David Ólafsson, aka DAVID44, was born in Iceland but now lives in Denmark, which makes sense considering each track he has put out comes with a distinctive juxtaposition. The beat is singular and constant—akin to that of a heartbeat—and the lyrics are unembellished yet pack a punch. With each song the budding EDM artist releases, sincere and heartbreaking lyrics are bound to follow. After we chatted to DAVID44, it couldn’t have come at less than a shock he has pulled a feat like this off because vulnerability in writing is what he embodies.
Coupled with an energetic dynamicism and the mentality of a veteran songwriter, the artist is a self-taught machine who has already developed a palette that is identifiably his own. Fresh off the release of his new single, ‘Truth’, DAVID44 talked to us about his influences from Iceland and Denmark, rejections and plans for an album in 2019.
What initially made you want to get into music?
My childhood friend and I had a conversation on a staircase where he asked me what my biggest dream was. I said that I wanted to be a musician, but that it probably was impossible. He looked at me and told me to let go of my negative thoughts and pursue my dream. I literally quit my job and left my girlfriend and started knocking on doors at all the studios in Copenhagen. Everyone rejected me, until I got a mail like 3 weeks after with a job offer for no money making coffee in a studio in Copenhagen. I moved in and started teaching myself to produce, and haven’t looked back since.
Where did the name DAVID44 come from?
I wanted something that would represent Iceland and Denmark, and 1944 was the year Iceland became an independent state from Danish rule. I thought that David44 had a nice ring to it, and it represented independency. Plus, it’s the year my dear grandmother was born. <3
Have you received advice from anyone that’s helped you in your career?
Definitely. I get advice all the time, but some advice just hits you harder than others. My manager Wahid has told me a lot about hard work, and when he talks, I listen. A great friend and amazing producer Sylvester also keeps reminding me that as long as I write songs, I’ll be good.
You were born in Iceland and now live in Denmark, how have these places shaped your music?
The small community of Iceland which is located in the isolated part of the Northern Atlantic has a lot of toughness. People work really hard and are very true to their heritage. It used to be extremely hard to live in Iceland, and I guess that’s stuck in the culture. We have no neighbours, so the mission is always to take over the world. Icelandic people are dreamers and hard workers at the same time, and that’s something I try to tap into.
Copenhagen, on the other hand, is a pretty big city compared to Iceland and is my favourite city in the entire world. The city is super inspiring and the people in it enjoy life and understand the little things in life. It’s like the city gives you so much energy and is vibrant and diverse. I love going to concerts, to bars and hanging out with different people in Copenhagen. These two things mix really well for me, and it’s definitely shaped my person and also my way of making music. I try to work really hard and find focus, and understanding different styles and ways of doing things.
There’s a minimalist and laid-back vibe to your singles and visuals, is this something you’ve always tried to do?
Not really, it kind of just happened. If you can make something simple work, you’ve done something right. That’s just the way I do things I guess.
You’re new single ‘Truth’ is about to be released, tell me about it. What was the creative process?
I was kind of overwhelmed with the amount of people who don’t believe in themselves, and when I got older I found out my mother deals with a lot of self-esteem issues. It was kind of like finding out that Santa doesn’t exist you know ?… This is a song for my mother trying to tell her that she’s the most amazing and beautiful person I know – she just doesn’t always realise herself.
What is it like putting out a piece of music, with such a vulnerable message, out into the world?
It feels great. That’s why I do what I do, and if I can inspire just one person, I’ll sleep better!
Are there any plans to release an album and if so what can you tell us about it?
My debut album “Truth” is done, and it’ll be out in the beginning of 2019. It’s all about believing in yourself, being true to yourself and being honest. This is the most important message I have for my listeners, and the most important thing I’ve learned in life. Don’t let anybody judge you… I can’t wait for you guys to hear it!
Is a tour in the foreseeable future?
Yeah, I’m definitely hoping to go back on the road in 2019!
And finally, what do you hope to accomplish by this time next year?
Have a second album out and play a bunch of concerts !!
Listen to ‘Truth’ below: