Tenori: Find a mentor who understands your instrument

Our editor Matt spoke to Tenori who’ll be competing in this weekend’s Melodifestivalen.

Hi guys. Congratulations on being chosen for Melodifestivalen! How did you first get into music?

Alex: Thanks! My mother trained as a concert pianist but gave up when she had me. She always wanted me to go into music, so I auditioned at St Paul’s Cathedral Choir School at the age of eight and became a chorister there for five years while also playing the oboe and piano. It was intense training and performing at a very high level, which set me up for life.

Kalle: My mother talked me into joining a boy’s chorus when I was 10 so that’s when I started signing. But already at seven I began to play the cello, and my grandfather was singing classically so it was in the family.

What’s your song about?

Alex: It depends on your interpretation, but the song is about being stuck in a dark place and being saved by the love of your life.

Kalle: The star could also be interpreted as the general hope – “hope is victorious” we sing, something we all need after this long and dark pandemic.

What inspires you when writing music?

Conveying emotion and the impact it has on others. The singers who have come before us also obviously inspire us. We’re trained opera singers and we have studied with many tenors and idolise the greats: Jussi Björling, Caruso, Gigli, Corelli, Kaufmann… (the list is long) are all big influences on us. But so are the big crossover artists such as Mario Lanza (probably the greatest “crossover” tenor of all time) Il Divo, Alessandro Safina amongst many others, and even artists such as the Rat Pack, Harry Connick Jr, Tom Jones, Tommy Körberg and Michael Bublé.

What advice would you give to anyone who’s trying to get into the music industry?

There’s no one way that fits all in the music industry as it is so broad and varied, so direct advice is difficult to give. For us, being an opera singer is slightly different as you’re a vocal athlete, which means training – lots of it – strength, flexibility, stamina, language, interpretation, stagecraft etc.

Then waking up every day asking yourself how you will make sure the world gets to hear it and being heard by the right people who can help you develop your career and place you on the right stages for your voice and level of development.

Finding a mentor who understands your instrument and who can help you develop it and help you to find your place in the industry is extremely important as it’s a demanding and competitive profession. So the best advice we can give is to work hard, believe in yourself, dedicate yourself to your goal, and never ever ever give up.

What’s your favourite Eurovision song?

Alex – Fairytale by Alexander Rybak

Kalle – Euphoria – Loreen

What’s your favourite Melodifestivalen song?

Heroes by Måns Zelmerlöv

What would you like to say to your fans?

Just to say we’re really looking forward to participating, meeting the public (we hope) and sharing our energy and the song! We hope you all love the song as much as we love singing it!

Thanks for talking to us Today guys and good luck in the Melodifestivalen!

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