Songwriter and session vocalist Erika Dahlen (24) from Orkdal in Trøndelag participates in MGP for the first time, but she does so with quite the debut: She is a songwriter on two of this year’s songs, as songwriter for Kaja Rode with the song “Feel Again” who is directly qualified for the final and “I Can’t Escape” which she will perform herself in this semi-final. Erika has a background from the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, also known as the Paul McCartney School. From there, it has been a little adventure. Erika has matured as an artist and songwriter, and in 2021 she will release more music under the stage name IMERIKA. Erika Dahlen wants to shed light on difficult and taboo topics through her music, and “I Can’t Escape” is about the difficulty of moving on after a break-up and the struggles of finding a foothold in a new everyday life. Erika has written the song together with none other than Benjamin Stevens Adams, known from the British-Norwegian boy band A1 together with Christian Ingebrigtsen and Mark Read. Adams writes and produces for and with other artists in Norway, Great Britain and the USA.
Hello Erika, you are making such a strong debut at this year’s Melodi Grand Prix given the fact that except the song “I Can’t Escape” which you are performing you are also the songwriter of “Feel Again” by Kaja Rode how does it feel to have two songs in the selection and even though it’s hard to answer could you maybe tell us which do you like more??
Can you tell us what’s the wordplay behind your stage name IMERIKA? Is it basically I’m Erika or something else?
Hehe yeah, it started as a joke. After living in the UK I adapted a slight British accent, and whenever I’d introduce myself I’d always say “Hi, I’m Erika” pretty quickly and everyone thought I said Hi America. I never really chose it, just started using it to see how it felt and then it stuck.
Which musicians are the ones whose works and songs inspires you the most?
What made you decide to take part at Melodi Grand Prix?
Can you tell us what was the idea behind “I Can’t Escape” and what does the song mean for you?
The song is about loss, and I really wanted to take a moment to appreciate the feelings going through your head whenever you lose a relationship or friendship that was really important to you, and really flips your reality. It felt really nice to write it and it was quite therapeutic for me.
How was it to cooperate with Benjamin Stevens Adams and the rest of the team?
Working with Ben was super lovely! We clicked instantly and really got each other’s vision.
Could you reveal us more about the performance which is going to take place this Saturday? What can we expect of it?
It’s gonna be pretty stripped back and the song itself will take the spotlight. Also, Ben is playing piano<3
This year’s Melodi Grand Prix will be held without the audience how will that affect your performance?
I don’t really know to be honest! I’ve performed for super tiny crowds before, but never zero people. I’ve never done a live TV performance before, so in a way it’s kinda nice to only have one thing to focus on, being the cameras.
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 really loved Sondrey’s song! Such a bop
Yes, I love Eurovision! I always make sure I’ve got time to watch the MGP finals and Eurovision, such a fun and mad event! I love the fact that there is an event which is so incredibly including. Think my latest favourite is Iceland’s “Think about things”! It’s sooo incredible and I think it’s so sad it didn’t get a chance to compete last year.
What do you do when you are not creating music and singing, any hobbies?
I really love my dog and dogs in general, drink beer and every now and then I paint to relax.
What are your plans after Melodi Grand Prix?
More music!! Without revealing too much<3
Thank you so much for your time Erika. 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?
Thank you for writing to me! I hope I can deliver a performance to make you all proud and happy Eurovision!
Give a listen to her entry “I Can’t Escape” on Spotify or at Youtube below
If IMERIKA is your favorite in the fifth semifinal which will take place this Saturday, make sure you cast your vote for her in our poll right here:
- Imerika - I Can't Escape 38%, 224 votes224 votes 38%224 votes - 38% of all votes
- River - Coming Home 30%, 176 votes176 votes 30%176 votes - 30% of all votes
- TuVeia - Bli med meg på gar’n 18%, 105 votes105 votes 18%105 votes - 18% of all votes
- Ane.Fin - Walking In My Sleep 13%, 77 votes77 votes 13%77 votes - 13% of all votes
Let us know your impressions of “I Can’t Escape” by IMERIKA in the comments below and at our social media links!