Norwegian national broadcaster NRK just held a special press conference where they revealed the artist participating at the third semifinal of Melodi Grand Prix 2021, which is going to take place this Saturday, 30th of January. In total, a record number of 26 songs are participating at this years Melodi Grand Prix. Twelve of these will be competing in the final, six pre-qualified artists and six finalists voted by the audience. Five semi-finals are organised and each Saturday from 16th of January four semi-finalists are dueling against each other for the ticket to the final. So far the two acts which won the semi-finals in which they competed are Blasmafian feat. Hazel with “Let Loose” and Raylee with “Hero”. In addition to this NRK has introduced a wildcard round so the audience will get a chance to choose the last finalist from the artists which were eliminated in the semi-finals. All the shows are broadcasted without any audience due to the ongoing pandemic, from Fornebu, H3 Arena. The hosts are Ingrid Gjessing Linhave, Ronny Brede Aase and Kåre Magnus Bergh.
Dinaye – «Own Yourself»
Lyrics and music: Christian Ingebrigtsen, David Thulin og Dina Matheussen
Dinaye, Dina Matheussen (17) from Asker outside of Oslo started her career as a dancer and started singing when she was only 12 years old. She also has a black belt in karate! Dinaye is known for dancing inspired by Michael Jackson and in 2014 she impressed with the dance in “Noray’s got Talent” on TV 2, where she made it to the semifinals. The 17-year-old also compteded in MGPjr in 2016 with the song “Sterk og Rå” where she made it to the gold final. She also participated as a dancer for Amina Sewali at MGP in 2017. Through Norwegian Idol 2020, she proved her talent for both singing and dancing and received standing ovations for her interpretation of Beyoncé’s song “Run the World (Girls)”. In 2019, she had a hit on NRK P3 radio with the song “Vi er ett“, where in the music video also got to show her Ethiopian roots. The young artist is involved in writing her own lyrics, and “Own yourself” is about the choices you make in life, and how you choose to present yourself to others and to yourself. Dinaye is half Ethiopian and in part of the song she sings in Amharic.
Big Daddy Karsten – «Smile»
Lyrics and music: Karsten Dahl Marcussen, Are Næsset og Pål Gauslaa Sivertzen
Karsten Dahl Marcussen (32) is from Arendal on the South coast of Norway but lives in Oslo. Big Daddy Karsten found the rap genre at a young age, a genre he finds to have an open, honest and tough way of expressing where he felt he could say a lot in a short time. His first album came with the duo Folkefiender together with the rapper Ego. He was also central as a battle rapper when VG TV (online TV) created Skeez-TV. Big Daddy Karsten has been the headliner at the biggest Pride celebrations in Norway, and has played at festivals such as Skral, Hove and Canal Street. Karsten was not open with his sexual orientation, and given the facts that there were stereotypes about it in the rap industry no one expected that a masculine rapper could be gay and when he came out in November 2016, it led to a lot of attention and it was pointed out in the public that few rappers around the world dare to be openly gay. At the time of writing, Big Daddy Karsten is Scandinavia’s only openly gay rapper.
Emmy – «Witch Woods»
Lyrics and music: Olli Äkräs, Elsa Søllesvik, Morten Franck.
Emmy Kristine Guttulsrud Kristiansen (20) from Sande in Vestfold comes from a musical family. She sang long before she could speak and has among other things been active in the choir «Soul Children». In 2011, Emmy’s older brother participated in MGPjr, which made her dream of doing that herself once. In 2015, the dream came true, and Emmy took the stage in Oslo Spektrum with the song “Aiaiaiai” which has been streamed more than 1.1 million times. After MGPjr, she became familiar face to many and gained new fans among the younger part of the population. She got to travel around and do concerts and meet fans. She has also released several singles, including the song “Bjørnar” which has been her biggest hit. Emmy is also a songwriter and has written over a hundred songs despite her young age, and she studies visual communications at the University of Southeast Norway. Now she is ready to show more of her musical qualities on the big MGP stage!
Ole Hatz – “Vi er Norge”
Lyrics and music: Rein Mellbye Van Vliet, Eirik Næss, Ole F. Hartz Gravbråten, Magnus Hagen
Already as a six-year-old, Ole Hartz (24) knew that music was what life was all about, and signed up for everything it was possible to sign up for: piano lessons, drum lessons and and the marching band. All he did was related to music, and all he thought about was music. Still, he had never thought he would ever perform his own song on live TV during MGP. Ole grew up in Åmot in Modum municipality and has gone from being a favorite among local audiences, to becoming a signed artist with several million streams and an ever-growing fan base in both Norway and Sweden. He is not afraid to experiment with melodies and fun text lines, something he also does in the newly released song “Jeg vil ha ribbe“. For that song, he collaborated with TikTok star Ida Celine.
You can listen to all four songs on Spotify. Once you listened to the songs, let us know which of these four is YOUR personal favorite by voting for it in our poll here:
TIX – “Ut Av Mørket”
Lyrics and music: Andreas Haukeland
TIX performed his entry in the first semi-final on Saturday 16th of January. TIX is the stage name of Andreas Haukeland (27) from Bærum. Growing up Andreas has been diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome so he chose to own the nicknameTIX and made it his stage name. In 2015, he had his first major breakthrough with the Russian song “Sheikh” which became this year’s party song for the Russians. Later on he distinguished himself as a songwriter at home and abroad with the world hit “Sweet but Psycho” with Ava Max, which became the most played song of the year. Since then, TIX has had seven songs as number 1 on Spotify in Norway, and along the way he has conversely both grandmothers and children to fans. During the corona spring 2020, the song “Karantene” became a huge hit. So far TIX has been a participant in Paradise Hotel and a judge in Idol.
Atle Pettersen – “World On Fire”
Lyrics and music: Atle Pettersen, Jesper Borgen, Magnus Clausen, Alexander Pavelich and Peter Daniel Newman
“World On Fire” will be released on Friday 5 February as Atle Pettersen will perform in the fourth semi-final, scheduled for Saturday 6th of February. Atle is 31 years old vocalist, songwriter and host from Skien. The audience previously knows him as the vocalist of the bands Above Symmetry and The Scheen. In 2014, The Scheen won the Emergenza festival, the world’s largest music competition for unsigned bands with as many as 34,000 participants from 150 countries. Atle Pettersen had his breakthrough in X Factor in 2010, and the same year released “Light on” his debut single as a solo artist. Following year his debut album “Based on a true Story ” was released. He won the show “Skal vi danse” in 2011 and for the past four years Atle is the host of “Beat for Beat” on NRK. As a songwriter his recent work includes “Darkside” for Alan Walker and last autumn, Atle released his first Christmas album “Tusen Julelys” (Thousand Christmas Lights).
Stavangerkameratene – “Barndomsgater”
Lyrics and music: Tommy Fredvang, Lars Horn Lavik, Robin Sharma and Glenn Lyse
“Barndomsgater” was performed last Saturday in the second semi-final. The four artists who make up Stavangerkameratene are known to the large TV audience. Kjartan Salvesen won Idol back in 2004, Tommy Fredvang is known from X Factor 2009 and Stjernekamp 2015, Glenn Lyse won Idol in 2007 and Ole Alexander Mæland has been the vocalist in the band Elle Melle and he participated in The Voice Norway in 2012. Four years after their debut they have two albums released and over 50 million streams on Spotify, several gold and platinum records and they had concerts all around Norway which makes them one of the most popular Norwegian live bands.
Kaja Rode – “Feel Again”
Lyrics and music: Magnus Martinsen, Mirjam Johanne Omdal, Andreas Gjone and Erika Dahlen
“Feel Again” will be released on Friday 29th of January, given the fact that Kaja Rode will perform in this week’s semi-final scheduled for Saturday 30th of January. She is a 22-year-old singer from Oslo known to the audience as a participant of The Voice Norway in 2017. Even though she is young, Kaja has performed on several stages and has experience of performing at various events. She studies Retail Management and develops her skills as a songwriter.
Rein Alexander – “Eyes Wide Open”
Lyrics and music: Rein Alexander Korshamn, Christian Ingebrigtsen and Kjetil Mørland
His song will be released on Friday, 12th of February as Rein Alexander will perform in the fifth semi-final scheduled for Saturday 13th of February. Last year he competed in the final of Melodi Grand Prix with the song “One Last Time”, he has been performing concerts in various countries including Norway, USA, Iceland, Italy, UK and Sweden while he also played roles in several musicals and opera. He was: Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables”, Anatoly in “Chess”, Terje Vigen, Caston in “Beauty and the Beast”, Shere Kahn in “The Jungle Book”, Anton Fugger in “Which Witch” and more. He has received awards at schools such as Royal Academy of Music and The Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts. In 2003, the Norwegian people voted him to victory in the NRK program Kjempesjansen.
KEiiNO – “Monument”
Lyrics and music: Tom Hugo Hermansen, Alexander Nyborg Olsson, Fred Buljo, Alexandra Rotan and Rüdiger Schramm
KEiiNO performed their song “Monument” in the first semi-final on 16th of January. The winners of the audience vote from Eurovision 2019 with 291 points for “Spirit in the Sky”, KEiiNO are back to the show which launched their career in 2019. Their Eurovision entry was also nominated for a nominated for Spellemann award (Norwegian Grammy) in the categroy Song of the Year. So far they have released 14 songs that have so far been streamed over 60 million times. And recently released an album named “OKTA”. They said that “Monument” is about the traces we leave behind, the experiences we remember, the strong relationships we have. It is a tribute to those who enrich the lives of others, but who do not get statues erected or streets named after them. Don’t forget to watch our Q&A with KEiiNO which is available HERE!
Blåsemafian – “Let Loose”
Lyrics and music: Jørgen Lund Karlsen, Sigurd Evensen, Stig Espen Hundsnes, Benjamin Sefring and Caroline Teigen
Blåsemafian is one of the most renowned brass bands in Norway and Europe and consists of Sigurd Evensen (27) from Oslo on trombone, Stig Espen Hundsnes (32) from Stord on trumpet and Jørgen Lund Karlsen (27) from Fredrikstad on saxophone. They collaborated with famous artists such as Marcus & Martinus, Madcon, Cezinando and Angelina Jordan. Featuring artist at their entry “Let Loose” is Caroline (Hazel) Teigen. You can read our interview with Blåsemafian HERE!
Raylee – “Hero”
Lyrics and music: Andreas Stone Johansson, Anderz Wrethov, Laurell Barker, Thomas Stengaard and Frazer Mac
Raylee Charlotte Kristiansen was announced as Melodi Grand Prix veteran given the fact that she took part twice before with “Louder” in 2015 and she was the finalist with “Wild” last year. The song has been streamed over 6 million times on Spotify and she was praised for her performance and loved by Eurovision fans outside Norway. Raylee released her first album already as an 11-year-old. Then she was known as the child star “Lotta”. In 2008, she played the lead role in the musical “Annie”. In 2020, she had a number of major appearances, including Allsang på Grensen, Raylee has participated in Stjernekamp on NRK in 2014, and in 2015 while in 2016 she danced all the way to the third place of music show “Skal vi danse”. She revealed that with her song we will be going back to the 80’s with her entry which she also describes as a power song. Read our interview with Raylee HERE!