Iceland's increasingly famous basement teen
Ásgeir Bragi Ægisson is better known as Ouse...or is he? With 50 million listens on Spotify, he is one of Iceland’s most-played artists around the world, even though he is almost totally unknown within the country. That looks set to change fast, however.
Ásgeir makes his music at a computer in his basement in Sauðárkrókur, North Iceland and says he has taken several years to reach this level, but that he is already making good money from music. He hopes to tour America after the pandemic finishes. He recently signed a record contract in the USA with 12Tone Music.
“My song Lovemark really started being played a lot and I don’t know precisely how that happened. It just happened about a year ago, you know, I had released it a long time before, but then it started being played more and more. And then, around New Year this year, I released a song called Dead Eyes which has now reached, I think, 36 million on Spotify,” [actually it's 37.3 million at the time of writing].
Does Ásgeir Bragi find it strange to be sitting in a basement in Sauðárkrókur and knowing there are 37 million people who have listened to his song? “Yes, it is a bit strange, but not massively so, because it’s happened so slowly that I’ve got used to it right away,” he responds. “I remember I saw one time some sort of list, and I was just below Asgeir Trausti, I think I was number seven or something in Iceland, which was very cool.”
Would he say he's already getting rich from it? “Yeah. It’s going pretty well," Ásgeir confides with a shy laugh. “I really want to tour in the USA, but of course it’s not possible to do that now. Hopefully. That is at least the plan, for the future.”