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She Came, Saw and Won – Hera Bjork at the Viña del Mar Song Festival 2013

01/03/2013 | By | Reply More

Hera Bjork wins South American music competition

Hera Björk, Hera Bjork

Hera Bjork has become the first Icelandic aritst to win the International Competition of South America’s biggest music festival, Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar, with the song “Because You Can“.

Lasting an entire week and including performances from some of the world’s most respected and well-loved artists, the festival held in Viña del Mar, Chile has become the number one music event in South America since its establishment in 1960.

Each year as part of the festival, artists and songwriters from all over the world are invited to enter the International Competition, which has previously been dominated by the likes of Chile, Italy, Spain and Argentina. This year, however, Iceland won the competition for the very first time in its 53 year history with a song performed by non-other than the lovely Hera Bjork, who in 2010 entered the Eurovision Song Contest for Iceland with the song Je Ne Sais Quoi.

Who is Hera Bjork?

Hera Bjork is born in Reykjavík on March 29th 1972. Music runs in the family as her mother is a well-known pop singer; Hera Bjork herself started performing at a young age – she had already recorded some children’s songs and appeared in television commercials before her twelfth birthday.

She won her first singing competition in 1988 aged just sixteen, and was the second runner-up in the 1991 nationwide College Singing Competition.

This led to her being offered roles in various musicals, including The Rocky Horror Show, Evita, Little Shop of Horrors and Kiss Me Kate.

She participated in the ‘Sirkus Skara Skrípó’ (‘Skari’s Comedy Circus’) variety show in 1996-1997, and joined a number of ephemeral groups, namely Orgill, Sweetý and 17 Vélar, before releasing two acclaimed albums ‘Ilmur af jólum’ (‘The Perfume of Christmas’) in 2000 and her eponymous album‘Hera Björk’ in 2006, which includes an Icelandic language cover version of 2006 Norwegian Eurovision entry ‘Alvedansen’ (‘Dance of The Elves’).

A top-class songwriting team

In Chile, the song that won the hearts of the judges and that was performed so wonderfully by Hera is called Because You Can, written by Camilla Gottschalck, Christina Schilling, Jonas Gladnikoff and Örlygur Smári.

This team are no strangers to the world of songwriting and have entered the Eurovision Song Contest and various national selections all over the continent.

Örlygur Smári has written no less than three of Iceland’s Eurovision Song Contest entries including Tell Me in 2000, This Is My Life in 2008, co-wrote Hera Bjork’s own entry in 2010, Je Ne Sais Quoi and he’s also the person behind this year’s entry Ég á Líf  (My life) in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Malmö Sweden.

Jonas Gladnikoff has written over 20 entries for national competitions throughout Europe and has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland twice with Et Cetera in 2009 and Niamh Kavanagh’s It’s For You in 2010.

Because You Can was originally a song that we wrote for Hera’s new album. While she was on tour in the US a record company noticed her and entered the song into Viña del Mar, where she made it through with five other artists

Christina Schilling has similarly been involved in many projects and co-wrote Et Cetera with Jonas. The duo have also collaborated on many other projects including Hera Bjork’s song Someday which came second at the Danish national final in 2009.

Hera Bjork

WE DID IT:-D” Hera Bjork with the Sea Gull Trophy Award 2013

Camilla Gottschalck, an actress, singer and songwriter, was Hera Bjork’s backing singer in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2009 and co-wrote Nikki Kavanagh’s song Fallingwith Christina, which participated in the Irish national final in 2011. She has also been involved in many other projects both musically and as an actress.

“When I heard the crowd shouting Islandia and then I was called out as I made it to the finals, I could not fight the goosebumps. This has been great, but now I have to go straight to bed because I have a sound test tomorrow at 12 and the seriousness of life continues”, Hera Bjork told visir last night as she was going back to her hotel.

And she went on: “Then I just have to bring the sea gull home. Sea gulls have always felt good in Iceland”, but the trophy of the competition is a sea gull.

The Popular Icelandic singer, and former Eurovision contestant, Hera Bjork is now in Chile participating in the Vina del Mar song contest.

Turn up your speakers and enjoy Hera Bjork´s song – Because you can


Congratulations Hera Björk – Icelanders and many Scandinavians love you

If you want to learn more of Hera Bjork please visit her official website at:

Also if you like to buy some of her artwork you can reach them below.

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Category: Iceland

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