Tomorrow night, Norway will decide their entry for the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in their annual contest, Melodi Grand Prix. We spoke to Rebecca, who is one of this year’s contestants, hoping for the ticket to Lisbon in May!
Hi Rebecca! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. First off – how would you desribe your music, and how long have you been performing since?
I started performing when I was around 10-11 years old and back then I used to sing acoustic cover songs performing with either guitar or piano. There were a lot of country pop, Disney Channel soundtracks and early Taylor Swift at that point which inspired my own songs before I began exploring within the genres. I focused a lot on lyrics and began making songs accompanied by strings and typical band ensembles. But as of “Who We Are” I’ve gone even deeper into the pop genre with a big production which is something I love working on in my own music.
Is this the first time that you’ve tried to enter Melodi Grand Prix? What was it that made you want to take part this year?
When I was a kid I always wanted to participate in the MGPjr but I wrote my songs in English so I never entered. This is my first time I entering Melodi Grand Prix and I decided to do it because of the song Mørland has written. “Who We Are” has a strong and important message which I stand by as well as the song being so beautifully written and has a production I really like.
What is the main message in your song? Does it relate to any particular moment in your life?
The main message is the importance of self-acceptance. The lyrics says “Changing me won’t do you good // hating me won’t find you love” which sets light on how important it is to live your life for yourself and not let the people around you tell you how to behave, love, look, act, talk, live… Changing or hating someone will never really benefit you in the way embracing diversity ever will! Our differences is what make us unique and that is what we should focus on.
When I was younger I found my group of people who liked me for me and let me be the person I was – everyone in the group were allowed to be themselves. That made me realize quite early on how much happier and great we can be if we embrace the people we are and dare to love ourselves instead of always try to be everyone else, we shouldn’t let people always tell us what is right and wrong for us.
There’s lots of other Rebecca’s around the world. What makes you unique, and who would be your favourite other famous Rebecca?
Becca Tobin is someone I look up to as a vocalist, I think she has an amazing voice. What makes me unique is maybe that I’m true to myself and base my life on being happy and having fun as well as being an Norwegian artist 🙂
In the music video, it looks like you’re getting ready for an operation. Did this feel strange to act out, and did the marker pen wash off your face easily? 😉
I could never imagine going through actual plastic surgery to change my face like that, and it felt a bit weird being drawn on that way by the actors dressed up as doctors. We see how a lot of people go through these types of surgeries all the time but it felt odd when I was in the situation even though I wasn’t actually going through surgery. And the marks came of easily as it was actually makeup, haha, pjoh.
Your song was written and produced by Kjetil Mørland who represented Norway at Eurovision with Debra Scarlett in 2015. Does it feel comforting knowing that it’s written by a past contestant that did well?
It is very comforting working with Mørland who has been through all of this before! I feel very safe and comfortable with all of this because Mørland is so great at his job and is super motivating.
There’s some other big Norwegian names in the MGP contest this year – such as Alexander Rybak (2009), Aleksander Walmann (2017), Ida Maria, and Stella Mwangi (2011). As a young artist, how does it feel competing against stars such as these?
I feel grateful being able to share the stage with all of these talented, hardworking and well-known artists in Norway. They are people I have been looking up to for years and being a team with them is so cool! I know this year’s MGP will be great because the artists are extremely talented! No matter how it goes for me on the 10th of March I will just be so happy to have been able to be a part of this experience!
What can we expect from your performance/staging? Or is it all a big secret so far?
All I can say is that I’ll be alone on stage:)
On the covert art of “Who We Are”, there’s an effect of a ‘taped on’ photo of a pair of eyes – which also can be recreated in an app on yor Facebook page. This is a cool idea, but what is the message behind it ?
The message behind the art is the fact that many people hide behind a fake facade – and afraid to show who they really are. The filter idea was a way for people to use the artwork to show us an unfiltered image of them selves and to show their support for the song and our message.
Who inspires you most musically? And if you could cover any of their songs, which would it be?
I find inspiration in almost everything I listen to, and I listen to most genres all the time. I listen to everything from opera and classical music to good old steel-guitar country music. I have one playlist on Spotify with most of my all time favorite songs and they’re all different! Haha. So it’s hard to pick just one song I would love to cover.
Aside from your music, what other activities do you get up to in your spare time?
Aside from music and my job, I do a lot of DIY and love being creative! Wether it’s baking, making gifts, decorating… I also hang out with my friends and family when I can. I love animals as well and I have a dog!
If you had a time machine, and could change anything in the past – what would it be?
Right now I think I wouldn’t change anything, to be honest. Everything in life gives makes me more experienced and you have to make mistakes to learn how you want to be as a person. So I’m very happy with my life as it is and I could’t’ve changes anything in my past because I might’ve not ended up here!
If a movie was made about your life – which actor would you like to see starring as you? And who would be the co-stars to play your friends/family?
Picking characters for my friends and family seems so impossible because they’re all so characteristic! I can’t really think of any actors other than for my dad; he would be played by Ed O’Neill the way he plays Jay Pritchett in Modern Family for sure, haha.
What’s your biggest achievement, and what are you most proud of?
My music «career» as it has been from age 11 to 19 is my biggest achievement. I am very proud of all the things I’ve been able to participate in, all the friends I’ve made and all the experience and fun I’ve gotten through playing my music and staying true to myself.
What is your favourite thing about Norway, and do you have any fun Norwegian phrases that you can teach us?
Our nature is beautiful – I went on a roadtrip in Norway last summer and I recommend that to everyone. I love that we aren’t too many people everywhere. I’m not a big fan of the famous big cities like London and New York because it’s so crowded, but I love that Oslo is our «big city» but that it’s still quite peaceful!
I like the phrase «koselig», which is untransletable but saying something is «kos» or «koselig» is like saying something is «nice» or «cozy», and even sometimes mixed with «sweet» or «cute». I use the word «slappfisk» sometimes as well, which is directly translated to «lazy fish» but is used to call someone lazy, haha.
Has it always been a dream of yours to represent Norway a Eurovision? And do you remember Oslo hosting the show in 2010?
I was only twelve when they hosted the show in 2010! So I can’t really remember too much of it, but it was a huge deal for Norway being able to host Eurovision and it would definitely mean so incredibly much for me to represent Norway in Lisbon!! Definitely a dream come true experience.
How can our readers find out more about you and your music?
I have a website and I’m just fixing the English version of it these days so I’m hoping it will be available for everyone to read soon! http://rebeccamusic.no
Would you like to give a message to the readers of ESCBubble?
A big thanks to everyone for all your support, you are all so amazing and I appreciate you so much!! Never stop dreaming, keep believing in yourself and live your life to the fullest – embrace what makes you unique and love yourself!
Thanks for chatting to us, Rebecca! Best of luck at MGP tomorrow night!
Thank you for the interview! 🙂
Melodi Grand Prix 2018 takes place at 21:00CET on Saturday, March 10th. If you’d like to vote for Rebecca’s song and live in Norway, you can SMS “9” to 26600 when the voting opens during the show. ESCBubble will be covering MGP in our live blog too, where you’ll be updated on all the news and action!
If Rebecca is your favourite at this year’s Melodi Grand Prix, you can also vote for her in our poll below: