Born in 1987, Ólafur hails from the suburban Icelandic town, Mosfellsbær, just a few kilometres outside of Reykjavík. He has immersed himself completely in a world of delicate symphonic compositions generating near weightless orchestral pieces. Arnalds explores the crossover from classical to pop by mixing chamber strings and piano with discreet electronics. His motivations are clear: “The classical scene is kind of closed to people who haven't been studying music all their lives. I would like to bring my classical influence to the people who don't usually listen to this kind of music…open people's minds.”
This young artist is steadily gaining recognition worldwide since his 2007 debut 'Eulogy for Evolution'. The 2008 follow-up EP ‘Variations of Static’ earned Ólafur acclaim from both the contemporary and classical field – transcending a traditional divide by uniting their ideals. After filling London’s world-famous Barbican Hall, fellow Icelanders Sigur Rós invited Ólafur to open their most recent European shows, playing to an audience of over 5,000 per night. The following winter, Ólafur conceived ‘Found Songs’ as a way to collate several lost and found musical sketches and ideas in a 'very challenging, but fun' series. The experiment offers its listeners an intimate insight into Ólafur Arnalds’ creative world. 'The songs will be different from what's on my albums; they will be short, mostly just made up from piano. Something to keep me going…’
So far more than 100,000 people downloaded the ‘Found Songs’ series via foundsongs.erasedtapes.com. Each track inspired a wealth of artwork from his fans – submitted via Flickr.
Ólafur Arnalds has also been involved with various other projects and has his music appear in many films, television shows and advertisements. His song Brotsjórwas featured on "So You Think You Can Dance" Season 8. He also spoke at length on the subject of fan-submitted art in the 2011 documentary film "Press Pause Play."
Arnalds, 26, quickly gaining popularity for his genre-crossing compositions blending classical, pop and ambient/electronica influences to a unique musical language, has built up a huge international following with 70,000 Facebook followers and more than 3.5 million YouTube channel views. He is poised to break new ground in multiple genres with the 2013 release of his major label debut "For Now I Am Winter."