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Finland's Paradise Oskar sings alone on the planet

01 May 2011 at 20:25 CEST

The last act taking its turn on the first day of rehearsals at the Düsseldorf Arena was Paradise Oskar, an artist that belongs to the Swedish-Finnish minority in Finland. He is comfortable with the performance even before the first rehearsals in the arena.

 Here it's nice to be just pushed around, you don't have to think yourself. But I know what to do already: I only have to be in the right place at the right time. It's not too complicated, I'm alone on stage


His clothing for the first Semi-Final is made of recycled fabrics and he wore it today at the rehearsal. Axel has designed most of the performance himself. "It's just a natural interpretation of the song I've written. I perform it alone without a big show and just tell the story to the people".

Being alone on stage doesn't make him feel worried: "It makes me feel far more secure than if I would if I had a lot of other people. I won't have to worry that the ones standing behind me are doing the right things. And this way, I can take all the shit myself!"

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Paradise Oskar's name is taken from an Astrid Lindgren's book. The character is a vagabond that lives a really simple life, something that would like to be shared by Finland's singer in a dreamer's way. He sings Da Da Dam as song number 10, a tender and sweet number about a young kid that wants to save the planet.

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Press Conference

Finland's first Press Conference started talking about the main character of the song.

 Peter is sort of a symbol of a person I think about that could exist.


He states that all of the problems that inspired him when writing the lyrics are caused by adults and even a child would understand that we can't live like this and Peter is the symbol of a new hope. "He's not real, he should be real".

Paradise Oskar thinks that Da Da Dam is an stripped down song, not a dance-pop number  "you can try to dance to it but you fail. Lyrics get a little bit deeper than people are probably used to in the contest". The simplistic title is "an international symbol of apathy".

And deeper into this he mentioned that he doesn't really follow Eurovision as much as to copy songs from other years, especially last year's Belgian entry Me And My Guitar, to which it's been compared. "I wrote that song inspired by some environmental debates last summer".

After declaring Galveston by Jimmy Webb as his favourite song, he finished the press conference by singing a little bit of his own entry accompanied by his guitar and what he called a "human stand mic", to the volunteer holding a mic for his guitar, in an unplugged version.

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An early songwriter

Axel Ehnström alias Paradise Oskar already took an interest to music when he entered school and soon his own melodies were ringing in his head. Songwriting was more and more prominent in Axel’s life and he wanted to bring his songs for others to hear. But first he had to get a stage name. He found that in Astrid Lindgren’s fairytale – an old vagabond, who made his living playing the accordion. Last summer during improvisation, he quickly came up with a melody and wrote the partly sarcastic lyrics about people’s indifference.  He decided to send his shoebox budgeted demo to the Finnish national final for the Eurovision Song Contest and to his utter surprise, he won the whole competition!

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