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NAS 10 Questions with Jóhannes Bjarki Sigurðsson

This time, we get to know Jóhannes Bjarki Sigurðsson, an Icelandic singer-songwriter who has been active since 2016. His motto in life is to "have fun and my music is a part of that."

The track "Stuck" is featured in the New Artist Spotlight Family of Playlists.

Link To New Artist Spotlight Playlists:

1. Tell us a little about where you are from and what you are currently doing.

I hail from Iceland and I'm living in a town called Akureyri in the north. Born in a small village called Hjalteyri about 20 km. away from Akureyri. I work at a local school but outside of work, I have a lot of hobbies like disc golf, golf, long walks, and music of course. What I love most about music is writing songs.

2. What inspired you to start playing and making music?

In 2016, at the age of 41, I installed a karaoke app on my phone and started singing. I was only a shower singer until then. The reaction of people made me believe that I can actually sing. Then, 2 years later, I decided to follow an old dream and started learning to play guitar. 2 years later I found out I can write songs and that was a very welcome surprise. So my inspiration is basically how far I can get having no musical background and starting late. In September 2022 my first 2 songs were released to streaming platforms and here we are today 🙂.

𝟯. Who are your biggest influences?

Guns 'N' Roses but my music is nothing like theirs. When I write songs I just go with what comes to me.

4. What are your goals in the music industry?

Just have fun and see where I can get it. I would love to get my songs on the "big" radio stations in Iceland and other countries.

5. Tell us about your creative process when you make new music.

I usually have decided what chord progression I want to do something with. Then I find some words I want to tell people about. Usually something close to my heart. Something I've experienced in life at some point. Then, when I play the chords and hum the words to it, the melody comes to me very quickly. It usually takes me about 15-30 minutes to have the skeleton of a song ready. But I never try to force-write songs. I just do it when I want to say something. In 3 years I've written 15 songs.

6. What is your all-time favorite song?

Patience by GNR.

7. What is the best advice you have either given or received in terms of music?

I have a very good friend who makes a living in music and she has been cheering me on since I started out. She has always told me that I have a great voice and that anybody can write songs if they play an instrument. So I guess the best advice is to believe in myself and what I have.

8. Proudest accomplishment?

Publishing my songs to streaming platforms for sure. For me, it's a huge milestone to be able to put something I wrote onto streaming platforms where it will live forever. And I didn't even know I could write songs, sing or play guitar a few years ago.

9. Just for fun! What's been your most embarrassing moment so far?

When I had been learning to play guitar for a few months there was a concert we, the students, held. I decided I would play and sing Country Roads. Practice went great and I was ready. I thought 🤣. When I started playing, my fingers felt stiff from nervousness and I made mistakes I never made in practice. That felt terrible. But I can always count on my voice so it wasn't all bad. Just the guitar playing.

𝟭0. Tell us about your lowest and highest points in music so far.

My highest point, as I've said, was publishing my songs to the world. The lowest point would probably be not hearing back from the Icelandic radio stations after sending my songs to them. That seems to be the norm here. Even if songs do get in the artists are not even notified. I think that's terrible. It would be great to get feedback as a new artist too. I have no idea why my songs haven't gotten in because, in my opinion, they are good enough for sure. Some artists seem to get radio play no matter how good or bad their songs are just because they are well known. That is what I think at least 🙂.

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