Ragna Kjartansdottir, also known as CELL7, is a Filipino-Icelandic rapper, songwriter and sound engineer. In 2013 she returned to the music scene, after a long hiatus, and released her first solo album, CELLF. CELL7 initially gained recognition as one of the rappers in the first Icelandic hip-hop group, Subterranean, while still a teenager. Their first album, Central Magnetizm, was well received by the public and sold out quickly. The same year the band was voted the most promising band at the Icelandic Music Awards. CELL7 was also nominated in the category “Best Female Artist”, a first for an Icelandic hip-hop artist. Subterranean played a number of live shows and opened for several world-renowned artists such as The Fugees and De La Soul.
Alison MacNeil (vocals/guitar) of the band Kimono http://www.kimono.is is only one of two women in the project not native to Iceland. Originally from Canada, she came to Iceland over a decade ago with her Icelandic partner and settled. Back then she was Alex. Two years into their settlement they began talking about the possibility of her transition. Seven years later they had their first child and then after they had two it was decided that she would begin the transition to Alison - a painful process both physically and psychologically but one in which she was supported by her partner and her friendship circle, all of whom are open minded and non-gender-conformist. There is not a huge transgender scene in Iceland as there is in say, New York, but regardless there is support in present Icelandic society. “Raising a couple of kids with one parent in transition isn’t always easy, but it helps a lot to think of it all in terms of widening the safe and understanding places for your children. Like my friend Jóga put it, you are here (arms spread), but your kids can be here (arms spread wider).”