Meet the artists competing at Melodi Grand Prix 2023

Norwegian broadcaster, NRK has presented all the artists which will be competing for a chance to represent Norway at Eurovision 2023. The show will be organised in a slightly different format than last year’s editions as it will feature the total of 4 shows, three semi-finals and a grand final. The three artists with the most votes from each of the semi-final will be advancing to the final which is set to take place on 4th of February. The hosts of the show will be Stian “Staysman” Thorbjørnsen and Arianrhod “Arian” Engebø. The semi-final split is as follows

Semi-final 1

Ulrikke Brandstorp – “Honestly”
Lyrics and music: Jim Bergsted, Helge Moen, Ben Adams, Ulrikke Brandstorp, Joshua Oliver and Christoffer Gunnestad

Ulrikke has won the Melodi Grand Prix 2020 with “Attention”. Unfortunately she didn’t have a chance to compete with it as the Eurovision Song Contest got cancelled because of the pandemic, so she is back at the contest as the right song to compete with has appeared, as she previously announced. She took part in “The Masked Singer” where she was masked as Troll and she played the lead role of Sophie in the musical “Mamma Mia”.

Eirik Næss – “Wave”
Lyrics and music: Viktor Ljungqvist, Amalie Olsen and Eirik Næss

Eirik Næss is an artist and songwriter from Larvik. After graduating, he moved to London, where he lived for seven years. Since he moved back to Oslo, he has played in several bands, and within a year he performes many different music styles.

Kate Gulbrandsen – “Tårer i paradis”
Lyrics and music: Kjetil Mørland and Kate Gulbrandsen

Kate Gulbrandsen won MGP in 1987 with “Mitt liv” for which she received 65 points which placed her as 9th at Eurovision Song Contest 1987. She has performing at many different stages and took part at various Norwegian TV shows such as “Beat på Beat”, “Stjernekamp” and “Allsang på grensen”. The composer of the song is Kjetil Mørland, even more familiar name for the Eurovision audience as he ended as 8th in the final of ESC 2015 in a duet with Debrah Scarlett singing “A Monster Like Me”.

Rasmus Thall – “TRESKO”
Lyrics and music: Rasmus Simon Vedvik Thallaug, Farida Louise Bolseth Benounis and Robin Alexander Vedvik Helmersen

Rasmus Thallaug is a songwriter, producer and artist from Tønsberg. In MGP last year, he was both producer, co-songwriter and pianist on his girlfriend Farida’s contribution “Dangerous”. Rasmus is the grandson of the well-known artist Anita Thallaug, who participated in MGP in the 60s.

Alessandra Mele – “Queen Of Kings”
Lyrics and music: Henning Olerud, Stanley Ferdinandez, Alessandra Mele and Linda Dale

Alessandra Mele is a Norwegian-Italian artist and songwriter. The 20-year-old has lived most of her life in Italy, but after she finished her secondary school she moved to Norway. She is studying at LIMPI in Lillehammer. The song “Queen of Kings” is about daring and being yourself, and coming out stronger from difficult periods in life.

Byron Williams Jr & Jowst: “Freaky For The Weekend”
Lyrics and music: Byron Williams Jr and Joachim With Steen

Byron Williams comes from Miami, Florida, and Norwegian audience knows him as the contestant of “The Voice” Joakim With Steen, better known under the stage name Jowst, won MGP in 2017 with the song “Grab The Moment”. The two of them joined forces to create the party song “Freaky for the Weekend.”

Umami Tsunami feat. Kyle Alessandro, Kristian Haugstøyl & Magnus Winjum: “Geronimo”
Lyrics and music: Torgeir Ryssevik, Carl-Henrik Wahl, Bjørn Olav Edvardsen, Sindre Timberlid Jenssen, Lasse Midtsian Nymann and Kristian Lund

Umami Tsunami is a project consisting of songwriters, artists, producers and people who work with design and visual expression. At MGP 2023 they will be featuring Kyle Alessandro (16), Kristian Haux (20) and Magnus Winjum (17) from Lillestrøm.

Semi-final 2

Sandra Lyng – “Drøm d bort”
Lyrics and music: Sandra Lyng, Erlend Torheim, Ferdinann West and Kristina Blakli

For the first time, Sandra Lyng will be competing as an artist in MGP. Last year she was a songwriter on the song “Someone”, performed by the group Northkid. At the age of 16, she competed in “Idol”. Her song “Drøm d bort” is about vulnerability, hope and strength.

Jone – “Ekko Inni Meg”
Lyrics and music: Morten Franck, Christopher Colin Archer, Christine Ekeberg, Audun Agnar Guldbrandsen and Jonas Nes Steinset
Jonas Nes Steinset from Lier, with the stage name JONE, is making his MGP debut. Recently JONE has specialized in creation of sing-along, friendly and catchy party music, with singles such as “Et sted på Montebello”, “Jag gillar dig” and “Livet på bøgda”.

Swing’ it – “Prohibition”
Lyrics and music: Martin Jarl Velsin, Jonah Charles Hitchens, Vebjørn Mamen and Sam Peter Norris

The band consists of: Martin Jarl Velsin, Leif Peter Vilhelm Grahn, Edvard Bondi Knowles, Jan Ivar Ekroll, Vebjørn Mamen, Håvard Mathisen Tanner and Håkon Kvam. Swing’it started their career as street musicians in Tønsberg in 2014. Since then, the band has played hundreds of concerts in Norway, Europe and the USA. In 2018, they created the concept “prohibition”, which is a show with 1920s dance, burlesque and cabaret and music where the audience dresses up in Gatsby style.

Ella – “Waist”
Lyrics and music: Raphaela Antônia Souza Silva, Timothy John Adam Gosden, Tristan Henry and Isabell Røren Hannevig

Ella is the stage name of Raphaela Antônia Souza Silva, who was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. At the age of 12, she moved to Norway with her mother. In 2022, she released her debut single “Criminal”, which was used as the soundtrack to the Brazilian film “Me Tira da Mira”.

Alejandro Fuentes – “Fuego”
Lyrics and music: Alejandro Fuentes, Nermin Harambasic, Chris Young and Mateo Camargo

First Alejandro’s appearance was back in 2005 as contestand of “Idol”. Since then, he has been successful both as a solo artist and as part of the new Gitarkamatere. He competed at MGP 2018 with the song “Tengo Otra”.

Bjørn Olav Edvardsen – “Turn Off My Heart”
Lyrics and music: Bjørn Olav Edvardsen, Christian Ingebrigtsen and Henrik Thala

Bjørn Olav Edvardsen is an artist, actor and songwriter living in Nord-Odal. He got his breakthrough when he became a finalist in “Idol” in 2005. Since then, he has been on several stages including “The Voice”. This is the first time he has takes part at MGP as an artist.

Elsie Bay – “Love You in a Dream”
Lyrics and music: Elsa Søllesvik, Andreas Stone Johansson and Tom Oehler

Elsa Søllevik is an artist and songwriter who has been in the industry for many years. She got her breakthrough through the duo Elsa and Emilie, she has provided sound for the TV series “Skam”, and last year she participated both as a songwriter and artist in MGP. This year she is back as a songwriter on Eline Thorp’s song “Not Meant to Be”, in addition to that she competes as an artist with “Love You in a Dream”.


Semi-Final 3

Skrellex – “Love Again”
Lyrics and music: Kai Thomas Ryen Larsen, Michael James Down, Will Taylor, Primoz Poglajen and Jonas Gladnikoff

Skrellex, originally Kai Thomas Larsen has worked as a musical and show artist since 2007. In MGP he participates as the drag artist Skrellex, whom Norwegian audience knows as a mentor in “Drag Me Out” and as a drag queen in the serie “Drags”.

Tiril Beisland – “Break It”
Lyrics and music: Emma Steinbakken, Emelie Hollow, Lars Rossnes and Benjamin Pinkus

Tiril is a 21-year-old artist and songwriter from Lillestrøm. She has a lot of experience of being on stage as, among other things, a dancer in Skedsmo Amatørteater, as well as in the Norwegian Ballet Institute and as a county representative in UKM. Now she is making her debut as an artist in MGP.

Akuvi – “Triumph”
Lyrics and music:Beatrice Akuvi Hosen Kumordzie, Andreas Stone Johansson, Anderz Wrethov and Konstantinos Vlastaras

Beatrice Akuvi Hosen Kumordzie (27) is a Norwegian-Ghanaian artist, songwriter and performer. In 2020, she participated in Melodi Grand Prix with the song “Som du er”. She is also known as the voice behind the animated character Dolores in the Disney’s Encanto, as well as the rapper Karma in the Netflix series Karma’s world.

Atle Pettersen – “Masterpiece
Lyrics and music: Andreas Stone Johansson, Hannah Dorothy Bristow and Atle Pettersen

Atle Pettersen is known as both musician and TV host. He hosts the famous Norwegian show “Beat for Beat”. Music has been a big part of Pettersen’s life, and he has done several musicals and revues such as “Singin’ in the Rain”, “Jersey Boys” and “Beatles” in addition to that he took part at MGP 2021 with “World On Fire”.

Eline Thorp – “Not Meant to Be”
Lyrics and music: Jonas Holteberg Jensen, Andreas Stone Johansson, Elsa Søllesvik and Eline Thorp

Eline Thorp (29) comes from Hamarøy in Nordland, but lives in Oslo. She broke through as an artist at the start of the 2010s and now she is making her MGP debut.

Maria Celin – “Freya”
Lyrics and music: Sindre Timberlid Jenssen, Anna Timgren, Gaute Ormåsen, Benjamin Alasu and Erik Fjeld

Maria Celin Strand is from Mandal. She has performed in both theater and musicals since she was 9 years old. Many people became familiar with the 25-year-old when she took part in “The Voice” in 2017. In the competition, she covered the song “Runnin” by Beyoncé, which was very well received and currently has 3.5 million plays on Spotify.

Stig van Eijk – “Someday”
Lyrics and music: Stig van Eijk and Beate Helen Thunes

24 years have passed since Stig van Eijk had his big breakthrough as an artist. It happened when, as a 17-year-old, he won the Norwegian MGP final with the song “Living My Life Without You” which ended on 14th place at Eurovision 1999. Both the single and the subsequent album reached gold status in Norway. This year he is currently working on several record projects, in addition to re-entering the big MGP scene.

Dates of the show and song release

The one minute parts of the songs are available to all of the viewers in Norway, while the presentation of the songs for each semi-final will be happening every Monday ahead of the semis. The release is scheduled for 9th, 16th and 23rd of January. The dates of the shows are as follows:

  • Semi-final 1 – 14th of January
  • Semi-final 1 – 21st of January
  • Semi-final 1 – 28th of January
  • Grand Final – 4th of February

What are your impressions of the artists and what are your expectations of MGP 2023? Let us know your impressions in the comments below and at our social media @escbubble

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