On Saturday night, Swedish selection show Melodifestivalen 2021 kicks off with the first semi final where the first seven artists will perform their songs in the hope of either going Direkt Til Finale (1st/2nd) or to Andra Chansen (3rd/4th). There are some big names returning to compete this year, and one of them is Paul Rey who will be competing in the first semi final with his song “The Missing Piece”.
In the lead up to the show on Saturday, David from ESCBubble caught up with Paul Rey to discuss his song and find out all the stuff to look forward to this weekend plus the crazy experiences he’s had performing with Snoop Dogg and touring with Fifth Harmony!
D: Welcome back to Melodifestivalen! After such a strong debut last year with “Talking In My Sleep”, do you feel any pressure to perform well or better this year?
P: A little bit, but I try to just focus on the things that I can control, like my performance and level of preparation. The voting and the results are out of my hands, so I try not to think about it too much.
D: And of course, congratulations on recently becoming a father! How have you been finding it being a new dad? Has this inspired you musically at all?
P: Thank you so much! I love being a parent, I have been looking forward to it for such a long time, and it’s all so surrealistic to have my daughter by my side. It has definitely inspired me musically, as my latest EP Note to Her is dedicated to my daughter.
D: For 2021, you are performing “The Missing Piece”. What is the meaning behind the song and can you tease anything about your upcoming performance?
P: I wrote the song together with Fredrik Sonefors and Laurell Barker last summer, when me and my wife were expecting our baby. It’s about how my daughter is the last missing piece in my life. The staging will reflect the sentiment of the song and the title really well!
D: You’ve just released your new album “Note To Her” and I have to admit I’m currently obsessed with “Think About You”. Tell us about the album and how it came about? Do you have any more projects coming up?
P: Haha that’s awesome to hear! The EP is a follow-up to my previous EP “Note to Self” that I released in 2018. The songs are produced by myself (except for Talking in My Sleep) and they all mean a lot to me. To have a project like this where I can evolve as a producer, mixer and songwriter is extremely exciting, and I’m so proud of the finished result!
D: Where does your stage name Paul Rey come from? Rey meaning King in Spanish and your mother being Chilean – does this heritage influence your music at all?
P: Pauli is my actual first name, and one of my mother’s last names is Reyes. So I just did a “remix” of those names to create my artist name: Paul Rey. My heritage absolutely influences me, all from rhythms to phrasings.
D: You’ve worked with some incredibly big names! What was it like teaming up with Snoop Dogg for a song? Do you have any funny stories from this or touring with Fifth Harmony?
P: Doing a song and a music video with Snoop Dogg was absolutely a dream come true. I started doing hip-hop music when I was a teenager, so I have been listening to Snoop Dogg for ages! He’s an icon. And it was after touring with Fifth Harmony that one of my fans got a tattoo of one of my lyrics, actually! She asked me on social media which one was my favourite quote out of two of my songs, I told her, and the next day she had it tattooed on her shoulder! It’s really humbling to see what an effect your music and words can have on other people, it means a lot to me.
D: Thank you for answering our questions and best of luck in the competition!
You can tune in to watch Paul Rey perform his song “The Missing Piece” in Melodifestivalen 2021 at 20:00 CET on Saturday 6th February 2021. Fans will also be able to hear a short snippet of the song from 14:00 CET tomorrow afternoon.