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Olafur Arnalds Q&A's with billboard for 2022 dance/electronic GRAMMY preview

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"I'm a guy from a small town of like, 5,000 people in Iceland. The Grammys were not on my radar of things that might be possible in life."

Olafur Arnalds on Being ‘Stumped’ By His Nomination & Popping a Tiny Bottle to Celebrate

billboard's Katie Bain writes… In this series, Billboard Dance is speaking with each 2022 Grammy nominee from the dance/electronic categories ahead of the 64th Annual Grammy Awards on April 3, in Las Vegas, NV.

When beginning to piece together his 2020 album, some kind of peace, Ólafur Arnalds had the idea to begin the project with an electronic track. This would function as a sort of segue from his electronic oriented 2018 LP, re:member, nodding to where that work had left off before transitioning into more orchestral, ambient sounds. Turns out, Arnalds had the perfect song.

In his files was a collaboration that the longstanding Icelandic producer/composer — whose work earned him a 2020 Emmy nomination — had made with Bonobo during a trip Bonobo had made to Iceland prior to the pandemic. The song, “Loom,” is a textural IDM slow build that shimmers with piano keys, vocal samples and strings, and serves as that electronic segue as the opening track on some kind of peace.

It’s also helped Arnalds delve deeper into the electronic scene, via his 2022 Grammy nomination for best dance/electronic recording, where the composer finds himself amongst perhaps strange bedfellows, including Afrojack and David Guetta and Tiësto. This year, he’s also up for best arrangement, instrumental and vocals for “The Bottom Line,” a collaboration with German composer/producer/vocalist Josin, which also appears on some kind of peace.

Zooming with Billboard from his studio in Iceland, here Arnalds talks about watching the Grammys since he was a kid, popping a tiny bottle of champagne to celebrate his nominations, and why the awards aren’t important, he says, “in any way that matters to creativity.”

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