Rúnar Eff Rúnarsson: «I think Mér Við Hlið is a good mix of a personal ballad and a current pop song» (Icelandic semifinalist – Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Rúnar Eff Rúnarsson, semifinalist of this year’s Icelandic national selection for Eurovision. Rúnar will perform «Mér við hlið» (Make Your Way Back Home) composed by himself in the first Söngvakeppnin semi-final set to take place on February 25.

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?

Rúnar Eff: My name is “Rúnar Freyr Rúnarsson” usually known as “Rúnar Eff” I make my living singing and playing all kinds of different music, in all kinds of different venues. I have two albums out and the last one I did has a sort of Country/Rock vibe to it. So this Eurovision song is something quite different to what im used to do 🙂

I have played some concerts and gigs in USA, Canada, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland.

ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in Söngvakeppnin 2017?

Rúnar Eff: Well I have watched the show every year since 1986, so it’s always been a dream to participate, I have been asked before to sing songs by other songwriters and even sent a song myself in that did not make the cut, but I never really felt I had the right song for it until now.

ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-final? Did you expect it?

Rúnar Eff: Just happy and proud. But I was very surprised and actually thought it was a prank call at first, but when I got the email I knew for sure I was in 🙂
It’s a great honor to participate and to have one of the 12 songs out of the 2-300 songs that were sent in is a great feeling.

ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Iceland?

Rúnar Eff: Wow that would be something, wouldn’t it? It would definitely be one of the proudest moments of my music career.

ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?

Rúnar Eff: The song is quite personal, although it started out as a little bit of a joke. My girlfriend comes from Ísafjörður wich is about a 6 hour drive from my hometown Akureyri, she went to her hometown for a visit and i decided to write her a song the very next day, asking her to come back “Make your way back home”.
As life is quite boring without her 🙂

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?

Rúnar Eff: Well I think the song is a good mix of a personal ballad and current pop song, and I have been singing and performing for 10 years now and I now that I can deliver a good performance, having said that, there are so many talented singers in the competition in Iceland and many great songs, so I think no matter what song we send to Ukraine, it will be a great one:).

ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your stage performance for Söngvakeppnin 2017?

Rúnar Eff: Yes, but we have not finalised anything yet, but it will be something that fits the song.

ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?

Rúnar Eff: Ireland 1987 Hold me now by Johnny Logan. Great song.

ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?

Rúnar Eff: Thats easy:) Eríkur Haukson has been my idol since I was 6 years old (Icelandic entry Gleðibankinn in 1996 and Valentines Lost 2007) (he also participated for Norway in 1991).

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