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Denmark: Great 8 for 'Melodi Grand Prix 2023'

19 January 2023 at 10:00 CET
Denmark’s REDDI at the First Semi-Final in Turin, 2022 EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett
The 8 artists hoping to represent Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool have been revealed: maia maia, Søren Torpegaard Lund, Mariyah LeBerg, Nicklas Sonne, Frederik Leopold, Eyjaa, Reiley and Micky Skeel.

Denmark's Melodi Grand Prix - a one-night affair which takes place on Saturday 11 February - will be coming to us live from Arena Næstved, in the southern part of the island of Zealand in Denmark. 

The annual Danish pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, which is renowned for being a large-scale arena production that looks smashing on television, will be aired on DR1 and DRTV. Programme Manager for Melodi Grand Prix, Erik Struve Hansen, is particularly enthusiastic about this year's batch of songs:

Denmark's Melodi Grand Prix is steeped in tradition, and many Danes have several memories of entertaining evenings spent watching it over the years. That's why we are again looking forward to gathering people across generations and paying tribute to Danish music and songwriting. I think you will find that the eight selected songs this year are stylistically different from previous years, and overall span a wide range of genres. I am very excited to see how the viewers will receive the eight songs and the artists behind them and, not least, who will represent Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest later this year

During the live broadcast, the 8 competing songs will be reduced to a final 3, after a viewer vote. That trio will then perform again, and viewers, as well as an expert jury, will vote for a winner. The jury vote and the viewer vote hold equal weight, and will ultimately decide the song that represents Denmark in Liverpool in May. 

It will also be possible for the people of Denmark to vote throughout the week leading up to Melodi Grand Prix, through DR's Melodi Grand Prix app. Danish fans can vote for their favourites from Monday 6 February up to and including Friday 10 February.

Let's meet the acts, shall we?

maia maia - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023 Emma Ishøy

maia maia - Beautiful Bullshit

Maja Barløse graduated from songwriting school just last summer, but her musical journey has already had several years of history to it. As a 20-year-old, she moved to New York, where she played at several of the city's venues, both large and small, including Times Square. Maja learned everything she now knows about the music industry over there, and on the side, set about creating her own record label, putting together her own concerts, and making music videos herself, as well as promoting, booking, producing and writing songs. At the beginning of 2022, she launched her latest artist project - maia maia! 


'Beautiful Bullshit' is about the kind of love that makes you deaf and blind - like you're kind of in a trance. It's about the kind of lies we're told by the one we love that just keeps us on the hook, ignoring  all the red flags. The song has a grand feel and there is a lot at stake from the second the strings and synthesisers land in the intro. I love the mix of drama and the twinkle in the eye, which also fits perfectly into the spirit of Melodi Grand Prix.


Søren Torpegaard Lund - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023 Lukas Valentin

Søren Torpegaard Lund - Lige Her

Søren is a familiar face on the musical stage in Denmark, having performed in, among many other productions, Kinky Boots and West Side Story. It is on stage that the artist feels that he can be himself. And being yourself is absolutely essential for Søren, when it comes to participating in Denmark's Melodi Grand Prix. With his participation in this year's edition, Søren would like to act as a sort of catalyst for the freedom to dare to be exactly who you are. With this belief in himself, he will fight hard to be given the opportunity to represent Denmark on the international stage at the Eurovision Song Contest.


The song is primarily about being there for each other, no matter what. For me, it also depicts a 'coming of age' experience. To be exactly who you want to be. Letting go of your parents and family to create your own life can be a very lonely experience. But only until the moment you discover all the people around you who are going through the same thing. I think building an arsenal of people who actually love you for who you are is a universal thing. With 'Lige Her', I reach out to all the people who have always been there for me to say that I will be there for them too, no matter what. We are strong and beautiful just the way we are and we need to be there for each other.


Mariyah - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023 Nicho Oppermann

Mariyah LeBerg - Human

The Danish-Lebanese singer was born in Aarhus and spent the first years of her life in Gellerupparken. Mariyah LeBerg is a former DMA World winner with roots in everything from reggae to rap, punk and industrial. She has undertaken countless live performances across Europe, as well as in the US and Asia. Mariyah and the renowned songwriter and producer Chief 1 have for a long time circled around the idea of embarking upon a collaboration, and last year it ended up being the song Human, written in collaboration with the Norwegian songwriter Nermin Harambasic. It's a song that is about the fact that we are all just people beneath the surface, regardless of how big a difference we may think there is in terms of gender, race and rank.


I think the message that we are just human on the inside is important in a world where we tend to hide behind a lot of facades and filters. Personally, I think that humility and honesty run far deeper than all the set-up and perfection we are bombarded with and strive for on a daily basis. That's why this song is very special to me - because it's just honest and puts it all a bit on the edge; beneath the surface we are all just human beings with all that vulnerability and imperfection entails and just that, helps us to approach - and mirror ourselves in - each other.


Nicklas Sonne - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023 Mikkel Laumann

Nicklas Sonne - Freedom

Nicklas has, among many other career highlights, performed as warm-up for the likes of Metallica and Rammstein, as well as had several appearances at some of Europe's biggest metal festivals, such as Copenhell. From childhood, the guitar and the dream of being on stage have given him the faith and energy to pursue his dream as an artist. Freedom is Nicklas Sonne's take on the traditional Melodi Grand Prix song, combining a heavy guitar sound with the grandiosity of a big Melodi Grand Prix chorus! Nicklas is one of Danish metal's biggest musical talents, and as such, Freedom is a song that Nicklas has composed, written, recorded, produced and sung, all from scratch. 


I am equal parts excited and nervous that the people behind Melodi Grand Prix have taken a chance on me and the sound I bring. It will be fantastic to turn it up to 11 and play 'Freedom' for Denmark.


Frederik Leopold - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023 ingen

Frederik Leopold - Stuck On You

Denmark's Melodi Grand Prix is the start of something big for Frederik Leopold. The younger generation may already knows Frederik Leopold from Klassen on DR Ultra, on which he was behind the title song Ikke Alene. Now it is time for the rest of Denmark, and perhaps even all of Europe, to get to know the talented and ambitious young musician. He started learning and playing music early in his childhood and has pursued the joy of singing and the desire to play ever since. 


The song is about having met a fantastically beautiful person who has their slightly crazy sides. It could be that they fill up your entire apartment with recycled items that they have just found, or that they launch 10 new ideas daily, planting themselves almost everywhere in your life. You have no idea what you have agreed to and don't quite know what to do with it either. However, in the end, it's alright, because they are really cute. When you are in love, you might accept more than you normally would.

Eyjaa - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023 Jeppe Klausen

Eyjaa - I Was Gonna Marry Him

Eyjaa is a sister duo consisting of Sara and Brynja, who have their musical roots deeply planted in their strong sibling bond. They live in Denmark, but come from a background where both their parents are Icelandic. They have thus far lived in 6 different countries, speak 5 different languages and they are far from being the only children in the family - the gang of siblings comes to 8 children in total. However, the family would not deny the fact that the two sisters have a very unique bond in particular. The girls have been singing and playing music together since they were very young. It can also be heard in their sound, which they describe as "pop with Nordic nostalgia", full of harmonies that work like a kind of magic in their musical expression.


It's crazy to be part of Melodi Grand Prix, and to be able to show the whole of Denmark who we are, our bond with each other and what we're passionate about. Standing here together as sisters is really big for us. Throughout our lives we have experienced both the sweet and the sour together; we have experienced losing each other and being unhappy, but we have also always had all the good things together. What one of us goes through is felt by the other, and therefore the song is absolutely perfect for us.

Reiley - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023 Reiley

Reiley - Breaking My Heart

Even being born and raised on the Faroe Islands, a remote nation, is no barrier to being well connected with the rest of the world. Reiley has already managed to earn fans in countries such as South Korea, the United Kingdom, the US and, not least, Denmark. He has used social media in an effective way, and particularly in connection with the release of his debut EP, has gotten closer to the world outside of the Faroe Islands thanks to over 10 million followers on TikTok. It has, among other things, resulted in an artist career in South Korea, where he has performed, promoted and recorded a single with one of the country's biggest bands. Many of his more than 300,000 followers on Instagram come from South Korea, so one can safely deduce that Reiley is a modern artist with his finger on the pulse of international acclaim.


When the opportunity to participate in Melodi Grand Prix arose, it was the perfect opportunity for me to strengthen my connection to and feelings for Denmark. I've also been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest - especially in recent years - so I'm really happy and excited about the potential opportunity to represent and make the country proud in such an iconic competition, and with this song that I really like.


Micky Skeel - Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2023 Alexander Leistiko

Micky Skeel - Glansbillede

For more than 20 years now, Micky Skeel has been writting songs for both himself and plenty of other big names in the music industry. These artists include the likes of Gulddreng, Cliff Richard and Måns Zelmerlöw. Between 2017 and 2019, Micky lived in Los Angeles and released his debut English-language album Losing Your Love, which has garnered 20 million streams. The single Boy You're Good from the album went platinum in Sweden, so he has proven on several parameters that he knows what it takes to put together a hit for audiences both at home and abroad. 


'Glansbilde' is a song about resting in the imperfect. It's as much a song for myself as it is a song for everyone else. We all have good days and bad days, and I had a hard time accepting that when I was younger, but I've gradually learned that you can't avoid the bad days, so instead you just have to learn to live with them. When you recognise it, it is also a form of liberation. Enjoy who you are and where you are. It will all work out. We care far too much about what other people think and therefore try to show a glossy picture of our lives on the outside. This song is about it being ok not to have everything under control.

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