Kim Wigaard: “I want to defy adversity, challenging experiences and build a show that shows who I am in a whole new way.”

Kim Wigaard Johansen is the an artist with whom Norwegian audience got familiar through The Voice Norway back in 2017, the fourth season of the show. He has sung at the Norwegian Opera and Ballet, Off-Broadway in New York and been a soloist for a sold-out Oslo Concert Hall. Basically, he has a broad education from the Norwegian Academy of Music, the Oslo Academy of the Arts and the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He participated in the Melodi Grand Prix in 2020 with the duet “Fool for Love” together with Maria Mohn.

Hello Kim, you are an experienced singer who worked in many musicals, revues, opera and cabaret. You also performed at Norwegian Opera and Ballet and Off-Broadway in New York. How did you get involved with singing? What were your musical beginnings?
Hello I started singing in “Sølvguttene” which is a Norwegian Boys Choir when I was 8-9 years old. But I was a shy boy when I was little, so I didn’t stay in the choir for too long. I was too afraid to go on tour without my mom. My mom was very interested in culture so she took me to the opera, ballet, musicals and other shows. Together we shared a passion for music and art. When I was 10, we both started playing piano with the same teacher. But then I learned playing much faster, than she did, so I eventually developed faster and played all the songs she dreamed of 😉 That’s where it all started.
I did auditions for a music high school in Oslo, and got in. Then I switched from piano to singing the third year and sang for a year with a great teacher who learned me a lot. Then I applied for The Norwegian Music Academy the year after and got in. And the the opera school. And then The Manhattan School of Music in NY.

Norwegian audience had a chance to watch you compete in the fourth season of The Voice back in 2017. How was that experience and has it in any way helped you prepare for MGP?
– The Voice is an awesome production, and every stage we get to stand on is important. No matter how big or small, I always keep in mind that I will give it my all on every stage I stand. But personally, those years was a very tough time in my life, so keeping that in mind, I am happy that I now stand stronger than ever and 100% free to give it my ALL in MGP! I am SOOO excited!!

What made you decide to return at Melodi Grand Prix?
– Being able to do a solo performance of a song, staging and costume that is 100% Kim

At Melodi Grand Prix 2020 you performed a duet “Fool for Love” together with Maria Mohn, and now the two of you are competing against each other. How does that make you feel?
– It goes both ways. Maria and I are very close and always wish each other the very best. I love Maria as a person and I love working with her as the great singer she is. But there is only one song that will go through, so I have to stay focused and fight, so I can deliver the very best. But we will be backstage together hugging and cheering for each other!

Can you tell us a bit about “La Melodia” given the fact that you are one of the coauthors of it and what does the song mean for you?
– “La Melodia” is an epic and powerful song that has a clear message on behalf of generations, genders and minorities. I wanted to write a song that is an “anthem” for those who are struggling to find their voice. This is an uplifting song. A song that will give the listeners the strength to show who they are. We wrote a chorus that everyone can sing along to, which resulted in a ridiculously simple, but still a great concept. Everyone can sing “lalala!” Still, we wanted to spice up this chorus by adding opera, which, an art form that lies close to my heart! This song gives you drama, contrasts and emotions. I have been through a lot in my life, and this is my time to show that you being you, and being proud of it, is my best advice.

What can we expect from your performance? Can you give us any hints?
– I want this performance to be iconic. The inspiration is taken from my personality and turned up 10 notches! I want to defy adversity, challenging experiences and build a show that shows who I am in a whole new way. Norway has not seen this before, and I think it is time!

What is your favourite Opera and is there any role which you’d really like to get but you haven’t had a chance so far?
– My favorite opera is Turandot! But there is not a dream role for me in that opera. But I would love to do Rigoletto one day!

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 mean, this is such a hard question beacause there are SO many good songs! Is it okay I do top three? 1 – Monument (Keiino) 2 – Icebreaker (Agnete) 3 – La Det Swinge (Bobbysocks)
My nr 1 – Keiino is just such a great representation of what Norwegians are like and who we are. The voices, the songwriting and the image. Its so powerful.

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?
– Every year of course! Its our favorite thing to be a part of, I will never forget when Dana International won with “Diva” in 1998. It was such a big moment for me – and I remember I said to myself: One day.. One day, I wanna stand on that stage too!”

What are your plans after Melodi Grand Prix 2022?
– Keep on working my ass off. I will definitely be in the studio recording some new music!

Thank you so much for your time Kim. 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 for reading and follow my journey on @kimwigaard  on Instagram and FB + tiktok!

You can listen to “La Melodia” on Spotify , or watch the lyrics video below, also you can subscribe to Kim’s channel to get a reminder when the official music video of “La Melodia” is released – it’s scheduled for Sunday, 6th of February.

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 “La Melodia” by Kim Wigaard in the comments below and at our social media links!

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