Maria Mohn: “I wrote the song when my son was fighting for his life in the hospital.”

Maria Mohn Pettersen is Norwegian musician, pianist, singer-songwriter, she is an educated singer at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. Mohn started singing with her father in a band when she was 10 years old. Back in 2003 she competed in the Norwegian Idol. In 2010 she released her debut album and started acting. In 2011 she competed at Norwegian Idol for the second time and ended on sixth place. In the autumn of 2017 she started to work as a part-time singing teacher. At Melodi Grand Prix 2020 she performed the song “Fool for Love” with Kim Wigaard Johansen.

Hello Maria, you are a multi talented musician who sings, composes, plays piano and teaches children at what moment in your life did you realise that music is going to be your call?
– I started to sing before I could talk (like they say in ABBA’s s Thank you for the music, hahah) – but honestly, I started writing music as a child, toured with my father’s band when I was 10 and I was determined all along that music was my calling, I guess! It was just something I HAD to do – to breathe, you know..!

If I am not mistaken you also work as a music teacher, how is that and which thing from the job makes you happy?
– I love the combination performing/teaching. Performing makes me a better teacher and teaching makes me a better performer. I absolutely love being a part of these young adults (16-19 yrs) lives, it’s a really meaningful job.

Back in 2007 you were nominated for the famous Norwegian Grammy award (Spellemannprisen) with the vocal ensemble “Pust” (Breathe) how was the experience being in a group and being nominated for Spelleman for the first time?
– I had actually decided to leave the group at that time, I had just left Oslo and had my first child. It was such a great experience to be nominated and I am proud to be a part of that particular album. (Femkant)

You competed in the sixth season of Idol Norway, what has that experience taught you about yourself and your skills?
– I remember being really insecure, losing faith in myself week by week. I learned so much from that. I have grown a lot both as a person and as a singer. So even though it was nerve wrecking I would do it all again. At this point in my life I feel so ready, I am thankful for all the experience I have now, I am more humble and have more self-esteem.

What made you decide to return at Melodi Grand Prix?
It’s just always been my greatest dream..! What a fantastic concept, performing NEW music with the best crew, it’s just the number one thing you can do as an artist, in my opinion. It has always been my biggest dream, to win the Eurovision. And if you don’t dare to dream big – well..!

Can you tell us more about “Fly” given the fact that you are one of the coauthors of it and what does the song mean for you?
– I wrote the song when my son was fighting for his life in the hospital. I couldn’t see him for almost two months. His father was there with him, I had to stay home with my two younger kids. He got a bone marrow transplant, his younger brother was his donor. It was my life’s darkest days. But thank God, he made it, now he can fly, free as a bird, grow old and live a happy, healthy life. So as you can tell, this song means the world to me. I hope it can give hope to those who needs it, who are struggling with something in their own lives.

“Breathe and fly through the dark skies, and the glory will follow”

“You are stronger than you know”

I would say that this is the most important song I have ever written.

You can also check out the behind the scene video below

Watching the music video of “Fly” I have a feeling that you wanted to celebrate the Norwegian mountains and nature, what is your favourite place in Norway?
– Norway is such a beautiful country, and there are so many places I have not yet seen, I would like to travel to Lofoten someday! The pictures I’ve seen takes my breath away. But if I should choose a place Iactually have been to, I have to say Saltnes, where I live. Beautiful place by the sea.

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?
– My favourite song from MGP has got to be “Fairytale”! I remember I was at my fathers cabin in Sweden when it won, and I was like “THIS is how you do it! THIS is the perfect song for MGP/Eurovision!” And  – well – it was!

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 always watch Eurovision, I’m such a fan! My favourite ESC-memory is from 1991 when Carola won with “Fångad av en stormvind”. I actually do a Carola parody on a regular basis, I do shows performing that song probably 150 times a year.

What are your plans after Melodi Grand Prix 2022?
– I’d love a trip to Italy 😉 Hahah
I have a single ready, totally different from “Fly” – and I am planning to record a Christmas album, and I hope to do a lot of concerts! Continue to write music 

Thank you so much for your time Maria. 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 interviewing me! I guess my message would have to be:
“Lift your head up high, spread your wings and fly! Let your inner Phoenix rise up to the skyyyyyy!”

You can listen to “Fly” on Spotify , acoustic version live or watch the music video below

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

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Let us know your impressions of “Fly” by Maria Mohn in the comments below and at our social media links!

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