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Hera Björk wins South American music competition

01 March 2013 at 13:45 CET

Many people refer to Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar as the South American equivalent of the Eurovision Song Contest or the Festival della canzone italiana di Sanremo held in Italy.

Lasting an entire week and including performances from some of the world's most respected and well-loved artists, the festival held in Viña del Mar, Chile has become the number one music event in South America since its establishment in 1960.

Each year as part of the festival, artists and songwriters from all over the world are invited to enter the International Competition, which has previously been dominated by the likes of Chile, Italy, Spain and Argentina. This year, however, Iceland won the competition for the very first time in its 53 year history with a song performed by non-other than the lovely Hera Björk, who in 2010 entered the Eurovision Song Contest for Iceland with the song Je Ne Sais Quoi.

Hera at the press conference after her victory. Photo: Viña 2013.

A top-class songwriting team

In Chile, the song that won the hearts of the judges and that was performed so wonderfully by Hera is called Because You Can, written by Camilla Gottschalck, Christina Schilling, Jonas Gladnikoff and Örlygur Smári.

This team are no strangers to the world of songwriting and have entered the Eurovision Song Contest and various national selections all over the continent.

Örlygur Smári has written no less than three of Iceland's Eurovision Song Contest entries including Tell Me in 2000, This Is My Life in 2008, co-wrote Hera Björk's own entry in 2010, Je Ne Sais Quoi and he's also the person behind this year's entry Eg A Lif.

Jonas Gladnikoff has written over 20 entries for national competitions throughout Europe and has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest for Ireland twice with Et Cetera in 2009 and Niamh Kavanagh's It's For You in 2010.

 Because You Can was originally a song that we wrote for Hera's new album. While she was on tour in the US a record company noticed her and entered the song into Viña del Mar, where she made it through with five other artists

Christina Schilling has similarly been involved in many projects and co-wrote Et Cetera with Jonas. The duo have also collaborated on many other projects including Hera Björk's song Someday which came second at the Danish national final in 2009.

Camilla Gottschalck, an actress, singer and songwriter, was Hera Björk's backing singer in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2009 and co-wrote Nikki Kavanagh's song Falling with Christina, which participated in the Irish national final in 2011. She has also been involved in many other projects both musically and as an actress.

After the sucess in Chile, maybe one day we will see Hera Björk and her talented songwriting team back in Europe's favourite TV show.