Hafdis Huld is an Icelandic singer with an international fan-base in over 45 countries. Her songs have more than 5 million Spotify streams, are on numerous compilations and advertising campaigns across Europe, she’s had several number 1 singles in her home country, a remix reached #1 on the HypeM remix chart, and she’s a regular guest vocalist for other artists.
Hafdis was born in Reykjavik, Iceland. From the age of 15 onward she toured and recorded with the iconic eletro-collective Gus Gus. Two world tours later, she left the band to collaborate with chill-out electronic outfit F C Kahuna, co-writing and performing on the classic ‘Hayling’ and ‘Machine Say Yes’. She later studied music at the London Centre of Contemporary Music. She was a featured vocalist on Tricky´s 2008 album ‘Knowle West Boy’.
Her debut solo album, the lo-fi ‘Dirty Paper Cup’ (2006), showcased writing collaborations with highly respected co-writers including Jim Abbiss, Boo Hewerdine, Pascal Gabriel, Tim Gordine, Ed Harcourt and Chris Corner. The album got great reviews from critics including The Guardian, The Fly and The Independent, received national radio play on BBC Radio 1, Radio 2 and 6 Music and won the Icelandic Music Award in 2007 for Best Pop Album.
Second solo album ‘Synchronised Swimmers’, (2010), explored bigger sounds with a live, organic feel. It was co-produced by Grammy winning producer Calum MacColl and Hafdis’s partner Alisdair Wright, and recorded by the legendary engineer Phill Brown (Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, Talk Talk). Two of the singles went to number 1 in her home territory and the title track reached no. 2 in the Icelandic album charts – kept off the top slot by Michael Jackson.
In 2011, her recording of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ was used as the theme song for the British film ‘The Borrowers’ and several songs were licensed for use in TV ads in Europe.
In 2012, and while pregnant with her first child, she recorded ‘Vogguvisor’, an album of traditional Icelandic lullabies. With simple arrangements and gentle vocals, it rapidly became a family favourite.
2014 saw the release of her third solo album of original songs, ‘Home’. Written with an array of highly respected international songwriters, it was recorded entirely in her house in the mountains near Reykjavik. The result was a beautifully laid-back album that showcased her pure vocals to perfection and demonstrated her trademark deceptively simple songs with hidden depths. Released in April 2014 on Reveal Records/Red Grape (UK/Europe) and OK!Good Records (USA/Canada). Two songs on the album were included in the popular Asian teen drama ‘My Secret Romance’.
A second Icelandic album for young children, ‘Barnavisur’, released in 2015, was successfully funded through crowd sourcing.
Throughout 2016 she wrote and recorded songs for her fourth solo album. ‘Dare to Dream Small’ (July 2017), includes songs written with some of her favourite co-writers and was produced by long-time partner Alisdair Wright in Iceland. It features the string quartet from the ‘Broadchurch’ soundtrack and was mixed by Addi 800 (Bjork).
Hafdis has a superb live show that blends songs with entertaining chat and anecdotes, all delivered with enormous charm, humour and comedic timing.
Festival appearances include Glastonbury, The Secret Garden Festival, The Big Chill, Camden Crawl and JaJaJa in the UK, Hultsfred in Sweden, By:Larm in Norway, Airwaves in Iceland, Spot Festival in Denmark, Les Femmes S’en Melent and Europavox in France and The Midnight Sun Festival in the Czech Republic. She has supported artists such as Paolo Nutini , Mika, Eg White, Vincent Vincent & the Villains and Baby Bird.
Hafdis is a frequent guest on Icelandic TV and radio and has appeared on numerous UK national radio shows:
BBC Radio 2 – Mark Radcliffe & Jeremy Vine
BBC 6 Music – Radcliffe & Maconie, Steve Lamacq, Chris Hawkins, Jon Holmes, Marc Riley, Lauren Laverne & Phil Jupitus
BBC Radio 4 – Loose Ends.
BBC Radio 3 – documentary on Icelandic Christmas customs
BBC Radio 5 Live – cultural round-up
Video & film
Hafdis has had several acting roles in Icelandic films, appeared in a TV ad for Mercedes Benz and was brand ambassador for Reyka Vodka. Video sessions include Black Cab Sessions, HMV Get Closer, TopShop TV, Songs from a Windmill, Crypt Sessions, Sofar Sounds, Balcony TV, Ice Bar Sessions.
2006 – Tomoko (single)
2006 – Who Loves the Sun (single)
2006 – Ski Jumper (single)
2006 – Dirty Paper Cup (album)
2007 – Diamonds on My Belly (single)
2007 – Diamonds on My Belly (Remix)
2008 – Tomoko (3 remix singles) (reached #2 in Iceland)
2008 – Stop (single)
2009 – Kongulo (single) (reached #1 in Iceland)
2009 – Synchronised Swimmers (single) (reached #1 in Iceland)
2009 – Action Man (single) (reached #1 in Iceland)
2010 – Synchronised Swimmers (album) (reached #2 in Iceland)
2012 – Vogguvisor (album of lullabies)
2014 – Home (album)
2014 – Queen Bee (single)
2015 – Barnavisur (album for children)
2017 – Dare to Dream Small (album)
1995 – Gus Gus (album)
1997 – Polydistortion – Gus Gus (album)
1999 – This is Norman – Gus Gus (album)
2002 – Machine Says Yes – F C Kahuna (single)
2002 – Hayling – F C Kahnuna (single)
2008 – Cross to Bear –Tricky (album track)
2014 – Event Horizon – Lisbon Kid (single)
2014 – Lucky – Glastrophobie remix (reached #1 Hype Machine remix chart)