Reykjavik is the focus of the second instalment of New Era's underground docuseries - Features - Mixmag

Reykjavik is the focus of the second instalment of New Era's underground docuseries

As part of the brand's series focusing on global underground scenes, this new film looks at the burgeoning rap scene growing from Prikið, aka 101

  • In Association with New Era
  • 7 July 2023

Lifestyle brand New Era’s docuseries continues to delve further into rising underground cultures, collectives and scenes across the world. The series introduces audiences to the people at the heart of these movements, and encourages the growth of these spaces by providing support.

Its second instalment heads to Iceland's capital of Reykjavik to zoom in on the budding rap scene that has the Prikið building at its centre. In downtown Reykjavik (known as 101 to the locals) Prikið is a community hub: a cafe in the day, a bar in the evening and a nightclub at night.

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It also sits at the centre of Iceland's growing rap scene, with a new and diverse group of artists bringing crowds to Prikið to witness their acclaimed live shows.

One of the people spotlighted is Geoffrey Þór Huntingdon-Williams - the manager of Prikið, founder of Sticky Records and a community figurehead, says that “Iceland is a reactive and magical place to grow up,”.

“We’ve always had this reemergence and disappearance of rap in Reykjavik," he says. "You could get deep about it, and relate it to the history of old Norse rhymes and how we have always liked to play with words. But something about the energy of rap music translates very well here.”

Though the Icelandic rap scene has been largely male dominated, artists such as Countess Malaise are working to change this. Her energetic, fierce sets regularly attract crowds to sell out Prikið,. The Filipino-icelandic underground princess describes her music as “emotional fierce and sexy.”

Indian born Elvar is described as one of the most exciting emerging acts within this budding creative scene. His trap-inspired music has amassed him a concrete fanbase; whenever he and artists such as Countess Malaise release new music, they are sure to receive love from devoted rap and electronic radio station Ultvarp 101.

Joey Christ, an artist who has opened for the likes of Young Thug and Migos, is one of the stations founders — commenting that he had "wanted to create this radio station to be able to have an output."

"A lot of people want to hear stuff they may not have heard, so we wanted to play music we liked that we thought was relevant, and fill a space we feel hasn’t been occupied by the other radio stations. We wanted to create a space where this culture is given the respect it deserves.”

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Recently in May, New Era supported this roster of creative talent by hosting a sellout show at Prikið, with Elvar and Countess Malaise as headline acts, with Geoffrey serving as manager. New Era will also donate funding towards the venue and surrounding cultural scene, to support the artists development.

“New Era are a staple of the hip-hop community,” says Joey Christ, “so I think it’s really cool that they are putting some funding into the scene through Geoff and Prikið. When you perform there, you’re playing for people who love music.”

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