Mari Bølla: “I was the youngest ever winner of Idol in any country”

Mari Eriksen Bølla is a Norwegian musician and artist which won the 11th season of Idol Norway in 2020 at the age of 15. Several of her performances at the show left judges speechless and among the panel was the artists which represented Norway at Eurovision last year, TIX. Prior to that she also competed at first and only version of Idol junior. So far Mari released the songs “Now that I found you” (winning song from Idol), Christmas song “Christmas Time (is nothing without you)” and in May last year she released “Not that girl“.

Hello Mari, you rose up to fame among the Norwegian audience after you won the 11th season of Idol Norway. How did your life change after it and has it any way help you prepare for MGP?
– I was the youngest ever winner of Idol in any country. The victory gave me the push I needed to go all in as an artist and songwriter. I started writing my own music, and started writing songs together with other songwriters, and I love it! I really enjoy writing down my feelings and conveying a message to the listeners. I love to perform on stage both in front of an audience but also in front of the camera. I am glad that I have the experience with a TV production from both Norwegian Idol and Idol jr. 

Prior to that experience you also took part in the first and only season of Idol Junior back in 2014 and ended in 3rd place. When were your first musical beginnings and how did you get involved with singing?
– All I have ever wanted to do is to sing. I’m fiercely determined and aware that I’m extremely lucky to have a family that supports me and has always allowed me to – literally – find my voice and allowed me to dream big.  I was only 4 years old when I told my parents that I wanted to participate in the Norwegian Idol and that I one day wanted to become an international star. My family listens a lot to music but why and how I became so interested I don’t clearly know. But I like to call it destiny, hihi.

What made you decide to take part in the Melodi Grand Prix?
– I’ve been watching Eurovision and MGP for as long as I can remember, and I knew that I wanted to participate one day. I love MGP, but I thought that I needed to be a little bit older. When I started to write my own music it became more realistic. Because it’s really important for me to participate in MGP with a song that comes from my heart. And here I am. Now I cross my fingers and hope to represent Norway in Eurovision. What a dream it would be.

Among the judges of Idol was last year’s winner of MGP, TIX, have you got in touch with him after it was revealed you are competing at MGP 2022, and has he given you any advice in case not was there any advice which you got during Idol which you will use at MGP?
– TIX has been an amazing supporter the last two years. Yes, he has given me some advice during those two years, and I really appreciate him. One of the pieces of advice he has given me was to always be hardworking.

How does it feel to be the youngest participant of this year’s contest?
– To be a part of MGP is an honor, and to be the youngest participant is quite cool. I’m used to being the youngest because I grew up being the youngest child and also was the youngest participant in Idol. But of course it feels a bit weird being the only one under the age of 18, hehe but i love to be able to have this opportunity this early in my career and life.

Can you tell us a bit about “Your Loss” given the fact that you are one of the coauthors of it and what does the song mean for you?
– Your Loss was inspired by my first real breakup, and it’s the song I wished I had then. A song telling me that I will get through this. because it can feel overwhelming, but it’s true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” This song means a lot to me, i wrote it because i couldn’t find a song that really spoke to me and could give me the “strength” that i needed, but “your loss” did that to me. And I hope some people out there can find joy and power in my song as well.

Melodi Grand Prix has long history, 62 years have passed from the first edition, What is your favourite song which competed at the stage of MGP and tell us why did you choose it?
– Alexander Rybakk´s “Fairytale” is one of my all time favorites but I will always love  “Attention” by Ulrikke Brandstorp and my favorite MGP song the last couple of years needs to be “Fallen Angel” by TIX because of the message that he shared with the world, mental health is so important to talk openly about.

Do you watch Eurovision regularly, if so would you like to share a memory which you have of it or a favorite song from the contest?
– I’ve watched Eurovision almost every year since I was born. I really enjoy the music, the shows and the party. And I remember in 2018 when Netta Barzilai won with the song TOY. She had a cool and fascinating show and the song is so catchy.

What do you do when you’re not singing? Any hobbies?
– I actually design my own clothes. Last year I teamed up with the Norwegian designer TSH (Tina Steffenakk Hermansen) , who is an amazing designer, and together we create almost all of the clothing that I wear on stage. I love being able to have my own style and to use clothing that no one else has.

What are your plans after Melodi Grand Prix 2022?
– My plans after MGP is to release more songs, and to have concerts (hopefully). Because I would really like to meet all my supporters and fans after this amazing journey.

Thank you so much for your time Mari. 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 readers of escbubble?
– Thank you so much for the interview, I really wanna say thank you to all the people who listen to my song and thanks for all the love and support.. You’re the best <3

You can listen to “Your Loss” on Spotify or below

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite at the third semi-final of Melodi Grand Prix 2022!

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Let us know your impressions of “Your Loss” by Mari Bølla in the comments below and at our social media links!

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