Icelandic musician Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson, better known as Prins Póló, has passed away at the age of 45. Svavar was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2018.
“With death itself on your back”
“Rest in peace, genius and friend,” music critic Arnar Eggert Thoroddsen wrote in remembrance of musician Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson (better known as Prins Póló) who passed away yesterday at the age of 45 after a four-year battle with cancer. He continued:
“Your contribution to Icelandic art is immeasurable, and your name will live forever, just watch. Your fertile ideas, your inclination to buck trends, to just DO, never to overthink things, to be constantly doing – with death itself on your back in the end … Icelandic art – and Icelandic music in particular – has been greatly impoverished.”
Svavar Pétur Eysteinsson founded the alternative rock band Skakkamanage in the mid-2000s. The band would go on to release three albums: Lab of Love in 2006, All Over The Face in 2008, and Sounds of Merrymaking in 2014. Svavar Pétur was also a part of the bands Rúnk and Múldýrið.
Svavar began releasing albums under the name Prins Póló in 2010 (Prinspóló initially) with his debut album Jukk. The single Niðrá Strönd enjoyed great popularity and was, among other things, featured in an episode of This American Life in 2013. Prins Póló released París Norðursins, a single from the eponymous album in 2014, which became something of an anthem.
Iceland Review’s Jelena Ćirić interviewed Svavar Pétur last year. Speaking to Jelena, Svavar tried to shed light on the personal tensions that governed his art: “There’s an imp on my right shoulder that’s always saying: ‘Be wise, do something practical.’ Then there’s one on my left shoulder that just goes ‘bleeehhh!’ Then they talk to each other and somehow it works out.”
Svavar had three children with his wife Berglind Häsler.