Anna-Lisa: "Everybody is deserving of true happiness that can be found from within"

Anna Lisa Kumoji is a singer best known to the Eurovision audience as the finalist of MGP 2019 with “Holla”, where she got to the 4th place. She is very experienced performer and among other things, Anna-Lisa had roles in “The Book of Mormon”, “Flashdance”, “West Side Story” and she revealed to us which is the newest role she prepares for. Anna-Lisa also had several film and TV roles and is the voice behind many characters. She comes from a musical family and her younger sister Akuvi also took part at MGP in 2020 with “Som du er”. 

Hello Anna Lisa, the audience already remembers you as the 4th placed artist of Melodi Grand Prix 2019 with “Holla”. Has the contest changed your life and how was that experience? Is there any memory or an anecdote you’d like to share with us?
– Yes, yes and yes! Being part of MGP in 2019 was a childhood dream coming through. I’m from a music family where watching MGP and ESC was a big part of the family tradition growing up. I remember looking up on that TV-screen and thinking “what if..what if I could be on that stage some day?”.
The experience in it self was awesome, but unfortunately we had a family tragedy the very same week as I was in the final. My brother died. So performing that day was quit tough.
-I wasn’t ready to share it with anybody, but the production team and ofc my closest family and friends.
This year I’m back and I’m finally going to be able to enjoy the whole experience to the fullest and that excites me!

The contest definitely took be to a new level of my career. I went on tour with ESC winner Hanne Krogh, from Bobbysocks, I became a finalist in the Norwegian version of “All Together Now” and this autumn I was part of the prestigious TV show: Stjernekamp. – Directly translated to “The battle between the stars”!

What made you decide to return at Melodi Grand Prix?
– Melody Grand Prix is the worlds biggest music competition. It´s like the World Cup or the Olympics within music! I had such a great experience in 2019, so when NRK contacted me and sent me the first draft of “Queen Bees” I had to say “yes”! Olli Äkras is an amazing producer and Elsbeth and Alan Roy Scott did an amazing job with making the song “mine”.

Your younger sister Akuvi took part at MGP 2020 and you were her huge support, given the fact that she got experience with the changed format of the show has she gave you any advice and is she supporting you as you did her in 2020?
– Absolutely. We are very close and we have been our whole lives. She is my sister,my best friend and one of my biggest supporters. On Saturday she will be backstage with me throughout the day.

Can you tell us a bit about “Queen Bees” given the fact that you are one of the coauthors of it and what does the song mean for you?
Queen bees is finding happiness from withing. It is about taking a second to appreciate the things you have and who you are-regardless of your circumstances.  -It is easy to feel like things would have been better “if only this, or if only that”. I believe that we are unique and fantastic people just the way we are and everybody is deserving of  true happiness that can be found from within.

You played in “The Book of Mormon”, “Flashdance” and “West Side Story”. How were those experiences and is what is your dream role you’d like to perform?
– My absolute dream role is “Deloris” from the musical “Sister Act” and I’m actually going to play that part this year!!

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?
– I think it´s hard to pick one!! “Som Du Er” – Akuvi because of the awesome lyrics!! 

You mentioned that watching Eurovision is part of your family’s tradition, what’s your favourite song from the contest?
– “Hold me Know” is a great ballad, Måneskin last year was awesome! I also LOVED the recorded version of “The Moon is Rising”.

You are also a voice actress (Frozen, Encanto, Beauty And The Beast), how was that experience and do you have a character which you’d love to be the voice actress of?
– Yeah, I’ve dubbed for almost 10 years now and I love it! Getting into the character of Louisa was fun yet challenging as her voice is quit darker and “heavier” than my original voice. But it was great fun! Don´t have any specific voice-over dream roles.

Is there any artists which you would like to do a duet with?
– I LOOOVE Tina Turner and Judith Hill! Sound great together with my sister Akuvi.


What are your plans after Melodi Grand Prix 2022?
– To play the main role in the musical “Sister Act” and release more music!

Thank you so much for your time Anna-Lisa. We wish you the best of luck at the final of Melodi Grand Prix this Saturday. 

You can check the official music video of “Queen Bees” HERE or watch the live performance below

If Anna-Lisa is your favorite to win Melodi Grand Prix 2022 which will take place this Saturday, make sure you cast your vote for her in our poll right here:

[democracy id=”114″]

Let us know your impressions of “Queen Bees” by Anna-Lisa in the comments below and at our social media links @escbubble

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