Gigja Skjaldardottir


Ylja was formed in 2008 by guitarists/singers Gígja Skjaldardóttir and Bjartey Sveinsdóttir in Reykjavík, Iceland. With a common passion for vocal harmonies and love for the acoustic guitar, the two friends embarked on a musical journey, always trying to expand and broaden their sense for creativity.

Icelandic slide-guitarist Smári Tarfur joined the band in the fall of 2011 and, led by the strong creative vision of the two girls, Ylja’s sound expanded even more. With their dreamy vocal melodies and tasteful guitar riffs accompanied by Smári’s unique lap-style slide playing, Ylja’s sound was born!

Appearances at four consecutive Iceland Airwaves Festivals, the annual Bræðslan Festival in the incredible East Fjords, gigs with Grammy Award winner Glen Hansard, and a concert for the Icelandic president have made Ylja one of the freshest band to come out of Iceland over the past few years.

Their debut album, simply called Ylja, was released in November 2012 and the band was nominated for an Icelandic Music Award as the best newcomer in 2013. Early in the summer of 2013 bass player Valgarð Hrafnsson and drummer Maggi Magg joined the band, and in January of 2014 the legendary guitarist Örn Eldjárn replaced Smári Tarfur and bass player Ingibjörg Elsa Turchi took Valgarðs place midsummer 2014 as the band moved forward in a new direction.

Discover more about Ylja and listen to some of their music here: 

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