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Encyclopedia > Quarashi
Quarashi
Origin Reykjavík, Iceland
Genre(s) Hip hop, Alternative rap, Rapcore, Dance, Techno, Pop
Years active 1996–2005
Label(s) Sony BMG/Lax/Pop Músík/ Japis/Sproti/Columbia/Time Bomb/Skífan/Dennis
Website http://quarashi.simblogg.is/
Members
Sölvi Blöndal
Egill Olafur Þorarensen
Steinar Orri Fjeldsted
Omar Örn Hauksson
Former members
Hössi Ólafsson

Quarashi was a rap/hip-hop group from Reykjavík, Iceland. It was composed of Hössi Ólafsson (replaced by Tiny (real name Egill Olafur Þorarensen) on the final album), who was the lead vocalist and frontman of the group, Omar Swarez (Ómar Örn Hauksson), who served as a rapper and hype man, and Steini a.k.a. Stoney (Steinar Orri Fjeldsted), who also served as a rapper and hype man. The fourth member of the group was Sölvi Blöndal, who was their producer, keyboardist, percussionist, and drummer. He also helped in the songwriting process. For live shows, Quarashi was joined by a guitarist (Smári "Tarfur" Jósepsson, later replaced by Vidar Hákon Gislason), a bassist (Gaukur Úlfarsson), and a DJ (DJ Dice, later replaced by DJ Magic). Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Location in Iceland Coordinates: , Constituency Government  - Mayor (Borgarstjóri) Dagur B. Eggertsson Area  - City 274. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Hip hop music is a style of music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. ... Alternative hip hop (Bohemian hip hop) is a style of hip hop distinguished by socio-political lyrics, sparse beats that sample few and/or unusual sources (see jazz rap) and uniquely positive rhymes. ... Rapcore is a musical genre that fuses the techniques of hip hop, gangsta rap, hard rock, heavy metal, alternative rock, hardcore punk and sometimes funk. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For the comic book character previously known as Techno, see Fixer (comics). ... For other uses, see Pop music (disambiguation). ... In the music industry, a record label is a brand and a trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. ... Bertelsmann is a transnational media corporation founded in 1835, based in G tersloh, Germany. ... Time Bomb Recordings was a record label founded by Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness together with his manager Jim Guerinot. ... Hössi Ólafsson performing with Quarashi in 2002. ... Hip hop music is a style of music which came into existence in the United States during the mid-1970s, and became a large part of modern pop culture during the 1980s. ... Location in Iceland Coordinates: , Constituency Government  - Mayor (Borgarstjóri) Dagur B. Eggertsson Area  - City 274. ... Hössi Ólafsson performing with Quarashi in 2002. ... Sölvi Blöndal (Born January 3rd 1975) is one of the founders of Quarashi. ...


The group has a loyal following, especially in their native Iceland. Each of their records (Switchstance, Quarashi, Xeneizes, Kristnihald undir Jökli, Jinx, Guerilla Disco) have sold well in their homeland. Quarashi was a rap group, but they combined elements of rock, techno, and funk into their songs, lending an air of unpredictability in their music. Comparisons to Rage Against the Machine, Eminem, and The Beastie Boys are often heard when discussing Quarashi, but the group had their own unique style that distinguished them from other famous rap/rock groups. Their influences ranged from Public Enemy (Blöndal says that P.E.'s Fear Of A Black Planet is what inspired him to make music) to Led Zeppelin, and that can be heard in their songs. Rage Against the Machine (also Rage and RATM) is an American rock band, noted for their blend of hip hop, heavy metal, punk and funk as well as their revolutionary politics and lyrics. ... Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), better known as Eminem or Slim Shady, is a Grammy and Academy Award-winning American rapper, record producer and actor from the Detroit, Michigan area. ... The Beastie Boys as depicted on the cover of their 1992 album Check Your Head. ... Public Enemy, also known as PE, is a hip hop group from Long Island, New York, known for their politically charged lyrics, criticism of the media, and active interest in the concerns of the African American community. ... For the bands 1969 eponymous debut album, see Led Zeppelin (album). ...

Contents

History

Pre-Quarashi days

Sölvi and Omar met when they were children during a protest against a U.S. military base in Iceland. They both played in several different rock, punk, and heavy metal bands, while Steini was a famous skater who had won numerous championships. He was also a well-known graffiti artist around Reykjavík. During his time as the drummer for the punk rock band, 2001, Sölvi began to develop a preference for studio production over band rehearsal-style songwriting. He also wanted to produce different types of music besides industrial rock and punk, so he quit 2001, and began making rap music. Heavy metal is a form of rock music characterized by aggressive, driving rhythms and highly amplified distorted guitars, generally with grandiose lyrics and virtuosic instrumentation. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... Industrial rock is a musical genre which is a fusion of post-industrial music and rock music. ...


At around the same time, Sölvi met Steini at a skate park while he was doing community service for public drunkenness. The two hit it off, and Stoney joined Sölvi in making rap music. Soon, Sölvi invited fellow former 2001 band member Hössi Ólafsson (the two had met when they both went to the University Of Iceland) to join his group. A skate park is a recreational area where skateboarders, inline skaters, and bicyclists can perform tricks. ... The University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands) is a state university, founded in 1911. ...


Originally, Hössi would sing, while Steini would rap, but when Sölvi heard Hössi rap, he decided that his musical group would have two rappers. All that was left was a name. Sölvi, Hössi, and Steini decided upon Quarashi, meaning "supernatural", which was Steini's nickname as a skater, and was spray-painted all over the walls and streets in Reykjavík. Quarashi was also the last name of Muhammad. And so, in 1996, in a garage in a house in Reykjavík, Iceland, Quarashi was born. Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ...


Quarashi become stars in Iceland (1996–1999)

Quarashi quickly went to work on creating music. On November 29, 1996, they released their first record, an EP entitled Switchstance, which was released under Sölvi's own record label, Lax Records. Only 500 copies were made of the 5 song disc, but all 500 copies were sold in a week. The EP topped the Icelandic album charts, driven by the popular title track. Today, it is rare to find a copy of Switchstance, which is now considered a collector's item. Quarashi was the first rap act to find major success in Iceland, so the demand for the group was high. The Q boys quickly went back to their studio at Bergstaðarstræti, Nýjasta tækni og vísindi to continue recording the music that would make up their first album. is the 333rd day of the year (334th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full 1996 Gregorian calendar). ...


A year later, on October 13, 1997, Quarashi released their self titled debut album (dubbed "The Egg Album" by fans, because an egg appears on the album cover). The album was an immediate smash, topping the Icelandic album charts thanks to its collection of catchy rap songs such as "Thunderball", "Catch 22", "Mr. Amber Shades", "Superwoman", and "Framogtilbaka". Richard Oddur Hauksson was credited on Quarashi as the fourth member of group (as the DJ), which he also was credited as on Switchstance, but today, he has faded into relative obscurity, because most fans consider the original Quarashi line-up to be Sölvi, Hössi, and Steini. is the 286th day of the year (287th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ...


Unlike Switchstance, Steini and Hössi traded verses on most of the songs, whereas Stoney rapped more on Switchstance than Hössi. 6,000 copies of "The Egg Album" were made, and all 6,000 copies were soon sold, making the album go gold in Iceland. Like Switchstance, it is rare to find a copy of Quarashi, but the CD is found on eBay every once in a while. This article is about the online auction center. ...


Quarashi were now stars in their homeland, becoming one of Iceland's hottest musical acts, performing sold-out shows all over the small nation. Their mix of catchy rap songs fused with rock, funk, and techno, accompanied by the smooth, but sometimes silly and nonsensical rhymes from Hössi and Stoney garnered love from both fans and critics alike. Quarashi toured all over Iceland to support the album, including performances as the opening act for both The Fugees and The Prodigy, and then took a brief hiatus from making music in 1998. The Fugees are a critically acclaimed music band from the United States, popular during the mid-1990s, whose repertoire includes primarily hip hop, with elements of soul, and Caribbean music (particularly reggae). ... The Prodigy (or just Prodigy)[1] are an English band. ...


On October 25, 1999, Quarashi returned with their second album, Xeneizes, named after the nickname given to Argentine football team Boca Juniors by its fans. Xeneizes picked up where Quarashi left off, giving fans more catchy rap songs fused with rock, funk, and techno, accompanied by the sometimes serious, sometimes silly lyrical stylings (and singing talents) of Hössi and Steini. The album also featured special appearances by Icelandic rappers Ciphah (on the song "Mayday"), and Omar Swarez (on the songs "Punk" and "Stick 'Em Up"), who was not an official member of Quarashi yet (he had rapped on some of their songs in the past though). Xeneizes was another hit album for Quarashi, topping the Icelandic album charts due to such catchy tunes as "Surreal Rhyme", "Jivin' About", "Model Citizen", "Tamborine Cut", "Show Me What You Can", and "Xeneizes". Several United Kingdom record labels began showing interest in Quarashi, but the group turned down all offers. 6,000 copies were made of Xeneizes, and once again, all sold out, making Xeneizes the second Quarashi album to go gold in Iceland. is the 298th day of the year (299th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Club Atlético Boca Juniors is one of the most popular Argentine sports clubs, best known for its football team. ...


Quarashi reach America (2000–2002)

Quarashi had never specifically ventured to find a record label in the U.S., and were content with their success in Iceland. But by the time Xeneizes was released, American record labels had started paying attention to the group. In the meantime, Omar Swarez officially became the fourth member of Quarashi, becoming the third rapper in the group.


After hearing the Xeneizes album, specifically, the song "Stick 'Em Up" (which, according to Sölvi, sounded like something Limp Bizkit would do), EMI Music Resources contacted Quarashi to perform at the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival hosted by EMI in conjunction with Flugleiðir in New York City in the fall of 1999. The group performed two shows to rave reviews. The EMI emissary met with Quarashi, and the group went into a studio (which Sölvi has called a "crack house") to record six songs (four with vocals), with the EMI emissary watching them. Limp Bizkit (alternately written as limpbizkit) is a nu metal and rapcore band from Jacksonville, Florida. ...


In February 2000, Quarashi began negotiations with record labels, wrote some new songs, and performed shows for record executives. During one of these shows at the New York City club, Brownies, a stage monitor blew up, nearly causing a riot, which added to the appeal of Quarashi in the record executives eyes. On April 27, 2000, it was announced that Quarashi had signed a deal with EMI Music Resources, a deal which gave the group creative control. Soon after, they were signed to independent record label, Time Bomb Recordings. is the 117th day of the year (118th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ... Time Bomb Recordings was a record label founded by Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness together with his manager Jim Guerinot. ...


On August 31, 2000, Quarashi announced that they had signed with Sony Music Entertainment Incorporated under the Columbia Records label. The deal was to last for 6 albums, the first of which would be produced in collaboration with Cypress Hill DJ, DJ Muggs, and Brendan O'Brien, who was the recording director for the Red Hot Chili Peppers breakthrough hit album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, and helped produced three of Rage Against the Machine's hit albums, Evil Empire, The Battle of Los Angeles, and Renegades. Quarashi moved to New York City to begin making their American debut album. is the 243rd day of the year (244th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full 2000 Gregorian calendar). ... Columbia Records is the oldest brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888, and was the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. ... Cypress Hill is a mostly-Latin American hip hop group from South Gate, California, who is quite possibly most well remembered for their song Insane in the Brain. Their consistent advocacy around the legalization of cannabis consumption has contributed to their popularity. ... Lawrence Muggerud (born January 28, 1968 in Queens, New York), and better known as DJ Muggs (or simply Muggs), is Cypress Hills DJ and producer. ... Brendan OBrien is a record producer, engineer and mixer who has worked with many artists, including Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Our Lady Peace, Aerosmith, The Wallflowers, Matthew Sweet, Limp Bizkit, Velvet Revolver, Lifehouse, Red Hot Chili Peppers, KoЯn, Follow For Now, Trey Anastasio... Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American alternative rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1983. ... Singles from Blood Sugar Sex Magik Released: 1991 Released: 1991 Released: 1992 Released: 1992 Released: 1993 Blood Sugar Sex Magik is the fifth studio album by American alternative rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers, released on September 24, 1991. ... The term evil empire was applied to the former Soviet Union (USSR) by U.S. President Ronald Reagan, American conservatives, and other Americans, particularly hawks. ... Alternate cover The Battle of Los Angeles is the third studio album by Rage Against the Machine. ... Look up renegade in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


After the recording of the album, Sölvi Blöndal and Hössi Ólafsson produced the soundtrack for the Halldór Laxness play, Kristnihald undir Jökli, which was directed by Bergur Þór Ingólfsson, and ran in the Borgarleikhús in the winter of 2001. The album, released on September 22, 2001, was filled with original music written and produced by Sölvi and Hössi, and was released under the Quarashi name. Only 500 copies of Kristnihald undir Jökli were made, but most of the copies were sold, and today, the CD is a rarity. Kristnihald undir Jökli fused traditional Icelandic classical music with techno, electronic music, and rock. The album also delved into genres fans hadn't heard from Quarashi yet, such as jazz. Also during the fall of 2001, Quarashi performed a live concert with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra (the band, Botnleðja also performed) in the Háskólabíó in Reykjavik, which is notable for being the first time that a rap act performed a live concert with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. In film formats, the soundtrack is the physical area of the film which records the synchronized sound. ... Halldór Laxness Halldór Kiljan Laxness (born Halldór Guðjónsson) (April 23, 1902 – February 8, 1998) was a 20th century Icelandic author of such novels as Independent People, The Atom Station, Paradise Reclaimed, Icelands Bell, The Fish Can Sing and World Light. ... is the 265th day of the year (266th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... For other uses, see Electronic music (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Rock music (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Jazz (disambiguation). ... Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands or the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (ISO) is widely considered to be one of the leading Nordic orchestras, continues to attract audiences through its high standards of performance coupled with innovative programming. ...


Quarashi's first single from their American debut album, "Stick 'Em Up", was released in February 2002 to much fanfare. The music video, which was a parody of the film Snatch, was in heavy rotation on MTV2, as promotion began for Quarashi's next album, which was titled, Jinx. Snatch is a 2000 film by British writer-director Guy Ritchie. ... MTV2 is a cable network that is widely available in the United States on digital cable and satellite television, and is progressively being added to basic cable lineups across the nation. ...


At long last, on April 9, 2002, Jinx was released in America. Jinx was a collection of 5 new songs ("Mr. Jinx", "Baseline", "Malone Lives", "Copycat", and "Weirdo") and 7 songs from Xeneizes ("Stick 'Em Up", "Tarfur", "Jivin' About", "Xeneizes", "Fuck You Puto", "Dive In" "Bless"). "Stick 'Em Up", "Tarfur", "Jivin' About", "Xeneizes", and "Fuck You Puto" were rerecorded with "Jivin' About" being retitled "Transparent Parents". Only "Dive In" and "Bless" remained unchanged. Although there were now three rappers in Quarashi, there wasn't any song on the album that featured all three emcees. Instead, Hössi Ólafsson rapped the most on Jinx (and sang on "Dive In"). Omar Swarez rapped several verses on "Stick 'Em Up" and "Weirdo", and rapped a verse on "Baseline", "Copycat", and "Fuck You Puto". Omar also sang the chorus to "Malone Lives" and did background vocals on "Mr. Jinx" and "Transparent Parents". Steini a.k.a. Stoney rapped a verse on "Tarfur", "Transparent Parents" (where he sang the chorus), and "Xeneizes", and also did background vocals on "Stick 'Em Up", "Mr. Jinx", "Baseline", and "Fuck You Puto". is the 99th day of the year (100th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Mr. ... A Master of Ceremonies or MC (sometimes spelled emcee) is the host of a staged event or other performance. ...


Jinx received mixed reviews. Some critics loved the group's eclectic mix of rap, rock, funk, and techno. While others saw the group as ripoffs of other, more successful rap/rock acts like the Beastie Boys and Limp Bizkit. Despite "Stick 'Em Up" receiving heavy rotation on rock radio stations and MTV2, and reaching Number 27 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart, and despite Jinx receiving praise from several critics, Jinx debuted at Number 104 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, and then fell 40 spots to Number 144 one week later. Jinx never cracked the Top 40. The Beastie Boys are a hip hop musical group from New York City consisting of Michael Mike D Diamond, Adam MCA Yauch, Adam Ad-Rock Horovitz. ... Limp Bizkit (alternately written as limpbizkit) is a nu metal and rapcore band from Jacksonville, Florida. ... Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry. ... The Billboard 200 is a ranking of the 200 highest-selling music albums and EPs in the United States, published weekly by Billboard magazine. ...


Quarashi encountered some problems during their time at Columbia Records. For one, complications in their contract delayed the release of Jinx. Originally scheduled for release in January 2001, the album was pushed back to February 2002, then March 2002, before finally being released that April.


Another problem Quarashi encountered was that they were marketed as a rap/rock band, when they were actually a rap group that used rock and punk guitar riffs, funk samples and techno beats in their songs. While Quarashi is seen in Iceland as unique and creative, in America, which has a market filled with rap/rock bands such as 311, P.O.D., and Linkin Park, Quarashi was seen as nothing more but a generic, unoriginal rap/rock band, designed to cash in on the slowly declining rap/rock genre. Despite Quarashi stating in numerous interviews that they were, in fact, not a rap/rock band, they were still considered one by both critics and the American public. Because of this point of view, and because of Columbia Records' weak marketing of Quarashi, the group faltered in the U.S. By November 2002, promotion for Jinx had ended, and the group quietly faded away into obscurity in America. Rap rock is a hybrid of rap and rock music. ... This article is about the California metal band. ... Linkin Park is a rock band from Agoura Hills, California. ...

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Still, despite not becoming the very popular and massively successful group that they are in Iceland, Quarashi did find some success and got some recognition in the United States. They were a part of ad campaigns for MTV2 and Levi's Low Rising Jeans. Spin Magazine named Quarashi one of the "Bands To Watch" in 2002. The singles from Jinx, "Stick 'Em Up" and "Mr. Jinx", have been used as background music in several movie trailers and TV shows such as 2 Fast 2 Furious, Alias, Smallville and commercials for The NBA On TNT. Some of the songs from Jinx have appeared in several video games including Amplitude (game) and Transworld Snowboarding, while "Mr. Jinx" was apart of the soundtrack for the best selling Madden NFL 2003 video game. The music video for "Mr. Jinx" was in regular rotation on MTV, MTV2, and Much Music (now Fuse TV), and was voted as the MTV Viewers Pick for the week of September 20, 2002, although the video would be shown on the three music video channels for about 3 months, and then was never shown on any of those channels ever again. "Stick 'Em Up" was nominated for a 2002 MTV Video Music Award for Best Art Direction (which they lost to Coldplay's "Trouble"). And perhaps most importantly, Quarashi was a part of the Vans Warped Tour in the summer of 2002. Since the Warped Tour is one of the biggest and most anticipated tours in the U.S., it was considered a big deal for Quarashi to be a part of the 2002 edition of what is known as "punk rock summer camp" that went all over the U.S., and featured such famous rock acts as NOFX, Good Charlotte, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Levis is a brand of riveted denim jeans manufactured by Levi Strauss & Co. ... Spin is a music magazine that reports on all the music that rocks. Founded in 1985 by publisher Bob Guccione, Jr. ... Mr. ... 2 Fast 2 Furious is the 2003 sequel to The Fast and the Furious. ... Alias is an American Spy-fi television series created by J. J. Abrams which was broadcast on ABC from September 30, 2001 to May 22, 2006, spanning five seasons. ... Smallville is an American television series created by writer/producers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and was initially broadcast by The WB. After its fifth season, the WB and UPN merged to form The CW, which is the current broadcaster for the show in the United States. ... The NBA on TNT, known since October 2002 as TNT NBA Thursday, is a TV show which broadcasts National Basketball Association games on TNT. TNT began airing NBA games in 1988, and aired games on multiple nights of the week (usually twice a week with sister network TBS airing another... The PlayStation 2 game Amplitude was developed by Harmonix and is the sequel to the game Frequency. ... Screenshot Madden NFL 2001 (Nintendo 64) Madden NFL is an American football video game developed by Electronic Arts Tiburon (EA) for EA Sports. ... This article is about the original U.S. music television channel. ... MuchMusic (often called Much) is a 24-hour cable television music video and variety television channel based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which debuted on August 31, 1984 as one of the first Canadian cable specialty channels on the air. ... Fuse is a music video-oriented television channel. ... The MTV Video Music Awards were established in 1984 by MTV to celebrate the top music videos of the year. ... The following is a list of MTV Video Music Award winners for Best Art Direction. ... Coldplay are an English rock band. ... Trouble is the third single from Coldplays debut album Parachutes. ... Warped Tour is a touring punk/ska music and extreme sports festival. ... NOFX is an American punk rock band formed in Los Angeles, California (now based in San Francisco), in 1983. ... Good Charlotte (IPA: ) is an American rock band from Waldorf, Maryland and formed in 1996. ... The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were a ska-core band from Boston, Massachusetts. ...


After the Vans Warped Tour ended, Quarashi began a tour of Japan, where they had better luck in getting fans and finding success. Japan is only second to Iceland in terms of Quarashi fans, with the Jinx album being a huge hit in "The Land Of The Rising Sun". The Q boys then traveled to Australia, and then Europe, but were only moderately successful on those continents. For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...


After spending the summer and fall of 2002 performing around the world, Quarashi took a break to relax back in Reykjavík. In the end, Jinx ended up selling a little more than 100,000 copies in America. While this was considered a success by the boys of Quarashi, it was looked at as a huge disappointment by Sony, as the album failed to make Quarashi the mega-successful rap/rock group they were banking on. Because of this, rumours started circulating that Quarashi was going to be dropped from Columbia Records. Meanwhile, Hössi Ólafsson was growing tired of being a member of an internationally touring musical act, and let it be known to his fellow Quarashi members that he was thinking of leaving. He also claimed that he was forgetting how to speak Icelandic due to being away from Iceland for long periods of time.


Hössi Bids Farewell (2003)

And so, right before Christmas 2002, Hössi Ólafsson, one of the founding members of Quarashi, bid farewell to the group to enroll back into the University Of Iceland in order to learn the Icelandic language all over again, and to get away from the music industry in order to lead a normal life. Quarashi announced Hössi's departure on their official messageboard on January 3, 2003. It was a shock to fans that Ólafsson, who was only 23 years old at the time, would leave the group just after they released their first album in America, the first of 6 albums they were supposed to release while being apart of the Columbia Records label. However, they soon accepted the reality that the lovable Hössi, the lead vocalist and frontman of Quarashi, was gone, and was never to return. Nonetheless, Sölvi vowed that Quarashi wouldn't end, and that they would find a new rapper to replace Hössi. The University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands) is a state university, founded in 1911. ...


The now 3 members of Quarashi disappeared under the radar for the first half of 2003, as they searched for a new rapper. Quarashi popped up in July with a brand new song, "Mess It Up", which featured Steini trading verses with underground Icelandic rapper, good friend, and member of the Icelandic rap group, O.N.E., Opee (real name Ólafur Páll). The song was released only in Iceland, and was a hit, reaching Number 1 on the Icelandic Mainstream and Alternative Singles charts, and winning the Icelandic EFFEMM Award for 2003 Song Of The Year, and the EDDA Award for 2003 Video Of The Year. Rumours circulated that Opee would be the newest member of Quarashi, but Opee turned down the spot, saying he wanted to concentrate on O.N.E. He did two more songs with Quarashi, "Orð Morð" featuring legendary Icelandic musician Jóhann G. Jóhannsson, and "Shady Lives", an unreleased track. Opee performed with Quarashi at Menningarnótt (Culture Night) in Reykjavík in August 2003 and also performed with Quarashi at the CMJ New Music Festival at Tobacco Road in New York City on October 23, 2003 before going back to O.N.E. is the 296th day of the year (297th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Quarashi disappeared again in the fall of 2003, as they continued their search for a replacement for Hössi. Then that fall, Sölvi heard a song called "Straight Execution" by an underground rapper from Iceland. The moment Blöndal heard this song, he knew he had found the newest member of Quarashi. Blöndal had seen this rapper before, as he had been a judge in a freestyle rap competition which this rapper had competed in. Sölvi had been impressed when he heard this rapper freestyle in the competition, and he was impressed when he heard this song. So, Sölvi called the rapper on the phone, and told him that he wanted to work with him. The rapper worked with Quarashi for some time, before Quarashi decided to add him to the group.


His name is Egill Olafur Þorarensen, but he raps under the name, Tiny.


Hello Tiny (2003–2004)

On November 13, 2003, Quarashi released a new song exclusively in Iceland, entitled "Race City". The song had the type of sound fans had come to expect from Quarashi, except that instead of Hössi's Zach De La Rocha sounding voice being heard the most, what fans heard was a voice that sounded like Eminem's. That voice belonged to Tiny, who was Quarashi's newest member. Quarashi made the official announcement on November 16, 2003. Tiny is a short 20 something who bears a resemblance in both voice and appearance to Eminem, and dresses and acts like a thug which immediately distunguished him from Hössi's "nerdy" persona. There was mixed reaction to the announcement. Some fans refused to accept a Quarashi without Hössi. While others welcomed Tiny with open arms, and were ready for Quarashi's new sound. Zack, circa 1996. ... is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Many fans thought that "Race City" would be the first single off of Quarashi's next album, but the song was later taken off the album when Sölvi decided that "Race City" didn't reflect the new direction Quarashi was taking. Now, it is considered by fans to be a song made to introduce Tiny to the world. "Race City" was still released as a single, reaching Number 1 on the Icelandic Alternative Singles chart.


Following the November 24th premiere of the "Race City" music video, the Q boys went back to work, rehearsing and writing songs in their Reykjavík studio, with a goal to release an album by the end of 2004. Anticipation was running high, and Quarashi would only heightened the anticipation by opening their online blog, which would serve as their official website, in December of 2003. Quarashi would update their blog several times a day with new messages, pictures, and videos that would show their progress in the making of their new record. November 24 is the 328th day (329th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


Quarashi would soon take a break from songwriting and rehearsals to make their return to live performing, as a way to have the fans warm up to Tiny, and as a way to promote their new album. Tiny's first live performance with Quarashi occurred on December 20, 2003 at the club, NASA in Reykjavík. The Q boys traveled to Japan once again to perform at the 2 day Sonicmania concert in Tokyo in January 2004, and then performed "Race City" at the Icelandic EFFEMM Awards that February (which is where they won the award for 2003 Song Of The Year for "Mess It Up"). Quarashi also performed during a long weekend in Iceland called "The Verslunarmanna Helgi", where they played gigs at Sauðárkrókur (a small town in northern Iceland), and Akureyri. Quarashi was the opening act for both 50 Cent and The Prodigy, when those two popular musical acts traveled to Iceland. 50 cents may refer to 50 subunits of currencies where the subunit is called a cent. ... The Prodigy (or just Prodigy)[1] are an English band. ...


On February 24, 2004, the rumours about Quarashi's future at Columbia Records/Time Bomb Recordings came true as it was announced that Columbia Records had dropped Quarashi from the label due to the disappointing sales of Jinx. Quarashi was also released from their EMI Publishing contract. Quarashi announced that they would search for a new record label that would release their albums all over the world. is the 55th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


In April 2004, Quarashi began recording their next album, their first one with Tiny, and their sixth (and what would turn out to be their final) record overall, which was under the working title of "Payback". In June, Quarashi released the first single off their new album on their official website, "Stun Gun". The song showed the new direction Quarashi was heading into, as it featured a harder, more hip-hop oriented sound, showing that the Q boys were moving away from the more techno and funk oriented beats of songs past. "Stun Gun" also showed the difference between Tiny and Hössi when it came to lyrics as Tiny's harsh, mean-spirited rhymes were a lot different than Hössi's silly and nonsensical rhymes that were filled with pop culture references.


The change in direction was met with mixed reviews. Some fans feared that the more hip-hop oriented sound would make Quarashi sound like American mainstream rappers, and therefore, take away their appeal. Other fans loved the change, feeling that after doing four albums in seven years which had similar sounds, a similar style, and similar lyrics, that it was time for Quarashi to head in a new direction. Whether or not fans liked the changes, one thing they all agreed on was that Steini should have appeared on the album. Steini had chosen not to participate on the new Quarashi record in order to concentrate on his solo career. Stoney told the fans that even though he didn't participate on the album, and was working on a solo album, he was still a member of Quarashi.


Guerilla Disco (2004–2005)

On October 14, 2004, Quarashi released their fifth and final full-length album and sixth record overall, Guerilla Disco. It was released only in Iceland under the Skífan and Dennis Records labels. The album was met with mostly positive reviews, as fans embraced the new sound and style. Tiny rapped the most on Guerilla Disco, with Omar playing hype man on some songs, and trading verses with Tiny on others. Some of the songs on Guerilla Disco were about experiences from Tiny's own life such as "Stars". Tiny's stories, which were told through his rapping impressed Quarashi fans greatly, and while some fans still weren't ready to fully accept Tiny just yet, they could admit that he was a talented rapper. is the 287th day of the year (288th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Guerilla Disco was another hit album for Quarashi in Iceland. 6,000 copies of Guerilla Disco were made, and all 6,000 copies were sold in 10 days after its release. The success of Guerilla Disco proved to Quarashi that the fans were okay with the more hip-hop oriented sound, gangsta rap vibe, and more meaningful lyrics with a little bit of a Quarashi "edge" added in. It also proved to them that Quarashi fans were okay with Tiny being in the group. Other tracks on the first album with Tiny onboard included "Pro", "Brass Knuckles", and "Dead Man Walking".


Also in October 2004, Quarashi teamed up with the stars of the popular Popptíví (the MTV of Iceland) TV show, 70 Minutes, to make a song and music video called "Crazy Bastard". The video was a parody of several pop, rap, and rock acts like Britney Spears, and featured the stars of 70 Minutes rapping, with Omar and Tiny playing hype men. The song and video became a fan favorite, and when more copies of Guerilla Disco were made, "Crazy Bastard" was added as a bonus track on the CD. Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is a Grammy Award-winning[1] American pop singer, dancer, actress, author and songwriter. ...


In January 2005, it was announced on the official Quarashi website that Quarashi had signed a deal with Sony Japan to release Guerilla Disco in "The Land Of The Rising Sun". On March 3, 2005, Quarashi released Guerilla Disco in Japan. The album became a huge hit, on the strength of the single "Payback", as Quarashi's giant fanbase in Japan came out in droves to purchase the album. The album, slightly changed a bit for the Japanese release (the track listing is different, and there are also 2 remixes and 2 new tracks, one of which is "Race City"), peaked at Number 2 on the Japan International Top 40 chart, selling 30,000 copies in its first month of release. Quarashi took another hiatus in May, leaving fans to wonder when their next album would be released. is the 62nd day of the year (63rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The end of Quarashi (2005)

On August 5, 2005, Sölvi Blöndal did an interview in the Fréttablaðið where he announced that Quarashi had broken up, saying that being a member of Quarashi wasn't fun anymore. Omar Swarez later confirmed this to be true on the official Quarashi messageboard, saying that he had originally intended to quit the group, but instead the Q boys decided it was time to stop making music together. Quarashi fans all over the world were shocked after hearing this. After 9 years and six records, Quarashi was no more.


Quarashi's final concert was on April 15, 2005, in Akureyri, Iceland. is the 105th day of the year (106th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: Location of Akureyri in Iceland Coordinates: , Constituency Northeast Area  - City 125 km²  (48. ...


For a short time, rumours circulated that Sölvi Blöndal had signed a deal with Sony to release Guerilla Disco in the U.S.A. in September 2005. This has been confirmed as false by Omar Swarez on the official Quarashi messageboard.


Quarashi today

The four members of Quarashi have moved on to do their own projects. Steini a.k.a. Stoney now spends his time caring for his newborn child, and is still working on his solo album, performing instrumental music (what he calls "chill electro") under the name, ca.1. ca.1 released a 4 track EP in 2005, and a full-length album is due for release sometime in 2006. // Extended play (EP) is the name typically given to vinyl records or CDs which contain more than one single but are too short to qualify as albums. ...


Ómar Swarez enrolled into the Iceland Academy Of The Arts majoring in Graphic Design in 2005. Ómar writes and does illustrations for the Icelandic comic book, Queef. He's also the author of the book, Óli Píka, and also designs posters for Icelandic films. In 2006, Swarez starred in a series of commercials for Smirnoff Ice (which featured the song "Copycat"), with the commercials being shown in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. According to his MySpace profile, Swarez is now in the process of writing two screenplays, showing that the former member of Quarashi has moved from music and into film. Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Smirnoff is a famous vodka distillery founded in Moscow. ... MySpace is a social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music, and videos. ... A screenplay or script is a blueprint for producing a motion picture. ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... This article is about motion pictures. ...


Sölvi Blöndal enrolled back into the University Of Iceland in 2005, and is still making music. He's also thinking about getting into directing plays. The University of Iceland (Háskóli Íslands) is a state university, founded in 1911. ...


Little is known of what Tiny is going to do now that Quarashi has broken up, though he may decide to pursue a solo career in Iceland.


Hössi Ólafsson is still involved in the Icelandic entertainment industry. He appeared in an Icelandic comedy film in 2004, and has also written several articles for Icelandic newspapers. In 2006, Ólafsson joined the Icelandic alternative pop band, Ske, as their lead singer. Ske is an icelandic band whose origins can be traced back to 1992 when a band called Skárren ekkert was formed. ...


Band members

The final Quarashi line-up was as follows:

This was the group's lineup from 2003 until their breakup in 2005. Hössi Ólafsson founded the group with Sölvi and Steini in 1996, and served as the lead vocalist and frontman, but left in 2002. Egill Olafur Þorarensen replaced Ólafsson as a member of the group in 2003. is the 17th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... is the 28th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 188th day of the year (189th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 Pick up sticks(MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 3rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Frequent contributors to the band included:

  • DJ Magic (DJ)
  • Bjössi Ingimundarson a.k.a. DJ Dice (DJ)
  • Gaukur Úlfarsson (Bassist)
  • Smári "Tarfur" (which means bull) Jósepsson (Guitarist)
  • Hrannar Ingimarsson (Engineer/Mixer/Guitarist/Keyboardist)
  • Magga Stína Blöndal (Singer)
  • Vidar Hákon Gislason (Bassist/Guitarist)
  • Richard Oddur Hauksson (DJ)

Discography

Albums

kk Quarashi Album On October 13, 1997, Quarashi released their self titled debut album (dubbed The Egg Album by fans, due to the fact that an egg appears on the album cover). ... Xeneizes is an album by the Icelandic Hip hop group Quarashi, released on October 25, 1999 in Iceland (see 1999 in music). ... Kristnihald Undir Jökli Kristnihald undir Jökli is an album by Quarashi (Sölvi Blöndal and Höskuldur Ólafsson) which they wrote for Halldór Laxness play called Kristinhald undir jökli. ... Jinx is the fourth album by Quarashi, and is the only album the group released on a major label. ... Columbia Records is the oldest brand name in recorded sound, dating back to 1888, and was the first record company to produce pre-recorded records as opposed to blank cylinders. ... Time Bomb Recordings was a record label founded by Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness together with his manager Jim Guerinot. ... The Icelandic version of Guerilla Disco Guerilla Disco is the first album from Quarashi with new rapper Tiny. ...


EPs

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Singles

Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US Modern Rock US Hot Hip Hop US Hot Dance UK
1996 "Switchstance" - - - - - Switchstance
1997 "Thunderball" - - - - - Quarashi
1997 "Catch 22" - - - - - Quarashi
1999 "Stick 'Em Up" (featuring Omar Swarez) - - - - - Xeneizes
1999 "Surreal Rhyme" - - - - - Xeneizes
2002 "Stick 'Em Up" - #27 - - - Jinx
2002 "Mr. Jinx" - - - - - Jinx
2003 "Mess It Up" (featuring Opee) - - - - - -
2003 "Race City" - - - - - -
2004 "Stun Gun" - - - - - Guerilla Disco
2004 "Stars" - - - - - Guerilla Disco
2004 "Straight Jacket" - - - - - Guerilla Disco
2005 "Payback" - - - - - Guerilla Disco

“Hot 100” redirects here. ... The Modern Rock Tracks chart is a music chart that has appeared in Billboard magazine since the early 1980s. ... The Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart, formerly known as Top Soul Singles, Top Black Singles, and Top R&B Singles (before the hip-hop term was added in the late 1990s), is a chart released weekly by Billboard in the United States. ... Billboards Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart is a weekly national survey of what songs are most popular in U.S. dance clubs. ... Stick Em Up Quarashis first single from their American debut album, Stick Em Up, was released in February 2002 to much fanfare. ... Mr. ...

External links

  • Quarashi's Official Website & Blog
  • Quarashi's Columbia Records/Time Bomb Recordings Website
  • The Quarashi Source (Fansite)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Spotlight on QUARASHI (533 words)
Quarashi is: Sölvi (sewl´-vee), age 26, the band's producer and drummer; Hössi (huh´-see) Olafsson, 23, the lead voice, whether rapping or singing; Steini (stain´-ee) Fjelsted (fyel´-stead), 25, rapper; and Omar Swarez, 26, also a rapper.
Quarashi, a term meaning "supernatural" which Steini read in a book, was a nickname given to Steini by a friend and soon became his tag name, appearing on walls and streets all over Reykjavik.
That same year Quarashi opened for both the Fugees and the Prodigy and Sölvi was then tapped to remix the Prodigy's song "Diesel Power".
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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