Oh we are such suckers for beats and they don’t come much better than the fantastic Jökull Logi! The Icelandic jazz hip hop beat master has just released his new album and a new single this week.
Tell us who you are and what’s your sound
My name is Jökull Logi and I make beats. Mainly jazz hip hop, somewhat lo-fi. I think my sound is a bit raw, and sometimes my beats are a bit sketchy. I try not to sample too much but rather play instruments so that I have more control. It’s not really the 24/7 lofi study music, as it tends to be a bit chaotic.
What exciting projects have you got coming up?
I just released my album Bóndi í Brekku which I had been working on for the last months, but I’ve got a few collabs coming up. I’m working with other beatmakers at the moment and I’m really excited about it. I also just finalized a collaboration track I did with jazz saxophonist Mike Casey, and we’re releasing it hopefully in the next few weeks.
Where did you grow up and what music influenced you?
I grew up in the small town of Stokkseyri. It has about 600 people I think. It is a bit of a ghost town now or at least it was when I moved back there to live for a few months in 2013. It has its charm though and a big place in my heart. My track ‘Stokkseyri’ is named after it. Also my great-great-grandfather who’s portrait is on my album cover was a farmer in Brekka, which is a farm in Stokkseyri. So my album is very influenced by my childhood and hometown. I grew up there living with my mom, my grandma and my granddad so the music I grew up with was mostly my grandma’s favourite ‘Raggi Bjarna’ (a beloved Icelandic singer) and then what mom listened to, f.x. ‘Cesaria Evora’ and ‘Erykah Badu’. I would spend every other weekend at my fathers where I would listen to ‘HAM’ and other rock/metal bands because he’s a rock dude. The first CD I owned was Westlife though, pretty dope.
What cool places do you recommend to visit in your city (bars, restaurants, etc)?
Now I live in Reykjavík and I can definitely recommend you some places here. Coocoos Nest is a cozy restaurant/bar that has amazing food and is also a good place to sit down at and have a cup of coffee and some vegan pancakes. They also have Kaldi beer on draft and a wide selection of natural wines. Bike Cave has really good vegan burgers and the staff is very welcoming. If you want pizza, take a short drive to Kópavogur for Íslenska Flatbakan. Their breadsticks are out of this world and they have veganized them. Mat Bar is a great restaurant as well, but a bit more fancy. I went there with my girlfriend for my birthday and I don’t think I’ve ever tasted food this good. For activities I recommend going to the swimming pool. We have a lot of them to choose from here in Reykjavík. I’m only recommending swimming pools, restaurants and not bars or clubs, but that’s because I am 75 years old.
We love recommendations – what have you been listening to, watching, or reading recently?
I recently finished Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ and I really liked it. Right now I’m reading short stories by Leo Tolstoy and ‘The Master and Margarita’ by Michail Bulgakov and I’m liking both a lot. My favourite book is Sandor Marai’s ‘Embers’. I’m not watching anything now but I’m a huge Survivor fan, and for movies I love everything Nicolas Cage does, and in a non-ironic way. ‘Con Air’, ‘Raising Arizona’ and ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ are incredible, his acting is a work of art. If you want music recommendations I just made a playlist with some beats that I like, you can check it out here . Besides hip hop beats I’m listening a lot to Ego Ella May and Okay Kaya these days.
Finally, what was the last thing that made you swear out loud?
Honestly this is a really hard question. I should swear more often. I think it must be when I fell off a bike a few days ago. I was trying to drift but I pulled the brakes too hard and fell in front of the bike. I’m 75 years old so it was incredibly painful.
Interview by Alex Minnis