ESC+Plus has talked to Linda Hartmanns, semifinalist of this year’s Icelandic national selection for Eurovision. Linda will perform «Obvious Love» in the second semi-final of Söngvakeppnin 2017.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision 2017!
Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Linda Hartmanns: I have been singing since before I could speak (according to my mom 😉 I grew up in a christian environment and sang a lot in church. I learned to play the piano from 9 years of age, after I moved back to Iceland from South-Africa, but I lived there for 5 years. At the same age I joined a choir which gave me the good ear for music I have today 🙂 I studied jazz singing in one of the best musical schools in Iceland, Tónlistarskóli FÍH, for 3 years.
In 2010 I joined an all-girl band called Elektra and we gave out a single and a music video for it which became very popular. The name of the song is “I don’t do boys”. We also went on a tour in Iceland in 2010 with another band called Dalton along with playing in Norway for about 3.000 people – that was awesome! The band broke up about a year later, but we’ve all been making our own music careers and we still keep in touch.
In May 2016 I joined a reggae band called Lefty Hooks & The Right Thingz and we’re still going on strong. We are now recording our original songs and playing at festivals like Secret Solstice and Airwaves for example.
I started writing songs in 2007 but stopped for a few years, mainly because I started a family, had 3 kids, but in 2016 I started writing songs again and it’s been going well since.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in Söngvakeppnin 2017?
Linda Hartmanns: Taking part in Eurovision has always been a dream of mine. I’m not in particularly a Eurovision nerd per se, but I’ve always watched Eurovision and loved the show while imagining myself on the stage.
When I wrote the song “Obvious love” in March 2016, I was influenced by some people in South-Africa (which I had visited the previous month for 3 weeks). The people there really inspired me and motivated me to start writing songs again, so as soon as I came home, I started writing.
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-final? Did you expect it?
Linda Hartmanns: Wow, not at all. I mean, of course I really hoped to get in the competition, but I actually just sent my song in the competition and tried to forget about it. Then this one evening when I was doing my first tarot card reading at this wonderful family friend’s house, and while he was telling me that the year 2017 was going to be MY YEAR, my phone started ringing. It was a man calling to tell me that I had gotten into the competition. I could hardly believe it, and I’m still wrapping my head around it. At that moment I thought; From now on I’m not only a singer, but a song writer as well.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Iceland?
Linda Hartmanns: It would mean the world to me! I would appreciate it so much and I am doing everything I can to represent myself here in Iceland. I really believe I have what it takes to represent Iceland and I’m going to prove it.
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Linda Hartmanns: My song is a romantic and dramatic song. It’s about a woman that falls in love with a person but gets scared and runs away from her feelings. When she realizes how she feels it’s too late. He has already moved on.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Linda Hartmanns: I think I can give people a great performance on stage as well as sing from the heart. I have a really big heart with a lot of love to give, which I would love to share with the world. Besides, I really believe in my song and that it could win.
ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your stage performance?
Linda Hartmanns: Yes, a lot. I know pretty much how I’m going to perform, and I’m really excited to show you.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Linda Hartmanns: Yes, I always watch Eurovision! And my favorite songs are Euphoria, Heroes and Tonight Again (difficult to choose only one).
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Linda Hartmanns: I guess it would have to be Måns Zelmerlöw, he’s a great performer.
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?