Hello New Label :: Alda Music :: Ólafur Arnalds Interview
February 13th, 2017 | News
Sölvi Blöndal (Quarashi) and Ólafur Arnalds, have got together to form the all star record label. The new company takes over the music sector and catalogue from Sena, formerly the biggest publisher of music in Iceland.
Alda Music seeks to adapt to new ideas in the music consumer market, heavily emphasising on the stream on demand model such as Spotify and youtube.
HILDUR is the first artist signed to Alda Music, with an EP ready to come out soon. HILDUR should be familiar to the Icelandic music lover, both as a singer for indie sensation Rökkurró, and a Eurovision song contest participant. HILDUR celebrated great success with her solo career in 2016 when her song “I’ll walk with you” climbed the charts and was voted one of the songs of the year on Ras2 national radio.
We spoke with one of the record label founder, Ólafur Arnalds, who must not sleep given his own solo music commitments and now running a label!
IMX: What inspired you to create a new Icelandic Record label?
Ólafur: I guess we saw an opportunity rise in front of our eyes. I have long wanted to see more solid infrastructure in the Icelandic local music market – but it’s maybe not something i would have acted on if the sale of the Sena catalog hadn’t presented itself.
The catalog is huge and includes the majority of Iceland’s recorded history. It just felt like a great opportunity to build something new and exciting on very solid ground.
IMX: What is the labels vision, what is Alda’s philosophy?
Ólafur: I never believed people who said the music business was dying. We’re simply setting out to prove them wrong. But to do that we’ve had to rethink the purpose of the record label a little bit. Different artists have very different needs and we need to be flexible, nurturing and open minded.
IMX: I see Hildur was just signed to the label, is she the first official signing? Any more in the pipeline?
Ólafur: Hildur is such an exciting first name to announce! But we have a few more in the pipelines. Artists from a broad spectrum of music, both new and established. Besides that we will be re-releasing some gems from the back catalogue.
IMX: Will the label have an international focus, i.e are you hoping to break Icelandic artists into the rest of the world?
Ólafur: Currently we are focusing on Iceland. Clean our own back yard before we start shouting over the fence… (i’m pretty sure i just made that metaphor up)
However we are preparing to expand a little bit. There are several artists in the pipeline which have international goals and we would like to provide a platform for them if we can.
IMX: Is Alda about nurturing new talent or signing already established artists?
Ólafur: A lot of both!
IMX: Will Alda focus on a specific genre of music, or more of an eclectic approach?
Ólafur: Given the history of the catalogue, we want to respect the fact that we’re building on the pillars of a pop-label. But whatever “pop” means of course changes with the times – especially in Iceland. I guess we just focus on whatever we think is good music, regardless of what genre it falls under.
IMX: Will there be any Ólafur Arnalds music released on Alda?
Ólafur: I already have a happy home with Mercury KX and Erased Tapes Records. However, Alda is the distributor both those label’s catalogues in Iceland so in this strange sequence of events i accidentally became my own distributor…
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