Nordic New Music: Jökull Logi

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. 

Audio track to Stokkseyri

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

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