EUROVISION 2019: What Next – Hatari

What next for this year’s Eurovision finalists?

Iceland: Hatari

by Christopher Smith

Iceland has had a mixed reception at Eurovision in recent years. In the ten years since Yohanna came second with “Is It True?” in 2009, the country has only qualified fives times since and generally finished within the bottom half of the finals board. So this year’s entry from techno-rock band Hatari was greeted with shock and surprise. The trio put forward their song “Hatrið mun sigra” (“Hatred Will Prevail”) and to many others astonishment, came tenth with 232 points.

Hatari formed in 2015 by Klemens Nikulásson Hannigan, Matthías Tryggvi Haraldsson and Einar Hrafn Stefánsson, although it wasn’t until 2017 that they released their debut EP “Neysluvara” and the singles “Ódýr” and “X”. The group have toured and played live extensively in Iceland, and in 2018 played at the annual Eurosonic Noorderslag festival in The Netherlands, premiering their new single “Spillingardans”.

In January 2019, Hatari threw their name into the hat to represent Iceland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, submitting “Hatrið mun sigra” and winning Söngvakeppnin 2019 above nine other acts. The song was written by the boys themselves and came third in the semi finals just days before the event itself. “Hatrið mun sigra” received just 46 points from the jury, but was more successful in the tele vote, which bestowed them with a further 186 points, the sixth highest by the public at this year’s contest.

Hatari have not rested on their laurels with the contest and have already released a follow up “”Klefi/Samed” with Palestinian artist Bashar Murad with a video shot in Jericho. The group look set for a more assured future now their name is very definitely out there on the world stage!

Click here for the other artists featured in this series

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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