Norwegian national broadcaster NRK just revealed another four acts which are participating at the last fifth semifinal of Melodi Grand Prix 2021. The fourth semifinal is going to take place this Saturday, 6th of February. In total, a record number of 26 songs are participating at this year’s 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 there are four acts which won the semi-finals in which they competed: Blasmafian feat. Hazel with “Let Loose”; Raylee with “Hero”, Emmy with “Witch Woods” and KIIM with “My Lonely Voice”. 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.
IMERIKA: «I Can’t Escape»
Lyrics and music: Erika Dahlen (IMERIKA), Bjørn Olav Edvardsen, Morten Franck and Ben Adams
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.
RIVER: «Coming Home»
Lyrics and music: Thomas Heiland, Lennart Karlsen, Magnus Claussen, Simen Meland Handeland and Tommy La Vardi
RIVER is a pop/country band from Skien and consists of Thomas Heiland (29) and Lennart Karlsen (50) . Thomas and Lennart are in factfather-in-law and son-in-law, and together they are ready for the big MGP stage!
Both of them have long careers in music as artists, studio musicians and songwriters. For ten years, Thomas has been half of the Norwegian pop phenomenon Cir.Cuz and has worked with, among others, John De Son, Morgan Sulele, Katastrofe, Sandra Lyng, Jahn Teigen, Ole Evenrud and Carina Dahl.
Lennart has been a musician all his life and is a well-experienced instrumentalist in gospel, country and church music. He has made several albums, but also written for others. Gradually, he has also moved into the pop segment and has, in addition to the above-mentioned artists, also worked with Monika Nordli and Steinar Albrigtsen.
RIVER has collaborated with many artists such as Alexander Pavelic, Erik Smaaland, Kristoffer Tømmerbakke, Magnus Clausen, Tommy La Verdi and Vanessa Campagna. The latter is an artist and songwriter from Nashville with a number 1 hit on Billboard and an Academy Award.
TuVeia – “Bli med meg på gar’n“
TuVeia is a rap group consisting of Roar Galaaen Bredalslien (28), Kristian Galaaen Bredalslien (28) and Bendik Johnsen (25) who live in Dalsbygda in inland Norway – “five fields south of Norwegian ski athlete Therese Johaug” as they say to describe where they are from. The group released their first song, “TuVeia” in 2013. This is how they describe themself in writing (this is originally written in a unique dialect way, but impossible to translate):
“We like to compose and have our own poets’ association, and it was during a not very interesting class at school that we came up with the idea of making a song out of a poem we had written. That’s how it all started. We compose and sing in our own dialect, and mainly focus on humor in our songs”
“Bli med meg på gar’n“ (Translates “join my at the farm”) by Tuveia is a firework in farmers overalls. It might be safe to say this fun and surreal MGP song is what you get get when you throw a traditional fiddle, three “farmers” who write hip-hop and an EDM producer in the stove and turn it on. Be ready for autotuned cow sounds, harmonica and a unique Norwegian dialect. TuVeia wants to give the farmers a voice with this song, and to show the world what is going on at a farm in Dalsbygda.
Ane.Fin – “Walking In My Sleep“
Lyrics and music: Ane Caroline Finstad (Ane.Fin), Niklas Rosström, Espen Andreas Fjeld, Kim Rune Hagen and Vebjørn Jernberg
Ane Caroline Finstad (29) with the stage name Ane.Fin grew up in Horten but has lived in Oslo for more than ten years. After several years in a choir and as an event singer and songwriter, she found a new strength in communicating through her own music in her 20s. She began her career writing and publishing music in Norwegian, before resigning from a manager position, selling her apartment to finance her music and investing everything in attending the music school Limpi at Lillehammer. By coming together with fellow students, mentors from all over the world and students mostly based in the USA, she gained self-confidence to express herself in English. Although Ane may be unknown to many, she has several releases behind her, most recently in the fall of 2020 with the song “Hurts”. For the past year, her focus has only been on songwriting and releases, such as the podcast “Ane.Fin & Folk“. Ane is passionate about mental health, and mental health in the music industry is the theme of the podcast.
Ane.Fin is one of many Norwegian artists who also have a past as a participant in MGPjr. In 2006, she participated with the song “Trodde det var deg“. Ane wrote her MGP song together with a team that met each other at MGP’s songwriting camp last year. One of them is KIIM (Kim Rune Hagen) who himself participates as an artist in this year’s MGP.
After you have listened to all four songs let us know which of these is YOUR personal favorite by voting for it in our poll 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
TIX – Ut Av Mørket
KeiiNO – Monument
Stavangerkameratene – Who I Am
Kaja Rode – Feel Again
Atle Pettersen – World On Fire
Rein Alexander – Eyes Wide Open
Blåsemafian – Let Loose
Raylee – Hero
Emmy – Witch Woods
KIIM – My Lonely Voice
TIX – “Ut Av Mørket”
Lyrics and music: Andreas Haukeland
TIX performed his entry “Ut Av Mørket” in the first semi-final on Saturday 16th of January but in the final he will perform the song in English. 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.
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!
Stavangerkameratene – “Who I Am”
Lyrics and music: Tommy Fredvang, Lars Horn Lavik, Robin Sharma and Glenn Lyse
“Barndomsgater” was performed on 23rd of January in the second semi-final. The four artists who are part of Stavangerkameratene are well known to the large Norwegian 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. They will perform their song “Barndomsgater” in English titled “Who I Am”. You can watch their official music video below
Kaja Rode – “Feel Again”
Lyrics and music: Magnus Martinsen, Mirjam Johanne Omdal, Andreas Gjone and Erika Dahlen
Kaja 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. You can watch her performance of “Feel Again” from the third semifinal below
Atle Pettersen – “World On Fire”
Lyrics and music: Atle Pettersen, Jesper Borgen, Magnus Clausen, Alexander Pavelich and Peter Daniel Newman
Atle Pettersen performed his song “World on Fire” last Saturday 6th of February. He 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).
Rein Alexander – “Eyes Wide Open”
Lyrics and music: Rein Alexander Korshamn, Christian Ingebrigtsen and Kjetil Mørland
His song will be released this Friday, 12th of February as Rein Alexander will perform in the fifth semi-final scheduled for this 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.
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!
Emmy – «Witch Woods»
Lyrics and music: Olli Äkräs, Elsa Søllesvik, Morten Franck
Emmy Kristine Guttulsrud Kristiansen is 20 years old and comes from Sande in Vestfold 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 MGP junior, 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 MGP junior, 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. Read our interview with Emmy HERE!
KiiM – “My Lonely Voice”
Lyrics and music: Kim Rune Hagen, Espen Andreas Fjeld, Vebjørn Jernberg og Niklas Rosström
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. Our interview with KIIM is available HERE!
11th finalist will be decided this Saturday while the final 12th finalist will be voted out of all 15 acts which got eliminated from the semi-finals through a special Second chance show which is scheduled for next Monday 15th of February .The final is set to take place on 20th of February.