There aren’t many 21-year-olds with the introspection of Icelandic artist Glowie – real name Sara Pétursdóttir – but then again, she’s always been one for doing her own thing.
Hailed from Reykjavík, she’s nailed the hit-making formula: self-assured pop bops with a head-nodding R&B baseline. But it’s when you actually delve into the lyrics and clock the layers, that you realise her music is so much more.
Bullying, body positivity and beauty expectations are just some of the topics she deftly covers, with bangers that have so far included “Body” and “No Lie.”
With the visuals for “Cruel” out today, we chatted to the up-and-comer about her Icelandic roots, living with ADHD and why body positivity is so important…
How did you get into music?
I grew up around a lot of music and I got really passionate about singing around 9 years old and then everything else just kind of happened after that. I worked with some people in Iceland and right away after releasing my first single I got interest from record labels and two years later I signed with Columbia Records in the UK and RCA in the US, and now here I am.
I heard you come from a musical family – can you tell me a little about this?
My dad used to be in a few bands as a lead singer and my mom is very musical too – she played piano as a kid and sang backing vocals with my dad’s band. So me and my siblings all did something in music when we were younger, but me and my oldest brother are the only ones who are going for it full-time.
What kind of music did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to Mary Mary, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Destiny’s Child, Outkast, Alicia Keys, J.Lo and Craig David.
How do you think being from Iceland has influenced your music and style?
Everything is so free and crazy in Icelandic music and style, I guess that’s what I’m taking with me from there, taking risks and doing things that are unexpected.
Why did you decide to call yourself Glowie?
It was very random. My real name is Sara but I just thought there are a lot of singers out there called Sara so I just thought it might be cool to have something different and unique.
How would you describe the genre of your music?
Well it’s pop, but it has a dark R&B twist to it. I like to mix different styles together and don’t like putting a label on it.
You’ve addressed body positivity and beauty in your songs – why is this so important for you?
All these ideas coming from TV and magazines about what beauty is are so wrong. I just want to remind people that this is not real life, and that it doesn’t matter what size and shape you are, you are beautiful the way you are. Unfortunately as humans, we compare ourselves to one another a lot and that’s just not healthy in any way, this is not a competition, this is real life and you’ll be much happier if you spend it embracing your own beauty instead of spending it constantly changing yourself to what is “in fashion.”