Raylee Charlotte Kristiansen is a well known performer at Melodi Grand Prix, 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”.
Hello Raylee, you are a well known face to Eurovision fans and your entry at Melodi Grand Prix 2020, “Wild” was huge favourite for the victory among many fans, how was the whole experience and what has changed since last year’s participation?
I’m so grateful for the love and attention “Wild” received last year, thank you all so much! Melodi Grand Prix 2020 was an amazing experience. I really loved it. Although “Wild” was a great song I do think that my song this year, “Hero”, is even better and has a stronger message. I’m a year older and with that, a year better =)
Your first appearance at Melodi Grand Prix was back in 2015 with “Louder” when you were just 17 years old and given the fact that you made a five year break before your second appearance at MGP stage some fans didn’t expect to see you back again this year but they are glad you decided to take part, what inspired you to be back at the show?
Considering last year’s problems with the voting system shutting down and how everything turned out I just had to give it another shot with this amazing song “Hero” and I’m aiming for Eurovision this year. Also, I love everything about the Eurovision concept so when I got the chance to do it again, I just couldn’t say no.
“Hero” seems to be a popular name for the Eurovision entries in Scandinavia (in Sweden to be precise), your east neighbours have been represented by the songs with that name twice “Hero” by Charlotte Perrelli in 2008 and “Heroes” by Måns Zelmerlöw winner of contest in 2015 was there any inspiration which came for your entry from those two songs or the same title is just a coincidence?
No that is just a coincidence. The lyrics and the message of this song fits perfectly with the song title.
Can you tell us what was the idea behind “Hero” and what does the song mean for you?
This is a song about self-empowerment. I’m trying to tell everyone, believe in yourself.Build yourself up from within, let your confidence and self-esteem grow strong and take control.You are good enough just as you are, and this is something I believe is very important.
Given the fact that “Hero” creates that ’80s vibe will we be seeing a “Flashdance” performance? Can you reveal us more about your plans for Saturday?
I don’t want to spoil Saturday giving away too much but you can be sure that the 80’s vibes will be there. And well, Flashdance is a part of the 80’s.
This year’s Melodi Grand Prix will be held without the audience how will that affect your performance?
I’m going to miss the audience of course but in times like these we have to be careful and help keep each other safe. No matter what though, we are going to put on a hell of a performance for the audience watching at home and I know I will feel their presence.
Your last year’s entry “Wild” has been streamed over 6 million times on Spotify do you think “Hero” will break that record and when do you expect it to happen?
I hope so and I’m excited to see what will happen. The “when” will just have to sort itself out but I have a good feeling about this song since I really think it’s a strong and amazing one.
Last time you released an album was 10 years ago since then you around 10 singles could fans expect that you release
There are many new releases planned this year so stay tuned!
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?
In honor of the Norwegian legend Jan Teigen who passed away last year, I will have to go with “Optimistic”. It’s a very positive song and I’m very optimistic this year.
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 especially remember Austria’s entry “Rise like a phoenix” where this man came out on stage in drag, Conchita. It was such a powerful performance and it also caused a lot of attention.
What are your plans after Melodi Grand Prix?
I’m going to keep on working hard with new material and hopefully as soon as it’s possible, do a lot of concerts.
Thank you so much for your time Raylee. 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?
I’m really looking forward to MGP/Eurovision and again, I want to thank everyone for all the support you showed me last year and this year. Remember that you are good enough, even great, just as you are. Love you guys!
And don’t forget to vote for me this Saturday 😉
Give a listen to her entry “Hero” on Spotify or at Youtube below
If Raylee is your favorite in the second semifinal which will take place this Saturday 23rd of January, make sure you cast your vote for her in our poll right here:
- Raylee - Hero 40%, 283 votes283 votes 40%283 votes - 40% of all votes
- Daniel Owen - Psycho 33%, 237 votes237 votes 33%237 votes - 33% of all votes
- Maria Solheim - Nordlyset 22%, 155 votes155 votes 22%155 votes - 22% of all votes
- Ketil Stokkan - My Life Is OK 5%, 33 votes33 votes 5%33 votes - 5% of all votes
Let us know your impressions of “Hero” by Raylee in the comments below and at our social media links!