Svala is one of the most well-known Eurovision entries this year – she is an award-winning singer who appears as one of the four main judges on The Voice Iceland.
She follows in the footsteps of her father, Icelandic pop singer Bo Halldorsson, who has released dozens of albums and competed Eurovision in 1995.
Svala began singing aged 7 and had her first number one – a Christmas duet with her father – when she was nine years old.
When she was 22 Svala signed one of the biggest record contracts ever made with an Icelandic artist with EMI in the US.
Her first single, The Real Me, became a top 30 hit on the US charts in 2001.
Since 2006 Svala has performed with her husband Einar ‘Mega’ Egilsson and his brothers Edvard ‘Eddie’ Egilsson and Elli ‘AC Bananas’ Egilsson as Steed Lord.
The electronic band has toured the world, headlining gay pride events in San Francisco and Copenhagen, and has designed a line of clothing for H&M.
In 2006 Svala and her husband formed the duo Blissful, with their first single Elevate becoming a hit in their home nation upon its release last year.
She has returned to solo work for her Eurovision entry, Paper, which has already hit number one in the Icelandic charts.
Svala says that Paper “is very personal” and written “from my own experiences”.
“When we wrote it we didn’t realise how big and anthem like it had become and then thought that Eurovision would be a perfect platform for it,” she added.
“It is a great platform for singers and songwriters, allows me to perform my song on an out-of-this-world stage and it gets me closer to my beautiful fans around the world.”
Iceland’s best position in Eurovision is second place, which it achieved in 1999 and 2009. It remains the only Northern European nation never to win the competition.
Svala has been given odds of 150/1 to win the competition at Betfair.
The semi-finals will take place on Tuesday May 9 and Thursday May 11 from 8pm BST (9pm CEST local time) until around 10pm BST (11pm CEST), and will be broadcast in the UK on BBC Four.
Ten acts will qualify from each semi-final, with the ‘Big Five’ – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom – and host country Ukraine automatically through to the grand final on Saturday May 13.
Graham Norton will host commentary of the final on BBC One from 8pm BST (9pm CEST), with the winner expected just before 11.30pm BST (12.30am CEST).