INTERVIEW – Reykjavíkurdætur: « We need to stick together to break the status quo on the rap scene »

 

Your bio says Reykjavíkurdætur is made up of 16 femcees. Some articles say you are 17, other 19. How many are you for real?  

16 plus a DJ who plays with us on gigs!

The collective was created in 2013 and none of you was rapping before getting together. How did you learn to rap?  

Some of the girls were already rapping just not as artists more like a hobby. We taught each other and also some of us had mentors. We constantly challenge each other and support one another. Honesty, trust and support taught us more than anything.

How being a clan makes you stronger?

We are stronger in numbers. We need to stick together to break the status quo on the rap scene.

What is the hip hop scene like in Iceland?

There is a big upswing in the scene today. It’s pretty male dominated except for us and a few others. There are many uprising hip hop bands in the scene now than ever before. The range of styles is widening.

As female artists, what sexist stereotypes are you most often confronted with?

That we are just famous for our gender but not our talent. People talk too much about us being sexy but not that we are talented. Media talks more about our clothes and attitude than our music. But we aim to change that.

In France, we have the impression Iceland is a very open-minded and politically conscious country compared to us. You pushed your PM to resign after the Panama Papers, you were the first country to grant women and men equal rights in 1850 and you elected Europe’s first female president in 1980. However, in an interview for Noisey, Vigdís Ósk stated : “Fifty percent of the nation are racist, anti-feminist, narrow-minded and living in a box.”  How do you explain this different perception?

Of course some people in Iceland are corrupted, narrow minded and stagnate. The impression of Iceland you just described is not as much of a paradise as it seems. We definetly feel that we have come a long way when it comes to feminism but at the same time we have a long way to go. Politics on the other hand is a completely different story since there is a lot of corruption going on and there are now two people in the government who were in the Panama Papers for example.

A lot of people have this misperception of Iceland but it takes a lot more time to build up a new system with higher moral standards.

Even for non-Icelandic speakers, your music carries a strong feminist vibe. Can you tell us what topics you tackle for us who don’t understand most of your lyrics?

Politics, sexual abuse, motherly approach to corrupted politicians, feminism, anal sex, body hair, body shaming, empowering women, rape culture, heartbreaks and many more. But some songs intentionally don’t have any special meaning but the one that the listener interpret for themselves.

What are you listening to these days? Which other female artists do you look up to?

Angel Haze, Nneka, Cell7, Beyonce, Little Simz, Dreezy, JOJO Abot, Shadia Mansour and many many more strong female inspirations.

What are your upcoming projects?

Our RVKDTR EUROPE TOUR. Is from the 18th of June until the 17th of July. The tour will start at the Secret Solstice in Iceland and end with FIB festival in Spain. In between we are playing a gig in Norway and having a women empowering feminist workshop, art shop in Canada as well as playing the Roskilde festival.

What do you think about Madame Rap? What should be changed or improved?

We think this is a very cool approach and inspiring website! Just keep evolving and keep writing! Stay open about every artist and keep up the hard work! We love you!

Find Reykjavíkurdætur on Soundcloud and Facebook.

Éloïse Bouton

Lire l’article en français ici.