This morning at DR Byen in Copenhagen, the 10 acts competing in this year's Danish final or Melodi Grand Prix were revealed. The final is set to take place on the 26th of February at Ballerup Super Arena, just outside the Danish capital.
Of the 10 acts revealed today, 7 were selected from the whopping 663 entries sent in to the selection team at DR. The other three acts were invited directly by DR to compete in this year's competition as wildcards.
Below is a listing of each of the 10 teams competing.
Artist: Lee Hutton
Music/Lyrics: Matilde Kühl, Sune Haansbæk & Ian Mack
Lee Hutton originally comes from England and has played the guitar since he was 11 years old. He has also toured with six bands and had chart success with a band called Industry. Through this band he met Matilde and Sune, with whom he has worked for a year and a half now. When talking about his song, he said "We have something very fresh and universally appealing to offer with our song that will give us a fantastic shot at Eurovision".
The three composers met at a songwriters camp, where they established an ambition to write a "classic boy band pop song, who they think it should sound in 2011". Matilde Kühl is known for taking part in the Danish final last year with her song Panik! Sune has worked with acts such as Bryan Rice, The Fireflies and Melodi Grand Prix veterans Sukkerchok. Ian has worked with many established acts, including Leonna Lewis, Take That, Keane, Boyzone, Sir Cliff Richard and Whitney Houston.
You'll Get Me Through
Artist: Sine Vig Kjærgaard
Music/Lyrics: Henrik Janson & Hanif Sabzevari
At 18 years old Sine has already had a lot of musical experience, taking part in the youth talent show, "Scenen Er Din" (The Stage Is Yours) in 2007. She has also released an album and sung the Danish sound track to the Disney film, Camp Rock to name but a few of her endeavours. Sine expressed her excitement about performing on stage in Ballerup saying, "I'm going to go on and sing from my heart. Then we'll see what happens".
Henrik Janson and Hanif Sabzevari are a Swedish composer team who met last year. Hanif is not a stranger to the national selection scene as last year he entered Melodifestivalen in Sweden with the song Unstoppable performed by Ola Svensson. This song subsequently went gold in the Swedish charts. Henrik has had the pleasure of working with many well-known Danish artists such as Søs Fenger and Sanne Solomonsen. Internationally he has arranged songs for Britney Spears and Celine Dion. The pair describe You'll Get Me Through as a "real love ballad". Hanif went on to say, "I hope the Danes like our song, as it is written from the heart".
25 Hours A Day
Artist: Le Freak
Music/Lyrics: Erik Bernholm, Henrik Sethsson & Thomas G:son
Le Freak are a professional disco band, being used to performing live on stage and really stoking up the atmosphere. The group have been support acts for world superstars such as Anastacia, Madonna and Rolling Stones. They are used to performing covers of 70's hits but with 25 Hours A Day they believe that their "eternal mission is to give people a unique live experience and to get people to "freak out" to the music". The band is made up of Ditte Marie Agergaard Kristensen, Mark Chemnitz, Holger Olund Andersen, Jesper Andersen, Nikolaj Pindstrup Perez & Lasse Lauridse.
The team behind 25 Hours A Day have a lot of experience, both in national selections and the Eurovision Song Contest. Last year they wrote Denmark's entry, In A Moment Like This, performed by Chanée & N'evergreen, which achieved a very respectable 4th place in Oslo. Thomas G:son has also won the Norwegian, Swedish and Spanish national finals whilst Henrik Sethsson has written two winning songs, one of which he wrote with Thomas G:son in 2001. Here they were behind the Swedish entry, Listen To Your Heartbeat in Copenhagen. Erik Bernholm is also experienced, having worked with artists such as Jill Johnson and Sahlene.
Black And Blue
Artist: Kat and Justin Hopkins
Music/Lyrics: Patric Johnson, Joakim Övrenius & Justin Hopkins.
Justin Hopkins, from the USA has an impressive array of musical experience, having worked with his own band in Portland, Oregon and subsequently moving to Los Angeles where he worked with famous producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. Here, he had a lot of success before recording an album in Sweden. When talking about Dansk Melodi Grand Prix he said, "It is such an honour to be recognised and selected in the first place. Now I just hope people are touched by the music we are making. On stage he will be joined by Katrine Thisted. Kat also has a musical background, having worked as a DJ as well as being lead singer in the band The Kat. She also took part in the Danish final last year together with Silas Holst, where their song Come Come Run Away came third. "I'm looking forward to take to the stage this year and I'm proud to have Justin with me", said Kat.
The song writing team, in addition to Justin are also from very experienced backgrounds. Patric for example played in a band as a teenager and has subsequently written songs of all genres. Joakim comes from a very musical family and has followed in these footsteps. In 2010 him and Patric worked together with Thomas Karlsson on the song, Just Like Rain performed by Thomas Barsøe.
Artist: Christopher Brandt
Music/Lyrics: Christopher Brandt & Sisse Søby
Christopher Brandt's career wasn't always focused around his musical talents. He started by playing Ice Hockey in Rungsted. Whilst playing Ice Hockey in Sweden, Christopher got his first taste of performing in public, where he sang the Danish National Anthem. Since then he has performed at musicals at Rungsted Culture House and will now be on stage in Ballerup with Emma, where he promises to perform with "skinless truthfulness".
Christopher wrote the song together with his good friend, Sisse Søby who has more or less been in music since she was a child. In 2001 she won the children's version of Melodi Grand Prix with her song Du Har Brug For Mig. Since then she has been working as a singer, model and of course, a song writer.
Artist: A Friend In London
Music/Lyrics: Lise Cabble & Jakob Glæsner
A Friend In London were formed in 2005 where a group of four friends, Tim Schou, Sebastian Vinther, Aske Damm Bramming and Esben Svane met at school in western Jutland. For the past few years the band has gained a lot of experience touring in Denmark and abroad. In fact they won a European competition called Bodog Million Dollar Battle. After this they have had a lot of success in Canada as well as continued popularity in their native Denmark.
Jakob Glæsner is no stranger to the Melodi Grand Prix stage having taken part in Herning in 2009 as part of the band Johnny Deluxe, who performed the song Sindsyg, an experience Jakob would like to repeat. He met Lise Cabble when she collaborated on the writing Johnny Deluxe's third album. Since then she and Jakob have worked together on other musical projects. Lise explained that "a Melodi Grand Prix song should touch people and embed itself the first time you hear it". Lise Cabble is also known for co-writing the Danish entry in 1995, Fra Mols Til Skagen, which came fifth at the competition in Dublin.
Music/Lyrics: Jeffrey, Lasse Lindorff, Svend Gudiksen, Daniel Fält & Kim Nowak-Zorde
At the age of 25, Jeffrey is quite new to the music scene. In fact so new, that he is in the charts at the moment with his song, Dans For Mig. Jeffrey's role models are amongst others Michael Jackson, Usher and Neyo. When discussing his appearance in the Danish final, Jeffrey said, "I've always thought that Melodi Grand Prix is the perfect opportunity to reach out to many people with your music". With his "soft soul voice" maybe he will touch many people with his song.
The composers all formally work together in a song writing team called GL Music, which was set up in 2004. So far they have worked with artists and groups such as Take That, Vice, Sanne Solomonsen, Anna David, Bryan Rice, Outlandish and Johnny Deluxe. Nearly all of the song writer team have a connection with Melodi Grand Prix with Lasse Lindorff having been involved in the competition since 2008. In addition Svend Gudiksen won in 2008 with the song All Night Long performed in Belgrade by Simon Matthews. Here, they qualified for the final. Kim Nowak-Zorde and Daniel Fält have also got experience being involved in the Danish final as musicians and play on the Danish X-Factor show, in the live band.
Artist: Anna Noa
Music/Lyrics: John Gordon, Lene Dissing & Peter Bjørnskov
At the tender age of 17, Anna Noa is this year's youngest artist. Since she was very young, she has burned for music and this continues today where she studies music as part of her upper secondary school education. When discussing her taking part in Ballerup she said, I'm looking forward to standing on stage in Ballerup Super Arena and to give the public and viewers all I have to give. It's going to be an amazing experience".
John Gordon made his name in the Eurovision Song Contest, by being one half of the team behind Germany's winning song, Satellite together with Julie Frost. He described being in Oslo as being a pretty surreal experience. "We didn't manage to get a place in the Green Room so sat in the arena surrounded by Norwegians. When they realised that we had written the song, they cheered us and there was a real party atmosphere", John said whilst describing his experience. Together with Lene Dissing and Peter Bjørnskov, he has written Sleepless. Neither Lene nor Peter are unknown when it comes to Melodi Grand Prix and the Eurovision Song Contest. Peter was behind Bryan Rice's song Breathing, which took part in last year's Danish final. Lene wrote Andorra's entry in 2009.
Hvad Hjertet Lever Af
Artist: Stine Kinck
Music/Lyrics: Pharfar, Rasmus Allin, Fresh-I & Stine Kinck
Stine Kinck who as well as performing this song is also co-writer, started her career at young age of 15 when she sang in the group Savage Rose, travelling all over Denmark on tour. At the age of 18 she travelled the world as part of the band Los Umbrellos and has sung with the hip pop group, Hvid Chokolade. At the age of 24 she moved to New York, where she worked on further material but has since returned to Denmark where she has released a single and has a new Danish language album on the way.
Pharfar was invited by DR to take part in Melodi Grand Prix as a wildcard. The reggae inspired artist has had a long running success, being in the business for more than 15 years. He is know mainly for his work in the group Bik Stok Røgsystem and female rapper Natasja. Pharfar never considered taking part in the Danish final but when invited he took DR up on the offer. Justifying his decision to take part, he said: "These are new times for Melodi Grand Prix. The show has recently been revitalised and I like that all music genres are allowed here". The other composers are made up of his own team of producers called Donkey Sound, having worked with Pharfar on previous projects.
Let Your Heart Be Mine
Artist: Jenny Berggren
Music/Lyrics: Jeppe Federspiel & Thomas G:son
Jenny Berggren is one of the most successful acts in this year's Melodi Grand Prix, gaining incredible success in the 90s as lead vocalist for the group Ace of Bace. The band signed up with the Danish record company, Mega Records in 1992 and since then managed to sell 23 million copies of their debut album, with songs such as All That She Wants and Wheel Of Fortune still well know today. This success also extended to released a number of albums, including a Greatest Hits album and the band toured the world. Jenny has also written a self-biography and has been pursuing a solo-career.
Jeppe Federspiel is part of a producer team called Providers who has worked with countless artists, most prolifically in Denmark producing music. His partnerships include the like of Outlandish, Rasmus Seebach and Medina, who achieved one of the last decade's biggest hits in Denmark, Kun For Mig. After being offered the wildcard to this year's Danish final, he turned to Eurovision Song Contest veteran, Thomas G:son for help with writing Let Your Heart Be Mine. This is Thomas' second song in the 2011 edition of Melodi Grand Prix.
The successful act will take part in the second half of the second semi-final of Europe's favourite TV show, taking place in Düsseldorf, Germany on the 12th of May.