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. The authors behind the song are Rein Mellbye Van Vliet, Eirik Næss, Magnus Hagen and Ole F. Hartz Gravbråten himself.
Hello Ole, it was destined for you to become a musician, as a child you were taking piano lessons, drum lessons and you were in the marching band then you studied music production and now you are a music producer and singer, how does it feel to know and work towards your dream job since your early ages of life?
Hello ESCBubble! As you know, music has always been a really big part of me and I have always been looking up to my grandfather that was a musician. I’ve heard stories about when he played around in Norway in the weekends, so I wanted to become like him! That’s one of the reasons that I never have given up, I really wanted to impress my grandfather. But it has been a pretty bumpy ride – I have tried to make a living out of music the last five years, and I still haven’t made it, but I just love to make songs and make other people happy, so it’s ok! I’m just so happy that i’m able to do what I love the most!
What made you decide to take part at Melodi Grand Prix?
The day I got a telephone from MGP Norway and they asked me if I wanted to be a part of MGP 2021 and perform our song «Vi er Norge» I knew that I had to say yes, no matter what! This could be my biggest chance ever in life, and I am so happy that i’m able to be a part of this semifinal! I also remember when I watched MGP as a little child; I really dreamed about being a part of the show, and now I am!! How cool is that!
Your song is called “Vi Er Norge” (We Are Norway) can you tell us what is the most Norwegian thing for you?
The most Norwegian thing for me is the fjords, mountains and the woods! I just love the nature around here, it can be so dark and mysterious, but also so beautiful at the same time! And don’t forget the Norwegian cheese «Brunost». Funfact; I actually don’t like brunost.
I suppose that idea behing “Vi Er Norge” is to celebrate the Norwegian culture, people, history and tradition can you tell us more about it and how did you got the idea to create it, given the fact that you are one of the coauthors of it and what does the song mean for you?
That’s correct! We wanted to make a song that can represent the old culture of Norway, both with lyrics and melody. And this song also represents me very well too, I live in the countryside in Norway, and I think we are a bit closer to traditions here than people in the city. So I want to light up our culture with this song, and make the Norwegian people happy and proud!
Can you tell us what kind of performance could we expect of you this Saturday?
It will be much energy, happy and exciting! It will be six dancers at the stage along with me, and we will try to make the audience smile at home. It will might be a bit mysterious too!
This year’s Melodi Grand Prix will be held without the audience how will that affect your performance?
I know that the audience is sitting home and watching with big eyes, so I will just try to pretend that I’m at the biggest stage ever with millions of people! I will miss the cheers, but I know that they are home somewhere, so I think this is going to be great anyway!
Last year Melodi Grand Prix marked 60 years from its first edition what is your favourite song which competed at the stage of MGP and tell us why did you choose it?
I will never forget Alexander Rybak and his «Fairytale». I was very young when i watched him win, and I just knew from the start that he would win the whole thing! The song was so powerfull!
Do you watch Eurovision regularly, if so would you like to share a memory which you have of it or a favourite song from the contest?
I have another memory from when I was a kid, and that is the Epic Sax Guy! That was so cool, I just loved it.
Your entry is the only song in this semi-final which will be performed in Norwegian language, do you see that as an advantage or not and why?
To be honest I don’t know. The songs in my semi is so strong, and I really love them all so I have no idea. And I think Norwegians votes regardless of the language, it seems to me that it’s more about the whole song. So this will be so exciting!
Together with an artist who was a finalist of MGP 2015, Staysman you released a song “ Söta bror” (Sweet Brother) how did the cooperation start and how was the experience?
I produced the song and sent it to different record-labels in Norway, and suddenly I was signed at Warner Music Norway. They said that it would be great to ask if Staysman wanted to join the song, and I was like «Let’s go!! That’s actually a big dream to me!». So Warner asked Staysman, and he said yes! Then we went to the studio together and finished the track. The experience was great, I love Staysman, he is a really good person!
Recently you released a song “Jeg vil ha ribbe” (I want ribbs) with Norwegian TikTok star, singer and songwriter Ida Celine and you had many collaborations with other Norwegian musicians your followers expect similar duets in future?
My followers can expect both duets and solo projects! I love to make songs with other artist, so I will definitely keep making duets! I also hope to make duets with Danish and Swedish artists in the future!
What are your plans after Melodi Grand Prix?
I will go back to the studio and make more music! There are no live-concerts at the moment except MGP, so there is sadly nothing else to do before the coronavirus is gone. But it’s ok, I love to be in the studio!!
Thank you so much for your time Ole. We wish you the best of luck at Melodi Grand Prix. Do you want to share something else or you maybe have a message for followers of escbubble?
Pleasure is on my side, thank you so much for the interview! I really want to thank every single follower of escbubble that are cheering me up and listening to the song! This is the biggest moment in my life, and i’m so happy that i’m able to share it with you guys. I hope you will enjoy and have fun watching the semifinal on Saturday. Thank you so much!
If Ole Hartz is your favorite in the third semifinal which will take place tonight, make sure you cast your vote for him in our poll right here:
- Emmy - Witch Woods 57%, 404 votes404 votes 57%404 votes - 57% of all votes
- Ole Hartz - Vi er Norge 17%, 123 votes123 votes 17%123 votes - 17% of all votes
- Big Daddy Karsten - Smile 15%, 105 votes105 votes 15%105 votes - 15% of all votes
- Dinaye - Own Yourself 10%, 72 votes72 votes 10%72 votes - 10% of all votes
Let us know your impressions of “Vi er Norge” by Ole Hartz in the comments below and at our social media links! And don’t forget to tune in to our live blog where Nina and I will translate and guide you through the show.