Sigurjón ‘Sjonni’ Brink was born on August 29th 1974 sharing a birthday with the late Michael Jackson. He did well in anything he put his mind to and loved all kinds of sports such as skiing and riding horses. He started playing and writing music at an early age growing up listening to such artists as the Beatles, Eagles and Creedence Clearwater Revival and was never in any doubt that music was to be his future.
He was known to all his friends and fans as Sjonni Brink and founded the grunge rock group In Bloom in 1994, releasing an album in 1996. At first he played drums and actively participated in writing and arranging the music, but when the band dissolved he switched to guitar working in a popular Lennon & McCartney tribute duo and in duos with all of Sjonni’s Friends members.
In spite of being left handed, Sjonni played on a right handed guitar turning it upside down, surprising his audience every time. He released a record with his band the Flavors called ‘Go your own way’ in 2004 with his own compositions & lyrics, one of which ended as a main title song in the American film ‘Missing Brendan’. Soon afterwards he launched his own solo career, singing in grand concerts with the Icelandic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra such as a John Lennon tribute, Sgt Peppers tribute and an Eagles tribute.
Sjonni also found time for regular theatrical work and met his wife actress Thorunn Clausen in 2002 when both of them participated in the still running music and comedy show ‘Le Sing’. He was one of the founding members of the internationally renowned Icelandic theatre group Vesturport.
In St Petersburg Russia, Vesturport was recently awarded the European Theatre Prize, one of the world’s most prestigous in the genre. Sjonni wrote the music for Vesturport’s 2004 award-winning play ‘Brim’ and acted in and toured the world with the award-winning Vesturport production of ‘Woyzeck’. Sjonni also had a role in the musical ‘Footloose’ alongside Sjonni’s Friend Matthias and his last and unforgettable theatre role was Ritchie Valens in ‘The Buddy Holly Story’.
Sjonni’s solo album ‘Sjonni Brink‘ was released in 2009 and includes original Icelandic songs such as ‘Your Smile Leads My Way’. He then founded a band called Rokk which included his longtime friends guitarist Vignir Snær, piano player Pálmi and drummer Benedikt. Their most recent single ‘Love Is You‘ was written by his bandmate Pálmi as a tribute to the late John Lennon. They had recorded more songs which were due to be released after Eurovision.
Sjonni had previously participated in the Icelandic pre-selection show for the ESC, in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010, co-writing his 2007 entry ‘Áfram’ and with his own composition and lyrics ‘Waterslide’ in 2010. ‘Coming home’ is a song that came to Sjonni one day as he sat playing his guitar at home and was originally entitled ‘Countryside’. The day before the submission deadline for the competition, it had not yet been recorded and as the rules this year insisted all lyrics in the pre-selection contest be in Icelandic, he believed he had no time left to record it. Sjonni and his wife Thorunn decided that where there’s a will there’s a way and he decided to record the song after all. He asked his wife to write the Icelandic lyrics and complete the English version; together they managed to submit the demo recording at the eleventh hour.
Sjonni was scheduled to perform the song in the third semi-final show on January 29th 2011, but unexpectedly suffered from a brain haemorrhage caused by an aneurysm on January 17th. Tragically he died instantly at the age of only 36. Sjonni leaves behind his music for us all to enjoy, his wife and four beautiful children.
Sjonni ......we miss you, endlessly, ......You’re smile will always lead our way.......Love is you.
Source: Sjonni's Friends