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Meet Emiliana Torrini: The Icelandic Singer Talks About Her New Album, Combating Stage Fright, and California

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When Emiliana Torrini made her first record she was all of sixteen years old. Recorded as a present for her dad's 50th birthday, it's not an album she's particularly proud of, but the album sold 15,000 copies in her native Iceland. Which in a country of 300,000 people, turned it into a number one hit. Torrini has been making melodic, thoughtful pop ever since. She moved to England when she was twenty-one and launched her music career from there.

When her boyfriend died suddenly in 2000 she stopped making music all together. It wasn't until Peter Jackson, who had gotten a copy of her debut album, called her up to sing “Gollum’s Song” in the Lord of the Rings that Torrini started writing again. Two albums later, and Torrini is headlining at the Troubadour this evening. She was kind enough to speak to us on Saturday about her new album, Me and Armini.

I know the record you made for dad is what launched your career, but how did that record get out in the first place?
I was singing in a choir and I asked the music director to help me record five songs for my dad. He really liked them and wanted to make a record out of them. That's how it happened. I like to call it my drag queen record.