lost my driving licence because I was driving too fast. Whoopsie. Wait that’s not fun [laughs].
What’s one album that really stayed with you?
‘For Emma, Forever Ago’ by Bon Iver.