Icelandic Optimism Award to Jazzy and Hopeful Artist Laufey

The artist Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir during the award ceremony with Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson (to the right) and Rannveig Rist, CEO of the Icelandic aluminum company ISAL. The company sponsors the award, consisting of a statuette and ISK 500 000. (Photo: Birgir Ísleifur Gunnarsson)

On Wednesday, the annual Icelandic Optimism Award was granted to Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir, who creates a dreamy soundscape of jazz, pop, and classical music. The award is meant to encourage artistic work, which in turn inspires the surrounding community, says Iceland's president.

Norsk versjon.

The Icelandic-Chinese artist Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir (25) is the winner of the Icelandic Optimism Award of 2023.

She was granted the award on Wednesday by Iceland's President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.

"I am proud to present the annual Icelandic Optimist Award to singer-songwriter Laufey, whose music has taken the world by storm. The award has a long history in Iceland as recognition and encouragement for Icelandic artists who inspire us," says Jóhannesson.

While two gloomy wards have characterized his and his other Arctic political leaders' New Year's speeches, they have also advocated for seeing and protecting the bright spots and a belief in the future.

Along these lines, the Optimism Award and Laufey come into play. She had her breakthrough on the world stage in 2022 with the debut album Everything I Know About Love, and has become a fantastic representative of Icelandic culture, the jury withholds. 

"She is a unique role model for young Icelandic musicians. Her music combines trends from jazz and contemporary music, and her unique voice and songwriting have placed her in the forefront among young musicians in the world today," states the jury.

"As a musician, my goal is to bring jazz and classical music to my generation through a more accessible road," says Laufey herself, who also plays multiple instruments and produces.

She is honored to receive the award, called bjartsýnisverðlaunin in Icelandic, which she also refers to as an award of hope. Inspired by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, and Norah Jones, Laufey will continue to create music she hopes will reach as many ears as possible.

Laufey's words in the song Dreamer

Let me be a dreamer

Let me float

I can see the whole world

From my own little cloud

Up by the Milky Way

I'll stay here forever and a day

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