Fura is a collaboration between the songstress Björt Sigfinnsdóttir and the producer duo Hallur Jónsson and Janus Rasmussen, behind Bloodgroup. From humble beginnings as record store workers – which I can relate to – they now produce late night electronica and stunning vocals from the Eastern reaches of Seyðisfjörður. Björt tells us more:
Who or what is FURA?
Fura is a fusion between the songstress and composer, myself, Björt Sigfinndóttir and the producer duo Janus Rasmussen and Hallur Jónsson. We have known each other for many years as both me and Hallur come from the east and worked together in Skífan record store at Laugavegur in the good old days. Janus first came to Iceland through the LungA festival, which I am the co-founder and manager for. The guys formed the electro band Bloodgroup, which I admire a lot and then in late 2012 our paths crossed and we started making music together.
Where does the name ‘FURA’ come from?
Well, there are two sides to the answer of that question. Firstly where the idea of the name comes from: I was living abroad and my friends kept on telling me that I needed a new artist name as my name is to similar to Björk and it would be confusing for foreigners. I could see their point, even though I like my name a lot, so collectively we started brainstorming on names. Then one day, my Swedish friend Max came to me and said that his father had suggested the name FURA and then it was settled. Short, precise and sounds beautiful both when pronounced in Icelandic and when foreigners try to pronounce it, I think.
The meaning of the name however: In Icelandic it means a pine tree, but I connect way more to the Colombian story of the world’s greatest emerald that was created from the tragic love story of Fura and Tena, sort of the Romeo and Juliet of Colombia.
How would you describe your music?
Emotional, vulnerable and honest. Full of contrasts, dominating bass lines and heavy beats against a soft clear voice. It is a mix of many genres built on an electronic foundation.
You are from Seyðisfjörður on the East Coast of Iceland, right? Does that have any influence on your music?
I am, yes, and Hallur from Egilsstaðir and Janus from the Faroe Islands. I can of course only speak for myself and for me it’s a definite yes. Seyðisfjörður, its surroundings, its culture and inhabitants influences everything I do. My love for that place is enormous and pretty much all my projects, both professional and amateur, have something to do with this town (FURA, LungA, LungA School, Heima collective). It grounds me, gives me time and space to sort out my thoughts and feelings, it gives me extravagant nature and unpredictable weather, it gives me isolation and the feeling of home. It is my favorite place in the entire world.
What’s the best thing about Seyðisfjörður?
Practically I would say time, you get some extra hours in your day cause you don’t have to use any time on transport and such. Emotionally I will say the nature and what it has to offer, all year round! It is so magical.
I love ‘Demons’. What’s it about?
Well thank you, I’m very honored that you like it. We are all colored by our past. What we see, hear, taste, feel and experience throughout our life influences us in various ways. More often then not, I feel like life encourages people to build protective walls around them which then end up holding people back from really experiencing life, cause it does not only keep them from all the heart ache and stuff but it also keeps out all the deep emotional connections that we are not able to experience without taking the risk of getting hurt. So, Demons is a love song, where I sing to the one I love so dearly and ask him to break down these walls for me and save me from my self-created prison of fear.
I’d rather go up and down on the emotion scale, through the worst of heart aches and greatest of love, than never feel nothing at all…wow, is this a line for a new song?!
What future plans are there for FURA? An album, I hope…..
Yes, we are currently working on an album and aim to release at least an EP before Airwaves this year.
Originally published on Iceland Review online. Photographs courtesy of FURA.