After two top 10 results in a row, Norwegian broadcaster is keen to continue the momentum for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Austria.
Today, the doors opened for submissions for Melodi Grand Prix 2015 with music coordinator for the event, Vivi Stenberg, calling out for as many songs as possible to be sent in.
"Basically, anyone can send in their songs, but of course it is an advantage to know what you're getting into here. We want songwriters and artists that know they have what it takes to work on their song in strong competition with other songs", she says.
When asked what sort of music she is on the look out for, she replied, "of course we are looking for songs that can win the Eurovision Song Contest, which next year will celebrate its 60th anniversary. Also, we would like songs that reflect the music we are good at producing here in Norway, and that is fortunately incredibly diverse".
A Unique Experience
Less than a month ago, Carl Espen Thorbjørnsen stood on stage in Copenhagen and performed his song Silent Storm, written by his cousin Josefine Winther, in front of 11,000 members of the audience and 195 million viewers watching at home. A few months earlier, there were few that could imagine that he would be standing there.
Vivi Stenberg emphasises that Melodi Grand Prix is a huge showcasing opportunity and an important learning process for both songwriters and artists.
"When a song is selected by the jury, several months of hard work begin looking for an artist to perform the song, creating a stage presentation together with NRK's team of directors, lighting desigers, scenographers and clothes designers, rehearsing the camera angles that give the song the right expression on TV, and much more besides. There is a lot of work behind the three minutes on the MGP-stage that people at home see on TV, but it is also an experience that the vast majority of artists find both exciting and educational".
"In addition, there is a lot of attention surrounding the artists who participate in Melodi Grand Prix, so you have to be ready to do a lot of interviews, radio appearences, meeting with fans and promoting yourself. If you win the entire thing, then a potential 195 million viewers from all over the world await you, and you need to be able to control your nerves and voice", she continues.
Already starting to plan
Last year around 600 songs were sent into Melodi Grand Prix, which the listening group reduced down to just 15 songs.
The number of songs participating in next year's competition is not something that project manager for MGP, Stian Malme, wants to reveal just yet. He says that the production group are now starting to plan for next year's competition.
"We have evaluated this year's competition thoroughly and take with us a lot of experience as we enter the planning phase for next year's MGP. We want to excite and surprise the viewers, as well as give you all a traditionall MGP party", he said.
Vivi Stenberg hopes that the songs being sent in for next year's competition will reflect the breadth of the Norwegian popular music scene.
"The Norwegian musical scene feels now to be more vital than it has been for a long time. It is so much fun and we very much hope that it will be reflected on the MGP-stage as well. All the music styles that belong to the broad defintiion of popular music are welcome, whether it be rock, pop, EDM, hiphop, country, folk or others. I want MGP to be a career defining moment for even more artists and to produce more hits that join the ranks of Melodi Grand Prix songs that have become a part of our shared memories throughout the decades Norway has taken part in the competition.
You can see how to enter Melodi Grand Prix 2015 on NRK's website. The deadline for submissions is the 1st of September.
The 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Austria, following Conchita Wurst's win in Copenhagen just last month with the song Rise Like A Phoenix.