In this interview, we delve into the musical journey of the young and vibrant artist, Hákon Hjaltalín. Hákon, known for his latest single “Battle with Mortality,” is an aspiring multi-talented artist determined to make a positive impact on the world through his music. Drawing inspiration from classic rock and the musical influences of the 60s, Hákon’s songwriting takes center stage in his compositions.
We learn about Hákon’s early introduction to music, starting with his sister teaching him a simple melody on a keyboard at the tender age of four. Growing up in a family with a strong musical background, Hákon’s passion for music continued to blossom. Influenced by iconic bands like The Beatles, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, he honed his skills in playing various instruments such as the violin, guitar, piano, bass, and drums.
Through his creative process, Hákon emphasizes the importance of songwriting and crafting compelling lyrics. His musical style has evolved over time, but he remains determined to push his boundaries further. Instead of focusing on external competition, Hákon sees himself as his main competitor, constantly striving for personal growth.
With an album titled “Shadows” on the horizon, Hákon Hjaltalín embraces the concept of battling mortality through his thought-provoking lyrics. As he continues his musical journey, Hákon’s passion and determination promise an exciting future filled with artistic collaborations and further exploration of his craft.
As we conclude the interview, Hákon shares his aspirations for the future, including extensive practice, band rehearsals, and gaining a broader musical knowledge. He also expresses the desire for recognition and sustainable income within the music industry, as well as more constructive feedback for aspiring artists.
Listen to Battle With Mortality below
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What is your stage name?
Is there a story behind your stage name?
I got it when I was born 🙂 It’s an Icelandic name which might be hard to pronounce
for non-Icelandic people, but I chose my own name rather than coming up with another one,
though things might change in the future.
Where do you find inspiration?
I tend to enjoy older music, I grew accustomed to it through my childhood and in many cases
I find it more interesting musically. Some of the 60’s influences are very audible in my
music, but I’ve contemplated developing a more unique sound for the future.
What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
My first memory of playing music must have been around age 4, my sister, who is 6 years older, taught me a very simple version of Ode to Joy on a small keyboard she used, and somehow I could pick up very simple melodies by ear. Soon after I started playing the violin with a
Are you from a musical or artistic family?
Music and art is prominent on my mother’s side.
Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
The interest has grown throughout my entire life, since I started learning music from
a teacher very young.
How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
Aside from the instruments I learned as a child (violin and guitar), I’ve been able to pick
up the other instruments that I play in my music (piano, bass, drums) on my own, and writing is also something I had to experiment with, I’ve listened to The Beatles for a long time and they knew songwriting, so they taught me as well in a way. Singing did not come naturally to me, but I’ve worked with a teacher during some time and improved at my own speed.
What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
It must have been a show in the town I grew up in, a small town in Iceland. I don’t remember for sure who it was, but I doubt they were known far outside of Iceland.
How could you describe your music?
Songwriting-focused. I think the strongest factor in the music I’ve recorded so far is
the writing of the song and lyrics.
Describe your creative process.
Usually the chords/melodies come first. I might think of some chord progressions in my head or on the piano maybe, and when I think of something clever, for me it’s a matter of finding a following melody or chord progression that makes sense in the context.
I write the lyrics on top of that in the majority of cases, and one part of that is making the flow fit to the
song melody properly.
What is your main inspiration?
Up until now, my inspiration has been limited to a fairly small number of bands from the 60’s-70’s
such as The Beatles, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and such bands. I’m working to expand
my musical knowledge including listening to a bigger variety of music.
What musician do you admire most and why?
The Beatles have always had a place for me, their playing was fairly simple but their
composing and songwriting skills were groundbreaking. The main pioneer of it all I think
is Chuck Berry, his work was most revolutionary.
Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
Somewhat, but I’d like to evolve it further.
Who do you see as your main competitor?
Myself I’d say. Getting better at something means getting more advanced than you were
before, and I try to compare my progress to myself only.
What are your interests outside of music?
I’m interested in programming, science, math and physics specifically. I also self-study
business and finance.
If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
I work part-time as a programmer for a government institution which is a demanding job and
needs active study. Having programmed since I was a child I’d probably do that aside from
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
Temporarily losing interest to some degree. When you stop practicing you lose the abilities
you’ve been honing for all this time.
If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
Recognition and sustainable income. There is also a lot of competition, and detailed feedback
on what must be improved is valuable, rather than rejecting someone without further explanation.
Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
Battle with Mortality speaks for itself in the lyrics. The album title, Shadows, is a diverse
concept that appears in the lyrics in some songs on the album.
What are your plans for the coming months?
Practicing a lot, planning and organizing band practice, and learning about music and the
Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
I will be performing live following the album release in a 5-person band, and we have been
discussing further creative collaboration under a band name.