Get to know the Danish participants: Part 218 January 2013 at 13:58 CET
Two days ago, we revealed the ten acts that will compete to represent Denmark in Malmö at next week's Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in the town of Herning. Of these acts, a number are previously known whilst there are also some newcomers!
Yesterday we took a closer look at the first five acts and today we look at the final five, in the order they will perform on the 26th of January.
Performed by: Simone Egeriis
Written by: Lars Halvor Jensen, Carsten Lindberg
Simone Egeriis is just twenty yearss old but already has a decade long singing career behind her. She was thrust into the spotlight in 2004 when she won the TV talent show Scenen er din in the ”Junior” category with a heartfelt and beautiful performance of the Pocahantas song Colours Of The Wind. This girl from Slagelse quickly became ”Denmark’s Simone” and her subsequent debut album ended up as the third best selling album in Denmark in 2005. Now for the second time she will take part in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, this time with the song Stay Awake:
”It is a really cool uptempo song that is impossible to sit still to. In my opinion it is completely perfect because I love to dance. It has a catchy chorus and you just can’t help but whistle alongt to it afterwards”, explains Simone who previously took part in the competition in 2010.
Back then she participated with the ballad How Will I Know and ahead of the final was the big favourite to win. After a nerve-racking voting sequence she had to accept defeat by Chanée and N’evergreen but still managed a respectable third place. Since 2010 Simone has been training as a veterinary nurse but is now back with her musical career, and the ambitions ahead of her participation in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2013 are bigger than three years ago:
”In 2010 I had no expectations to win but to have a great time and to develop as an artist. That dream came true! This year I want to be part of an unforgettable party and a show that hopefully will go down in history and of course to finish first and be able to represent Denmark in Malmö. It is our turn to win the Eurovision Song Contest again”, says a confident Simone.
About the songwriters:
Dane, Carsten Lindberg lives and works as a producer/songwriter in Los Angeles, USA and has collaborated with a long line og famous artists right from Danish superstar Hanne Boel to the American Nicole Scherzinger known from the group The Pussycat Dolls. His music is often used in American television productions; you can for example hear Carsten’s music being used at The Primetime Emmy Awards, in The Oprah Winfrey Show as well as The Daily Show with Jon Steward. Now, however, he is putting his money on Denmark:
”During the last few years Melodi Grand Prix has become a great and internationally acclaimed evening. It is an evening where all of Denmark sits in front of the TV and watches”, believes Carsten who wrote Stay Awake especially for Simone. This is also his first shot as a songwriter in the competition.
Contrary to Carsten Lindberg, Lars Halvor Jensen is far from being a Melodi Grand Prix novice. He is part of the Danish songwriting team Deekay and has written music for among others the Sugababes, Blue, Medina, Brinck and Jedwark. Brinck’s Believe Again represented Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 whilst the Jedward twins performed Lipstick for Ireland in 2011 with great enthusiasm for achieving the best result for Ireland in over ten years. Now it is up to Simone to follow in the footsteps of Brinck and Jedward.
Performed by: Jack Rowan feat. Sam Gray
Written by: Achmad Darwich, Jack Rowan, Sam Gray
Jack Rowan from Aalborg is a formidable character in the world of music and has written for artists such as Sys Bjerre, Owl City, Carly Rae Jepsen, Infernal, Christopher and the group The Storm, as well as internationally acclaimed songwriter Andreas Carlson (who has written for the likes of Britney Spears and Katy Perry) and Sebastian Thott (songwriter for Celine Dion and Westlife). Now he is to take to the stage at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix:
”My expectations ahead of the final are to experience a first class show, enjoy the music and be part of creating a party for a lot of people. Being able to present a song from a Melodi Grand Prix stage gives me the opportunity to participate in a musical and historical event and to give people a good and hopefully memorable experience”, says Jack Rowan.
And Rowan won’t be alone when he takes to the big stage at the Boxen Arena in Herning with the song Invincible. He will have company from the British multitalent Sam Gray who has enjoyed success with the soul single This Girl and has worked as a support act for The Overtones and Charlie Simpson.
Both Sam Gray and Jack Rowan are first-timers at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix but that hasn’t affected the pair’s ambitions ahead of the final:
”We are going to win in Herning because we bring something new and different to Grand Prix”, explains Rowan.
About the songwriters:
Both Jack Rowan and Sam Gray have collaborated on writing Invincible and that has been done in partnership with Achmad Darwich. Darwich is a familiar name on the Danish club scene where he has produced music for amongst others Pitbull, Michel Rune, Anna David and Inez. Moreover, he is known as the producer of KATO’s first two albums. But although Darwich is an experienced musician and producer, he is, like his partners Rowan and Gray, a blank page when it comes to Melodi Grand Prix. He explains that the whole process surrounding participation ”has just happened by itself”.
Darwich will in his own words bring something new to Melodi Grand Prix and believes that Invincible has international potential and will give the competition a breath of fresh air if it wins.
”It is an offer of the modern club sound”, explains Darwich who simultaneously admits that he hasn’t watched Grand Prix for a few years and that the song was actually only written because it felt completely ”right”.
Performed by: Emmelie de Forest
Written by: Lise Cabble, Julia Fabrin Jakobsen, Thomas Stengaard
Emmelie hasn’t even turned 20 and has already been an active singer for ten years. She has for among other things sung in church choirs and Steve Cameron’s gospel choir, and since Emmelie turned 14 she has been singing with the Scottish musician Fraser Neill. Together the duo has played and been singing for four years at various festivals, music venues and culture houses and Emmelie therefore has a lot of experience in her musical rucksack.
”When I turned 18 I packed up all my things and moved from Mariager in Northern Jutland to Copenhagen, where I was admitted to Katrine Sadlin’s ”Complete Vocal Institute” for singers.There I could sing uninterrupted and learnt a lot. During the last year I have worked, travelled, recorded, written loads of lyrics and played the guitar”, explains Emmielie who will soon walk onto the big stage in Herning where she will perform Only Teardrops.
Only Teardrops is a song that Emmelie has worked with for a long time and intensively and she is really looking forward to being able to present it to all the people in Boxen and as she herself describes it, ”give something back”.
”Only Teardrops has a really good melody and a good tempo. It also gives you something to think about; how we treat each other and the world. It is both melancholic, but it also gives hope for the future”, asserts Emmelie, who hopes that it will both touch the public in Boxen and the people at home.
About the songwriters:
Lise Cabble is a bit of a legend on the Danish music scene. She has for decades been a singer and songwriter in Miss B. Haven, has written for the likes of Sanne Solomonsen and has at the same time established herself as one of the modern era’s most successful Grand Prix composers. Including Only Teardrops she has delivered no less than 12 songs to the competition between 1995 and 2013 and has won twice: in 1995 when Aud Wilken performed the kult hit Fra Mols til Skagen and in 2011 when the boys from A Friend in London won convincingly with New Tomorrow. Both songs ended in the top five at the Eurovision Song Contest.
And her self-confidence ahead of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix is not flailing at all:
”Until I’ve heard the other songs, I’m already in Malmö”, says Lise, who is obviously staking a lot on a third Grand Prix victory and to get her hands on the much soughtafter ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest in May.
Lise wrote Only Teardrops with Julia Fabrin Jakobsen who is a debutant in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix but at the same time is an incredibly experienced woman in the world of music. She became known in Denmark as part of the country group The Fireflies that took part in the third series of X Factor in Denmark, where they finished in an impressive fourth place, and in the wake of this success have been able to release a record. Since then Julia has written for Sanne Salomonsen, X Factor winner Sarah, Christopher and Louise Dubiel and Julia is at the moment part of the duo Shoes for Julia where she is partnered with Søren Sko. Now she has come out as a songwriter in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix.
Thomas Stengaard began his career with the band The Benefits in 2007 and has since then had a hit with the single Seize the Day and performed as a warm up act for international superstars like Rihanna, Whitney Houston and Kelly Clarkson. In Denmark he has had hits with artists like Sys Bjerre, Eran DD and Bryan Rice. Now he works as a songwriter and producer, and will debut in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix when the song Only Teardrops is performed by Emmelie.
BEAUTIFUL TO ME
Performed by: Albin
Written by: Brian Risberg Clausen, Mads Haugaard
Albin isn’t unfamiliar with standing on a large stage. He can namely bestow upon himself the title of ”show captain” in Wallmans at the Cirkus building in Copenhagen, which means that he commands both the role as singer and master of ceremonies. Musically he is a diverse talent; right from rock to more classical musical pieces and his show business experience is impressive: so far Albin has more than one thousand performances in the bag and has both composed and produced music for his shows. In order words, a genuine show man will soon grace the stage of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2013.
”Melodi Grand Prix is the biggest and greatest music show in Denmark and for a singer it’s of course the best thing you can do! It is both a privilage and a chance, that few are given, to be able to entertain so many people at once”, says Albin, who was educated at the Ballettakademien in Gothenburg and who has been living in Denmark for the past six years.
He will endeavour to express honesty and vulnerability, when he stands on stage and performs Beautiful to Me, which he describes as a song with a strong chorus ”that you just want to sing along to”.
”Like all good songs it has a depth that you maybe don’t get the first time you hear it. The song is about a man that stands on the sidelines, waiting for the woman in his life to decide what she wants. She is maybe prioritising herself and her career instead of the relationship, but he waits even though he knows that there is a possibility that she will dump him”.
About the songwriters:
Brian Risberg Clausen, otherwise known by the pseudonym Bryan Rice, had his breakthrough in 2005 where he was the man and voice behind the hit No Promises from the film Nynne, and that breakthrough was so successful that he could subsequently release his debut album in a total of 14 European countries.
Brian Rice cemented his status in the Danish music scene when he took part as a songwriter in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2009 with Underneath My Skin and one year later managed to secure a an impressive second place as an artist in the competition with the song Breathing. Bryan is currently working on his 5th album but is also taking part in this year’s Grand Prix with Beautiful To Me”, a song that in his own words is ”really catchy”.
”I think it is a good song that many will able to relate to; that must be why we were selected”, believes Bryan.
Beautiful To Me was produced in partnership with Mads Haugaard. He has written for both Sanne Solomonsen and Julie Bertelsen and can additionally boast to have collaborated as a songwriter in Melodi Grand Prix on a total of four occasions: in 2006 he wrote Make This Night Forever, in 2007 he was part of the team behind Fly, in 2009 he, together with Bryan, wrote Underneath My Skin and in 2010 he was part of the song Panik!.
Mads expresses the importance of believing in what you produce and not just follow the existing musical trends. In his own words it’s about daring to go another way:
”The thing that has had the most impact musically is people that have gone their own direction”, he concludes.
Performed by: Mohamed
Written by: Morten Friis, Michael Parsberg, Peter Bjørnskov, Lene Dissing
19 year old Mohamed from Aalborg became an overnight sensation in Denmark when during the second season of the Danish X Factor, he impressed everyone with his beeautiful voice and secured enough votes for a place in the final where he came third. Since then he has signed with Sony Music and has also performed as a warm up act for the American superstars Beyonce and Ne-yo. He has since been attached to the company disco:wax and has enjoyed big success with the singles Den du er and Ser dig. Soon he will take to the stage at Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2013 with the song Unbreakable:
”The song is about how together anything is possible. As long as you have some people behind you that you appreciate and appreciate you, then you’re Unbreakable. The song’s message means a lot to me because I’m so lucky to be surrounded by family and friends, that enrichen my life and remind me how much they love me. That’s exactly why this song means so much to me.
The talented wonder-kid who himself thinks that X Factor has opened doors to his further musical career, will now try to top the third place from the talent show and he hopes to reach out to everyone watching when Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2013 comes onto our screens:
”I hope that people at home in their living rooms don’t doubt that I perform with all my heart and soul on the Grand Prix stage when I sing Unbreakable and that people can see how much this song means to me. Hopefully, the song will touch the hearts of the Danish people just as it does to mine”, hopes Mohamed who describes Unbreakable as a ”universal and uplifting pop number”.
About the songwriters:
Morten Friis is probably better known as one half of the Danish group Safri Duo, who had huge hits all over the world in the noughties. Simiarly to his previous partner in crime, Uffe Savery, he is a clasically trained musician which became evidenced in the group’s original approach to modern pop music, where everything from cowbells to drums were used as percussion instruments, in international hits like Played-A-Live (The Bongo Song) and All The People In The World. Now he is debuting in Melodi Grand Prix.
There is no cooperation with Uffe Savery this time, however, but instead with Michael Parsberg. The two have previously worked together back in the Safri Duo days and on top of that Michael has produced music for names such as DJ Encore and the Barcode Brothers, as well as mixed for Infernal, Hampenberg, Shakira and Tiesto. At the moment he is part of the eletronic duo Pegboard Nerds, who are enjoying success in the USA. The art of putting a good popsong together isn’t difficult says Michael:
”It should come from the heart”, as he says.
Morten Friis and Michael Parsberg have written Unbreakable together with two other experienced pop-makers: Peter Bjørnskov and Lene Dissing. The two are part of the producer/songwriting team Startone Music and have together written for a string of artists including X Factor winners Martin Hedegaard and Thomas Ring, Electric Lady Lab and the danish rock-mamma Sanne Salomonsen.
When it comes to Melodi Grand Prix, Peter Bjørnskov wrote Bryan Rice’s Breathing that came second in 2010, a success that repeated itself in 2011, this time in partnership with Lene Dissing and John Gordon with Anne Noa’s Sleepless.
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Now that we have looked at all 10 acts in detail, we can look forward to the 2013 edition of Dansk Melodi Grand Prix on Saturday the 26th of January. Remember you can listen to the songs by looking at our previous release article.
Denmark will take part in the first Semi-Final of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Malmö, Sweden on the 14th of May.