Arts, Culture & Media

He's a chart-topper in Iceland. But now with an English-language album out, new audiences are taking notice

Asgeir Trausti is a singer-songwriter from Iceland with a new CD out called "In the Silence."

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

Trausti grew up in small town in the northwest of Iceland - the town of Laugarbakki. They live in Reykjavík now.

But no matter where you live in Iceland, when you're a musician in the small Nordic island country, any performance stage is far - whether it be in London, New York or LA.

Trausti admits being in Iceland can be isolating.

But for Trausti, things are starting to happen for him outside of Iceland.

It may be because of "In the Silence" was recorded in English. 

Trausti's debut album from 2012, "Dýrð í dauðaþögn," was recorded in Icelandic.

"Then we translated the whole album - which is 'In the Silence,'" Trausti says. "It was released worldwide. We've done one album up until now and the process has always been, writing the Icelandic lyrics first and then we translate into English."  

It's a little different for an artist to record an album, and then a year later, basically re-do the whole thing in a different language. 

"It's not usual, but we wanted to do an English version of the album and try and get it out of Iceland," Trausti says. "We were just lucky that our label was interested and wanted to help us ... I definitely think we wouldn't have gotten this success outside of Iceland if we hadn't translated the album."
 
In Iceland it takes two-hours to get anywhere. It can be hard for a band to start touring and get their name outside of Iceland. 

But the distance isn't stopping Trausti. He's coming to the US in June with "In the Silence" for a few dates, including a stop at the Bonnarro Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee.

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