There is a certain unspoken gem, a dazzling precious stone in Iceland’s cultural crown of elegance and sophistication. The gem I speak of is, of course, the glimmering glitter explosion, Leoncie (insert skeptical eyebrow raise here).
In our rich tapestry of the completely unexpected, placed next to elves and trolls, swan dresses at Oscars ceremonies, volcanic eruptions and a sudden crash in all things economic sits “Indverska Prinsessan” or, in English, the "Indian Princess" Leoncie.
I have only recently become familiar with her exquisite hairdos, breathtaking eyebrows and renowned music videos and it seems she’s something of an Icelandic icon.
Originally, Leoncie was born in the state of Goa in India but after falling in love with and marrying an Icelandic man, known simply as Viktor, she moved to our little island to Kópavogur, a neighboring town of Reykjavík, christened herself the Madonna of Iceland and began what can only be described as a legendary career.
Describing herself on her MySpace page, Leoncie says she creates "a lovely range of aggressive and yet sensual, dynamic melodies that touch your soul."
From what I can gather, based on my mentioning Leoncie’s name and gauging the response my countrymen give me, she is, despite not being Icelandic by birth, considered by all to be “ours.”
Leoncie’s legacy reaches as far back as 1985 when she released “My Icelandic man” and prides herself in writing, composing, producing her own music and directing her own music videos. In her long list of music videos it is tough for me to choose a favorite; it’s like Sophie’s choice!
There is “Invisible Girl,” where Leoncie zips through the skies of the wider world serenading us with tales of being “a naughty girl.”
“Ást á Pöbbnum” or “Love at the Pub” is a beautiful tale of a girl who walks into a pub, her eyes come across a particularly svelte silver fox drunk with a respectable handlebar moustache and falls instantly in love because they have something crucial in common, they both come from the same suburb of Reykjavík.
A similarly mustachioed gentleman caller can be seen in her video for “Sex Crazy Cop,” though the classy gentleman has swapped his pub-soaked attire for the ever dependable police uniform and indulges his boudoir habits with what I can only assume is Leoncie pretending to be a pole dancer who exclaims, “Ooooh, cheap sex!”
Despite living here, Leoncie was not always Iceland’s biggest fan. She thought the Icelandic media was racist because radio stations didn’t play her music enough (or at all) and that journalists were cruel for making her the butt of various jokes.
But how, I hear you ask, could they not acknowledge her blatant glamour and grace? Fear not faithful readers, I am officially Leoncie’s biggest fan and I recognize the celestial light of her splendor.
I must regretfully convey that Leoncie no longer lives in Iceland. After about a 15-year stay on the island she decided to blow this popsicle stand and move over to the UK to claim the international success she now possesses. When she announced her tragic departure it quite literally made national news.
Her move was featured in papers with statements that she had signed a major record deal, was working with American, English, Indian and Canadian record producers and that her next album was “the bomb.”
Indeed her album was a bomb of sorts but she continues to share herself with the world through her art and through appearances on Eurotrash and the UK’s hit show, the X Factor. You can show your support to this blinding beauty as I did, by joining her Facebook fan group.
Nanna Árnadóttir – firstname.lastname@example.org