Helgi Valur has long been an elusive figure in a pigeonholing music world, hungry for definitions. A world that might not appreciate the idea of an afterlife where Nina Simone and the ODB are kicking it in Hunter S. Thompson´s compound in heaven while Jeff Buckley and Sam Cooke perform Prince covers.
Following the well-received emergence of the like of Damien Rice, the international music industry engaged numerous “delicate” singer/songwriters in an indiscriminant and fatal embrace. Having himself found inspiration, among others, from Jeff Buckley, Will Oldham and even Mr. Rice, Helgi Valur was worried about the coming wave of adult contemporary bastardization that he wanted no part of. Helgi Valur became disenchanted with what he has dubbed James Bluntism. He concluded in an interview that James was the worst kind of Blunt and gradually shifted from the low-key ballads of his debut album, The Demise of Faith into more incisive territory.
In the coming years Helgi Valur played innumerable live gigs, sometimes with various embodiments of The Shemales or The White Panthers, his respective collaborators. These included the Iceland Airwaves Festivals of ´05, ´06 and ´07. During this time he has also developed his talent of transcending conventional troubadour performance into that of live DJ/remixer armed not with decks but an axe and his warped imagination. Thankfully, the axe in question was made for laying down tracks, not the audience, though they often felt blown away.
Helgi Valur recently released a labor of love called The Black Man is God, the White Man is the Devil. This is both a declaration of Helgi Valur´s lifelong love of hip hop and a musical and political statement that the greatest threat to Iceland´s future is cultural and genetic homogeneity. A rapturous release concert followed which was recorded for future generations. This can be downloaded in its entirety, free of charge, while select performances can be watched on YouTube. Just type in Helgi Valur on YouTube and access the free download there as well - or go straight to helgivalur.bandcamp.com
This year Helgi Valur is back with a mix of his new originals combined with highlights of his unique covers. The new album, featuring the Shemales, will be released before the end of this year will surprise fans and first-time audiences alike with its lush orchestrations and explosive, edgy and instantly gratifying pop incarnations.