by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Staff Writer
Iceland's latest pop music sensation, the ever-intriguing Haffi Haff, will help Seattle ring in the New Year at Neighbours Nightclub on December 31. Haffi, or H2, has topped the music charts in Iceland since his debut in 2008. Openly Gay and flamboyant H2 is a true entertainer with up-tempo songs and outrageously sexy music videos. SGN caught up with H2 after he landed in Seattle to discuss fame, the essence of Capitol Hill, and why Iceland just may be the coolest place on earth.
Hafsteinn Thor Gudjonsson knows a thing or two about Seattle. Before Haffi was making TV appearances and cutting tracks in the recording studio, he was growing up as little Hafsteinn, the son of Iceland immigrants, in Seattle.
"I love Seattle! Seattle will always remain home, always has been, always will be," Haffi told SGN. "I don't think people understand, or really know how amazing this city is. The people are great, the city is beautiful & the weather is & well, yeah, the city is beautiful," he joked. "Plus, I have always felt the men here are the most attractive, when I compare them with other places I have been. Recently, I was in a restaurant on Capitol Hill and couldn't keep myself from being totally glued to the window, peering out, watching the people as they walked by. How intriguing, attractive and special they are."
Traveling is something that Haffi says can teach people a lot about themselves. Before he left Seattle for Iceland, he traveled all over the U.S. When he was 8 years old, he worked in Alaska on his father's crab boat. Doing that "taught me a lot about responsibility, and gave me a work ethic I still carry with me today." Haffi also lived in Los Angeles, California while studying fashion design for two years.
Seattle may be home, but Haffi says Iceland is "kind of where I was reborn." Since he was a boy, Haffi says he had an obsession with going back to find his roots in Iceland. So, three years ago, Hafsteinn became Haffi Haff, and he moved to Iceland to start a new journey with one purpose and one goal: "to take over the country."
Haffi did just that. Since his breakthrough performance in the Icelandic Eurovision preselection contest, H2 has performed for crowds of over 50,000 people, topped the charts with two #1 hits, and conquered the country's music world. Haffi says he's "been singing almost every weekend for the past two years."
HAFFI HEATS UP ICELAND
"No, there aren't any igloos," he joked about the island nation that sits in the middle of the north Atlantic ocean, right on the edge of the Arctic Circle. "It's beautiful and alien in appearance."
H2 told SGN that Iceland has a vibrant music scene where "DJs rule supreme, rock is always good, dance is in the blood of the people, and the '80s pretty much never left & but that's OK, we love the '80s enough to keep it around!" He says the music scene is intimate and down to earth. "Think of a concentrated Capitol Hill," said Haffi, "with the essence of Whoville."
As an accomplished entertainer, Haffi says his music is ever-changing. "I love electronic music, so I always stay within that realm." To understand H2's sound, think dance mixed with electro '80s Depeche Mode, add a dash of Marilyn Manson, the class of Andy Warhol and Britney Spears, and you've got it.
"I love synths, and am very lucky that currently it is one of the hottest trends in music," he told SGN. "I love to write about stuff that matters to me, it's not always about sex or love. & I like to have fun. The music should sound like it was made in the future."
"I'M TRYING TO REPRESENT
GAY PEOPLE IN A GOOD LIGHT"
Haffi says there's never been a day where he "didn't stick out in some way" - which is easy to understand, as he is tall, sexy, and exudes Gay pride. "The world needs to get over this stigma with Gays," he said. "Aren't we done with this already? I'm trying to represent Gay people in a good light. We are awesome - that's the truth!"
"The LGBT community has been through struggles like any other oppressed people, and should know better about passing judgment. We need to stay grounded and set examples for people to learn from," he cautioned. Still, the entertainer says there are bigger issues facing society besides quarreling about sexual orientation. "I am a fag. I use that word because it's mine. I decided long ago that I wanted to take it from people. It's mine, it's me, and that's cool. This way, no one can use it against me," he told SGN.
"Once you take away the ammo, there is no fear of being shot," he added.
With H2 as its headlining act, the Neighbours New Year's Party will be an exciting and energized way to spend the holiday. Haffi said party revelers can expect "good music that makes you smile. I want people to enjoy themselves. Isn't that entertainment at its best?"
"Through my experiences of performing on stages, I've noticed that regardless of dancers, props, or bullshit that people use to disguise and confuse, it all comes down to the connection that you make with the audience," said Haffi. "If you won't look every single person in the eye and touch them & then go home and perform for yourself."
"Plus, you can expect an injection of the Bedazzler," he added. "Sick!"
In addition to his live performance, H2 will have a limited quantity of CDs available for purchase. The seven-track EP includes all of his hit singles, a new track, and a "nasty remix by an amazing Icelandic DJ Frigore."
You can check Haffi Haff out on the entertainer's Myspace page, www.myspace.com/haffihaff. I recommend watching Haffi's music video for "Jealousy" on YouTube as a good starting point in your exploration of all things H2.
"Come out to the show and have a good time," said Haffi. "It's time for open Gay artists to run the show now!"
Share on Facebook
Share on Delicious
Share on StumbleUpon!