Hello and welcome back to DIY’s introducing feature, Get To Know… which aims to get you a little bit closer to the buzziest acts that have been catching our eye as of late, and working out what makes them tick.
When Team DIY headed down to Iceland Airwaves Festival at the end of last year, we were captivated by the impeccable vocals and ethereal presence of Reykjavík-based artist Salóme Katrín. So who better to kick off our Get To Know series for 2024? We caught up with Salóme to find out more about her upbringing, the Icelandic music scene, and what she’s got in store for the next twelve months.
What's your earliest musical memory?
I’m not completely sure what my first musical memory is. I am from a small town called Ísafjörður - it's in the Westfjords of Iceland, and growing up there was a complete adventure. My parents would often drive with me and my little brother to Reykjavík, and as we drove through fjords and valleys, over mountains and hills, we would always listen to music. When I was young it was maybe a seven hour drive, so there was a lot of music to be heard. We had a few CDs on repeat and one of my favourites was Joanna Newsom’s 'Milk Eyed Mender'.
I also distinctly remember hearing the Icelandic band Sigur Rós play at an outdoor festival when I was around five years old. I got separated from my family in a whirlpool of people and I was really scared. I managed to find a policeman and I was quickly reunited with my family. I’ll never forget the sound of Jónsi’s voice floating around, and the strange sound of a guitar being played with a bow.
I remember singing a lot to myself. I was quite good at remembering lyrics so I would sing constantly - even when I went to the bathroom. My mom and my grandmother would sing me to sleep a lot of the time. I’ll never forget my grandmother's voice singing an old creepy Icelandic lullaby.
You're based in Reykjavik - what do you think of the music scene in Iceland at the moment?
The Icelandic music scene has given me so many things. I feel like the most precious thing I’ve experienced is time and space to develop my own voice. That’s a really big part of the Icelandic scene - the freedom and support to be yourself. There are such diverse and interesting projects happening here and I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to be a part of it. If I had to point out something negative, it would definitely be the lack of venues around Reykjavík. I think we need more smaller and intimate venues that allow for experiments, collaborations and diversity.
Who would be your dream collaborator?
BIG question! I recently discussed this with a friend and we had all kinds of angles on who would be fun to collaborate with. After that conversation, I feel like it would be good to collaborate with someone different from myself... I’d at least love to meet Kate Bush and maybe ask Rostam some questions on his string arrangements, they’re pretty cool.
What inspirations outside of music have an impact on your songwriting?
Emotions. Mine and others, and the collective emotional state. I'm like a sponge for emotions; sometimes I don’t know if I am feeling something, or if I’m just empathising too hard. Often it gets too intense and I get lost within a realm of emotional chaos. I think that might be the reason why I work very slowly; there are endless amounts of stories all around us constantly.
Musically or otherwise, what are you most looking forward to this year?
This year I plan to finish writing and recording my first full length album. That’s a pretty scary and huge thing to do, but it's also super fun and exciting. I also hope to spend lots of time with friends and family, cooking food and sharing secrets. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to listen to some cool concerts and maybe even partake in a few.
Finally, we're coming round for dinner - what are you making?
Right now I love making a mushroom lasagne recipe that takes forever to make - it has such a deep and rich flavour. So if I had all day (preferably a rainy or a snowy one), I’d make that. The thing I cook most often though, when I want to be fast and efficient, is a nonsensical veggie stew that has everything my fridge has to offer. It’s good and good for you!
Food is my favourite thing in the world. It brings people together, evokes interesting conversations across generations and cultures, and can heal the soul, body and mind. When you have a friend over for dinner the vibe you create is just as important as the food. If I were having a friend over I would light all of the candles in my living room, play music to compliment the food and the friend, and make sure I have all kinds of delicious drinks to offer.