KIIM, Kim Rune Hagen (30), was born in Porsgrunn, grew up in Heddal in Telemark and now lives in Notodden. Norwegian audience got to know KIIM after he reached third place in Idol 2007. After that he was active for a couple of years with the band Spinning Foundation. The band made the song “Nå har vi kommet hjem” to show support for the football team Odd Grenland. Then came a period where he put the music on the shelf and wanted to become a real estate agent, before the music again took him and he has been active at festivals with The Norwegian Soulband at Sildajazzen, Notodden Bluesfestival and Skien Live. He competed also in Norwegian The Voice 2015, Beat for beat and performed in Allsang på Grensen. In recent years he has done a large number of events and arrangements with Hans Orkester, primarily with cover songs. In MGP he participates with a song he has written about his own experiences and feelings. After having 134 gigs in 2019 the music world became silent in 2020. But then he managed to write songs and find joy in that.
Hello Kim, Norwegian audience got familiar with you after you took part in Idol back in 2007 after that 8 years later you took part in another singing contest The Voice of Norway how were those two experiences for you and do you think that all the experience you got there got you ready for MGP and Eurovision stage?
First I would like to say Hi to all beloved ESC-fans! Thanks for your questions 🙂 Its been a long journey to this point for me. Alot of ups and downs, but I´m still standing and moving forward!
Idol 2007 feels like a dream. I know I came third, and there’s a lot of old articles about it. But to be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the time in Idol in 2007. It was heavy interviews, and tight schedules. I think I just lived in the moment and was in a bubble. It was really fun tho 🙂
The Voice was a bit different. I did a «comeback» on the screen, and was really nervous. Almost every colleague in the music business said: «You´ll gonna win it! You are just amazing!». That pressure did that I was really nervous, and afraid to loose. It did that I didn’t do my best performances, and I was devastated when I didn’t reach the finals.I do think that the TV experience is a positive thing. I know the drill, and I’m not that nervous about cameras and entering the stage in the wrong way.
You were member of “Spinning Foundation” and “The Norwegian Soulband” how did the performances with both of them influence your music career?
My years with the guys in Spinning Foundation were really good for me! I learned that not everything I do is a success, and hit the front page of the big papers. Remember, my entry to the music business in Idol 2007. Was the only thing I knew. I didn’t knew anything about what it takes to become an successful artist/band. We did it the old fashioned way, with no big labels around. Did we break, and get big? NO! hihi. Did we have fun? Hell yes! Did we do a couple of good shows? Yes! We played warm ups for both Europe and A1 🙂
I’m still the lead singer of «The Norwegian Soulband», and this band is really fun! We will actually release an soul and funk album this year! We play at big festivals in the summer, and I enjoy every gig with these guys! Its nice to be apart of a band, and not have to do everything by myself. So this band is just fun from A-Z.
You changed your stage name from Kim to KIIM what does that name change bring?
The change of name, is the beginning of something new. I change it to be more visible on Spotify, to start over. But the history and the new name is: I’m ALWAYS late.. haha! So, people always shout my name. So the natural way to say (shout!) my name is KIIM!! haha
What made you decide to take part at Melodi Grand Prix?
NRK called me, and asked if I where interested. And ofc I was, but I didn’t have the right song at that moment. If i was to take part in MGP, I need to have a song I believed in and I think could reach top 4. So they got me signed up for a songwriting camp in august. I was really lucky with the guys in my group, and we wrote two songs in two days. One of the songs was «My lonely voice».
Can you tell us what was the idea behind your entry “My Lonely Voice” given the fact that you are one of the co-authors of it and what does the song mean for you?
«My lonely voice» is mainly my idea, but we wrote it together. It wouldn’t be anything without Niklas, Vebjorn and Espen <3 The song is personal for me, since its a story of my not so successful love life. hihi.
I met a guy in London in 2019, and we had the best weekend ever (Still on my top 3 list) ! It was love at first sight. We kept writing, and I came over to his place in September for four days. The problem was, that the energy between us was changed. The magic was gone. To this day, we still don’t know what exactly what. But I do think that we had hopes about not finding any faults. And as everybody knows, we all have some.
So this song is about the feeling I had, when I was on the train back to Heathrow airport. Crying and felt lost, and didn’t know what I/We did wrong.
What will your performance look like? Can you tell us more about it?
I really want that part to be a secret. But I can say, that it will be minimalistic but majestic 🙂
This year’s Melodi Grand Prix will be held without the audience how will that affect your performance?
I actually do think that it will be a plus for me. Cause than I cant see my little sister cry. haha! Cause if I saw her, I would probably start crying on stage as well 🙂
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 have to say Margaret Berger – Feed you my love! The iconic dress, the vocals, the melody and that synth intro!! Its just a really good song!
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 certainly do<3 That’s a weird thing tho, cause its not my favorite song. but its a song that often comes to mind. Might be a guilty pleasure, and its «My number one» – Helena Paparizou! I also remember the performance of Sertab Erener – «Everyway that i can». Just love it!
Your debut solo album “So Free” was released back in 2009 since then as we already talked you were part of the bands and competed in The Voice do you plan to release an album soon?
I just signed with MTG Music in Norway, so next single will be released in May 2021!
What are your plans after Melodi Grand Prix?
Make more music, and hopefully get a feature on a DJ track. A Norwegian or a foreign DJ. As long as the track is cool, I´m in. Maybe it will be one of your readers??? DM me on IG!
What’s your hobby?
Sports (I played handball in 13 years and football in 6-7 years). I really like to watch sports! Tennis, Volleyball, Football, handball, ski jumping , cross-country skiing… About everything! haha. I also have a passion for interior design. In 2019 I fully renovated a house, I’m currently living in 🙂
What is your favourite thing to do when you are not creating music and singing?
Be practical, like re-design an old cabinet. Paint it, switch out the glass in the doors with fabric/ thick wallpaper or rattan. Have music in my ears, and just work in the garden. Take a walk in the sunshine. Skiing. Drive. Or just say hi to the couch and watch series. I also love hanging out with the guys, and play Among us or watch football.
Thank you so much for your time Kim. 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 so much! If anyone of you wanna vote on Saturday, you can make a profile on nrk.no/stem. I need all the help I can get to reach the finals <3 Enjoy the show!
Give a listen to his entry “My Lonely Voice” on Spotify or at Youtube below
If KIIM is your favorite in the fourth semifinal which will take place tomorrow, make sure you cast your vote for him in our poll right here:
- KiiM - My Lonely Voice 38%, 203 votes203 votes 38%203 votes - 38% of all votes
- Marianne Pentha & Mikkel Gaup - Pages 30%, 161 vote161 vote 30%161 vote - 30% of all votes
- Landeveiens Helter - Alt det der 19%, 103 votes103 votes 19%103 votes - 19% of all votes
- Royane - Circus 12%, 66 votes66 votes 12%66 votes - 12% of all votes
Let us know your impressions of “My Lonely Voice” by KIIM in the comments below and at our social media links! And don’t forget to tune in to our live blog where Matt and Kyle will guide you through the show.