Svala Björgvinsdóttir , professionally known as Svala, Svala Björgvins or Kali, is an Icelandic singer and songwriter.
Svala is the daughter of Icelandic singer Björgvin Halldórsson. When she was seven years old, she was already a backing singer on an album of her father. She had her first number one hit in Iceland at the age of nine with the Christmas song “Fyrir Jól”, a duet with her father. She had another number one hit at the age of 11, again with a Christmas song, “Ég hlakka svo til”.
Svala studied ballet for 7 years with the Icelandic National Theatre Ballet. At the age of 16, Svala formed the band Scope, a band influenced by British house and disco. The band released a cover of the song “Was That All It Was” in the mid 90s which became a dance anthem and a number 1 hit in Iceland. Svala signed a contract with Skifan Records. After a few records she left Scope to join the band Bubbleflies. She wrote a few songs with Bubbleflies and toured all over Iceland performing original songs and a lot of covers. The song “I betcha” became a hit.
When Svala was 18 years old she started working with the Scottish producer Ian Morrow. In 1999, she signed a deal with EMI and Priority Records in North America. The record deal was one of the biggest deals ever made with an Icelandic recording artist. Svala moved to Los Angeles in 2000 and started writing with some of the biggest hit-makers in the music business at that time. Her debut album “The Real Me” was released in 2001. The single with the same name charted on the Billboard top 40 singles chart. In 2002 Priority Records was bought by Capitol Records and Svala and all the other artists on the label transferred over to Capitol Records. Her album became a platinum selling album in Iceland. It became a succes in Spain, Japan and Germany too.
Svala returned to Iceland and started writing and recording for her next solo album “The Bird Of Freedom”, which was released in 2005. It was produced by Svala herself and her father. The album went Gold in Iceland.
In 2006, she and the brothers inar “Mega” Egilsson Edvard “Eddie” Egilsson, formed the electronic band Steed Lord. In 2006 Steed Lord became WeSC Activists, joining the Swedish clothing brand for all their campaigns. In 2007 they were approached by H&M to design a clothing line which was sold in 52 stores in over 100 countries around the world.
In April 2008 the band was on their way to the airport in Iceland to go touring in Scandinavia when they had an almost fatal car crash on the icy road in Iceland. Svala suffered broken bones and had serious internal injuries. She recovered from the accident and Steed Lord joined Chromeo on their US tour.
Svala moved to Los Angeles again in the summer of 2009.
Svala took a break from music and moved back to Iceland. In 2015 Svala joined The Voice in Iceland as one of the four coaches. In early 2016 Svala formed the duo BLISSFUL with her husband and later in 2016 they released their first single “Elevate” which has got over 230,000 plays on Spotify. On August 24, 2017 the band released their second single “Make It Better”.
On 11 March 2017, she won Söngvakepninn, the Icelandic national final for the Eurovision Song Contest, with the song “Paper. Unfortunately, she failed to qualify for the final.
In July 2018, she was featured on the track “Ekkert Drama” with Reykjavíkurdætur. Svala then released the song “For the Night” at the same moment. In December 2018, Svala was featured on the track “Sex” with Baggalútur. On 26 January 2019, it was announced that Svala was returning to Söngvakeppnin as a songwriter with the song “Nú og hér”, for Þórdís Imsland. It did not qualify for the national final.
On 4 September 2020, Svala released a new single, “Sjálfbjarga”.
Anna Sigríður Snorradóttir
Fanny Kristín Tryggvadóttir
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