Icelandic rapper talks to Clash...
Sturla Atlas

Icelandic hip-hop artist Sturla Atlas released his new mixtape '101 Nights' a matter of hours ago.

‘Time’, the first track and video, was shared late February and attached to it visually was a minimal, clinical and intimate undercurrent. The rapper described it as “a peak Sturla Atlas song”.

Sturla admits that this mixtape has more of a pop vibe than previous projects, but there is also a touch of darkness to the lyrics.

Although lyrics are sung in English, Icelandic references are made throughout, such as motorway routes and untranslatable Icelandic puns.

‘One Life’ features 18-year-old Icelandic Rapper, Aron Can and another track is named after Baltasar Kormákur, famous for directing 101 Reykjavik, an Icelandic rom-com from the Noughties. True fact: 101 is the postal code for the old town in Reykjavik.

Clash asked Sturla his inspiration behind the creation of '101 Nights', how 101 Boys have changed as a group and their plans for Summer 17…

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What's your favourite track on the mixtape?
My favourite song right now is ‘Waiting’. I just think the whole vibe of the song comes through in a really powerful way. The vocals, lyrics and build up all compliment each other.

What are 101 boys planning for Summer '17?
We are doing some festivals in Europe and we also want to do a tour around Iceland with other artists and collaborators.

Tell us about Baltasar Kormákur, for those who may not know…
So Baltasar is a huge figure in Icelandic culture at the moment and an inspiration to us. He started out as an actor and then went on to directing theatre and movies and today he does big budget Hollywood movies. His first film was 101 Reykjavik, based on a novel by Icelandic author Hallgrímur Helgason, so it made sense to pay homage to what he's done for our city and culture.

Why did you choose 'Time' to be released first? Time is a 'peak Sturla Atlas' song. I feel like the sound in 'Time' really captures our style as a whole and that's why we picked that as a single.

This is your fourth mixtape... as a group how have you changed?
We've grown a lot as songwriters since we've started. The best thing about this new tape is that we gave ourselves much more time with the music than our previous releases. The music and our whole identity is clearer and more exciting.

Were there any key influence on '101 Nights'?
Long nights in the studio, never seeing daylight and listening to ambient and soul music.

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'101 Nights' is out now.

Words: Laura Allbones

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